Locally-Produced Documentary ‘The Ugly Side of Beauty’ Wins Big at World’s Leading Festival for Educational Media2 min readReading Time: 2 minutes
Produced by The Moving Visuals Co., investigative documentary The Ugly Side of Beauty has been announced as the inaugural winner of the Sustainable Development Goals Prize at the 2021 Japan Prize.
Established in 1965, the Japan Prize highlights the very best of educational media from around the world. This year’s edition saw 267 entries from 48 countries competing. The Sustainable Development Goals Prize is awarded to “an excellent work that inspires viewers to take action and contribute to the advancement of Sustainable Development Goals”.
The 47-minute documentary, which premiered on Channel NewsAsia’s investigative series Undercover Asia earlier this year, was recognised for its “revealing investigation into the complex truth behind our cosmetics”.
The Ugly Side of Beauty looks to raise awareness about the human cost behind how mica, a mineral commonly found makeup products. are mined in India. Through their investigations on the ground, the documentary’s producers found that the reality is often quite different from what is portrayed by NGOs and media outlets.
Galen Yeo, Creative Director at The Moving Visuals Co. shares: “Typically, the whole discussion of mica in the news has been framed mainly around child labour. It’s far more complex than that. It’s an entire cycle of poverty that goes beyond what the headlines portray.”
Sumitra Gopal, the documentary’s producer and writer, hopes that this show will spark greater awareness: “It’s worth asking brands to be accountable, to ask questions about their supply chain, and for us to have more responsibility and engagement with what we buy all the time.”
On the documentary’s win at the Japan Prize 2021, Yeo adds: “It’s nice to be recognised by the Japan Prize. There were some excellent productions around social and environmental issues in the running. This story highlights the fact that we have a lot to learn and do to make life more sustainable for the planet and its people.”