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Two documentary films scoop the 2017 Healthy Workplaces Film Award

The joint winners of the best film on the subject of work are Lewis Wilcox for “Before the bridge” (USA) and Tuna Kaptan for “Turtle shells” (Germany). The awards were presented by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) at the 60th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (DOK Leipzig). 

The winning film “Before the bridge” by Lewis Wilcox raises awareness of how automation will affect the future of humanity. The jury commented on the film: ‘Fast moving technological and social changes in the world affecting us all and our vision of the future of work’.

The second winner “Turtle shells” by Tuna Kaptan is a multi-perspective film, exploring the connections between animal, man and war. The jury thought that the film was ‘a complex and poetic discussion of dramatic turmoil in the contemporary world: war, migration and cruelty, which synthesises the unexpected, including our relation to the animal world’.

In addition, the jury gave a special mention to the film “Alien” by Morteza Atabaki (Turkey) about an old man working in a thread workshop.

EU-OSHA aims to foster discussion on the importance of occupational safety and health (OSH) in Europe. Through the creation and funding of the Healthy Workplaces Film Award, EU-OSHA hopes to build a library of films to raise awareness on OSH and to inspire directors to create more films on the subject of work, its changing nature and its effects on workers and their environment.

The directors share a prize of EUR 5 000 as well as subtitled DVD copies of their films. These DVDs will also be distributed to EU-OSHA’s national focal points throughout Europe for screening, with subtitling as required. The screenings will aim to encourage debate on a variety of OSH topics, and new forms of work in particular; and to spread the message of the importance of safety and health at work to a wide audience.

The documentaries shortlisted for the award this year cover a range of work-related issues through thought-provoking and illuminating film-making: the struggles of small farmers in the UK, the dangers endured by workers in a high-altitude Bolivian mining camp and the dehumanising environment of a huge Indian textile factory.


Notes to editor: 

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) contributes to making Europe a safer, healthier and more productive place to work. The Agency researches, develops, and distributes reliable, balanced, and impartial safety and health information and organises pan-European awareness raising campaigns. Set up by the European Union in 1994 and based in Bilbao, Spain, the Agency brings together representatives from the European Commission, Member State governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations, as well as leading experts in each of the EU-28 Member States and beyond.

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The Healthy Workplaces Film Award honours documentaries on work-related topics as part of EU‑OSHA’s Europe-wide Healthy Workplaces Campaigns. The award is presented annually at the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (DOK Leipzig), held this year between 30 October and 5 November 2017.

DOK Leipzig is one of the most significant festivals for documentary and animated films in the world, and this year it celebrates its 60th anniversary. It has hosted the Healthy Workplaces Film Award since 2009.

Find information on the previous winners 

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