UK Creative Industries call for action at the Paris climate change talks

December 4, 2015

An open letter to COP21, the annual Conference of Parties held since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, was organised and sent by environmental sustainability charity Julie’s Bicycle. With over 300 signatories, the letter urged negotiators to ‘agree an ambitious and inspiringCOP21 - Ron Mader-Flickr-CreativeCommons

international agreement’ on climate change, and highlighted the unique contribution the creative community is able to make to the issue.

Signatories from the screen industries included Steve Coogan, Colin and Livia Firth, Thandie Newton, Mark Rylance and Emma Thompson, as well as Amanda Nevill, CEO BFI and Amanda Berry CEO BAFTA.

The Guardian also featured an article on the letter as part of its COP21 coverage.

Greenpeace Activist story entices Lord Puttnam back to filmmaking

September 9, 2015

David Puttnam CCDavid Puttnam announced his return to producing earlier this summer to make Arctic 30, a drama based on Ben Stewart’s book Don’t Trust Don’t Fear Don’t Beg. The film, his first for 17 years, will tell the story of the Greenpeace activists who where imprisoned in Russia on charges of piracy as a result of protesting against oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

Puttnam, who spent two years chairing the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Climate Change, has previously spoken about the importance of individual contributions and the role of creativity in facing the challenges of climate change. Producing this film is clearly his way of underscoring that premise. He commented that it “needs someone to crack one essential problem, which is how you turn the Arctic into a character. That is a very interesting creative challenge”. If they succeed, author Stewart who is also Head of Media at Greenpeace acknowledges, they will have made a “profoundly important film”. The film has a planned release date of 2017.


How they tried to change the world

July 31, 2015

This BFI Film Fund backed documentary which received its UK premiere at this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest, tells the story of a tight-knit group of friends who mounted some of the most daring and significant environmental protests in history. Directed by Jerry Rothwell, How to Change the World tells the story of Greenpeace’s founders from 1971 when they hired a fishing boat and sailed it into a nuclear test zone, to 1979 when they stepped back from their leading role to create Greenpeace International.

The film received Special Commendation from the panel at Sheffield Doc Fest who commented that they “loved the ‘hippy heist’ framing of this story of the origins of Greenpeace” and that the pitch promised to recount “an inspiring adventure, featuring extreme friendship and fallouts,… blending animation, archive, newly shot sequences and interviews”. You can see the film later this year when it is released in UK cinemas on 9 September.


Cannes Film Festival steps up to the challenge on sustainability

June 12, 2015

The UK Film Centre backed by the BFI and partners held Talking Point: Show me the Green, a panel of leading international filmmakers who discussed the benefits of making featurwe are uk filme films using sustainable working practices. Chaired by Colin Brown (editorial director at Slated and advisor to NYU’s Cinema Research Institute) the panellists were Trish Lake (Freshwater Pictures, Australia), Andrea Schutte (Tamtam Films Germany) and Talulah Riley (actress, writer, director of Scottish Mussel UK).

Meanwhile Film4Climate also held a panel discussion to highlight both the need for action on sustainability and its own commitment to reduce the environmental impact of film production as well as to tell stories about climate change through cinema. Speakers included the Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré, a Cannes Jury Member and Connect4Climate Global Ambassador; Brigit Heidsiek, Publisher and Chief Editor of Green Film Shooting and Michael Geidel of Climate Media Factory and the Green Film Initiative amongst others.

In addition, more than 100 film industry executives and representatives have now pledged to reach a consensus on industry standards to reduce the impact of film production on the environment and raise awareness of climate change through film. They will work together to share insights, experiences, and practical tools to achieve the goals and aim to share the results with an international audience during events taking place at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, France, from 30 November – 11 December 2015.

As Cannes drew to a close, Luc Jacquet’s documentary Ice and Sky featuring the work of climatologist Claude Lorius set a challenge to take action on climate change. Now in his 80s, Lorius spent his life analysing snow and ice extracted from deep-drilling operations in the Antarctic to examine climate change over time. He also analysed the air trapped in the ice for its gas content, amassing a wealth of scientific data that provides irrefutable evidence of the link between climate change and greenhouse gasses. After his life’s work he challenges us ‘Now that, just like me, you know, what do you intend to do?’


Find the world’s smallest solar powered cinema at Glastonbury this summer

May 21, 2015

solcinemaFor those lucky enough to have tickets for Glastonbury Festival on 24 – 28 June, Sol Cinema will be screening a wide range of Independent shorts on environmental themes free of charge. You will be able to find the converted caravan, which comfortably seats up to eight adults or ten children, in the Circus and Theatre Field. The team will be welcoming guests for up to six hours a day. Sol cinema has been showing films at events across the UK and Ireland since 2010, and is made from a reconditioned 1970s caravan with 80% recycled materials. A 120W solar panel is used to send the sun’s energy to a 300ah battery pack, keeping it constantly charged to run the cinema’s projector, sound system, lighting box and lap-tops. The cinema is a perfect showcase for how technology can support sustainability and bring film to wider audiences.



A recent study estimated that screen production (film and TV) in London alone produces 125,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.


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