Matter Out of Place, a sobering documentary about the growing global problem of garbage and waste management, has won the inaugural “green leopard,” the Pardo Verde WWF environmental prize from the Locarno Film Festival and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Directed by famed Austrian documentarian Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Our Daily Bread, Earth), Matter Out of Place tracks how the rich world’s garbage is dumped in remote areas around the globe and follows the Sisyphus-like work of garbage collectors and waste managers trying to clean up the mess. Autlook Filmsales is handling worldwide sales for the project.
With its new environmental film prize, Locarno hopes to raise awareness and provide promotional support for movies that highlight ecological issues and offer “audiences new and challenging interpretations that inspire change.” The Pardo Verde WWF trophy is a bright green version of Locarno’s traditional golden leopard award stature.
Locarno, which has been a climate-neutral event since 2010, has committed itself to a series of sustainability goals set by the United Nations. Last year, it began publishing an annual sustainability report, documenting progress toward its green goals. Alongside the new award, the Swiss festival has announced plans for a new Green Film Fund to provide financial support for films that tackle environmental issues.
The Pardo Verde WWF honor was announced at the close of the 75th Locarno festival on Saturday.