Five directors break down their shortlisted documentaries:
" 'If a Tree Falls' is a cautionary tale for our times: What happens when people feel like the system isn't working or listening to them? What happens when nonviolent civil disobedience is met with police wielding pepper spray canisters? Some of the footage in the news last month looks like it could have been pulled from our film, and if the past is any indication, those kinds of actions radicalize people and push them out of the democratic process — and towards things like the Earth Liberation Front."
—Marshall Curry, "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front"
"There's a lot of cynicism these days about an individual's ability to actually effect social change in this country. Many people accept the idea that powerful corporations, special interests and politics go hand in hand. ... Master Sgt. Jerry Ensminger truly believed in our government ... and his idealism and belief in our government fueled his fight. He proved to us, and hopefully to those who watch the film, that you can't just accept corruption and dysfunction as status quo. Perhaps most importantly, he demonstrates that if you are relentless and determined you might actually be able to make a difference."
—Rachel Libert and Tony Hardmon, "Semper Fi: Always Faithful"
"There are a number of recent news articles that have picked up on the idea that "Battle for Brooklyn" could help explain many of the issues of the Occupy Wall Street movement to those that don't understand it. The public is angry that cronyism has replaced capitalism, and this film is a manifestation of that idea.
—Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky, "Battle for Brooklyn"