American documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger’s Crude, which Leonardo DiCaprio described as a ‘true life drama’ was honoured at the Cinema for Peace gala in Berlin.
The award for special commitment to the environment was presented to Berlinger by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who were the two guests of honour at the ceremony.
Crude is an environmentally critical work, documenting the struggle of Ecuadorians against the pollution of the Amazon by an oil company.
Berlinger said, ‘this is a tribute to human suffering’ and described the prize as a ‘profound honour’ and the film as ’small and difficult’.
Crude beat off competition from Avatar and from 2012 director, Roland Emmerich.
The Cinema for Peace gala forms part of the Berlinale, despite not being included on the official program.