'Bang For Your Buck' wins Oxfam's Shooting Poverty film competition
"In Burundi a grenade costs the same price as a bottle a beer" – this was the shocking opening line with which the short documentary "Bang For Your Buck" grabbed the attention of judges and audiences alike. From February to June 2010, Oxfam called on young people around the world to submit their vision for a documentary film about armed violence. The challenge: to expose through film the true cost of the poorly regulated arms trade and resulting armed violence on poor communities around the world.
Together, Seth Chase, an American film director, and Brice Blondel, a French political analyst, succeeded at that task making a compelling film free of sensationalism and driven by touching personal testimonies.
Seth and Brice are the first ever winners of Oxfam's Shooting Poverty short documentary competition.
"The goal of the film for me was to show the world there is a country called Burundi, in the middle of Africa, and Burundians could use your help in the fight against small arms," said Brice in an interview by Oistein Thorsen, executive producer of Shooting Poverty, just after they found out they had won the competition.
"I really didn't want it to be a victim movie, but rather a film about how weapons have permeated the culture of Burundi, and that the responsibility for this tragedy is shared among all the countries involved in the arms trade. I hope the film is part of the process to create a solution to this problem…"
"We'd like people to understand the importance of the issue of small arms and to realize how it affects populations around the world, in all places, including one of the smallest countries in Africa", added Seth.
"The documentary shows certain aspects of that issue, and it intends to give a human perspective to it, but in fifteen minutes, it is only a snapshot. It has to be a pretext to open a wider reflection. If it works out, if the film does well, it might also open the door for more public interest in the issues."
Their next project is another documentary, on the discrimination and violence Burundian woman face country-wide.
To read the full interview and watch the doc "Bang For Your Buck" and the two other finalist movies on the impact of arms trade, "April 6th" from India and "Grosso Calibre" from Brazil, please visit the Shooting Poverty website.