Film Makers

$10,000 in prize money for Climate Fix Flicks

Climate scientists from Macquarie University, the University of Melbourne and Monash University have launched a short film competition, Green Screen: Climate Fix Flicks.

Professors Tim Flannery, Lesley Hughes and Ann Henderson-Sellers are seeking film submissions of between 30 seconds and five minutes that communicate positive messages about a zero or low carbon, clean energy future. Fifteen films will be shortlisted and publicly screened in Sydney around the Australian Film Festival in March 2012. Entries will be judged by a panel of well-known artists, film-makers and scientists including Kimble Rendall (Matrix and I, Robot) and Professor Tim Flannery.

The winning entry will receive $5000, up to five films will be awarded ‘highly commended’ prizes of $500 each, and there is a people’s choice award worth $2500. Participants are encouraged to push their creative boundaries! This competition is a great opportunity to have work seen by high profile film and television professionals as well as audiences around the country.

Deadline for submissions is February 10th 2012.

See www.greenscreen.org.au for further details and official entry form..

Proudly supported by CLIMARTE

ashdenizen: from no plays about climate change to three in a month

It was only a couple of years ago that this blog was writing about why theatres don’t touch climate change. It seemed, at the time, as if there was something about theatre, or the way people conceived of mainstream theatre, that made the subject almost impossible to treat. This was part of a more general avoidance of the environment as a subject for the performing arts. The Ashden Directory had been launched, back in 2000, as a way of following and encouraging those works which did engage with this subject.

But now things are changing. Eighteen months ago there was finally, a good play about climate change.  It was also possible to see in the works, for instance, of Wallace Shawn and Andrew Bovell the green shoots of climate change theatre.

Fast forward to January 2011, and this month alone three climate change plays will open in London – Greenland at the National, The Heretic at the Royal Court, and Water at the Tricycle.

Why is this important? Because climate change alters the way we think about our lives. The news contained within the various IPCC reports will be as influential, as paradigm-shifting, on the way we see ourselves as Darwin’s Origin of Species. It is, ultimately, a question of values and relationships. As such, it is a natural subject for theatre.

But new plays don’t open in a vacuum. For them to succeed, there needs to be a lively engaged audience that has some sense of what is at stake. That’s why we have also been involved with the Open University in producing a new series of podcasts that puts cultural work around climate change in perspective.

The podcasts bring together 17 artists, activists, writers, film-makers, scientists, entrepreneurs and academics, including comedian Marcus Brigstocke, choreographer Siobhan Davies, BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin, architect Carolyn Steele and Mike Hulme, author ofWhy We Disagree About Climate Change.

Radio 4’s Quentin Cooper chairs these four ‘Mediating Change’ discussions which cover the history, publics, anatomy and futures of cultural responses to climate change. The podcasts are now available to download from iTunesU.

via ashdenizen: from no plays about climate change to three in a month.

ashdenizen: four podcasts on culture and climate change now online

A new series of four podcasts on Culture and Climate Change is now online at iTunes U. The discussions bring together artists, writers, film-makers, scientists, academics and journalists with a comedian, a choreographer, a campaigner, and an entrepreneur.

The Mediating Change series is hosted by Quentin Cooper and contributors include Tim Smit, Marcus Brigstocke, Siobhan Davies (see pic), Roger Harrabin, Joe Smith and two of the Ashden Directory’s editors, Wallace Heim and Robert Butler. More details here.

The producer, Vicky Long, says:

Cultural activity in this area is gathering real momentum, with ‘Greenland’ opening at the National Theatre and ‘The Heretic’ opening at the Royal Court early next year. We feel it’s vital a critical framework is developed alongside this emerging work.

This series represents a first sustained exploration of culture and climate change in a publicly-available broadcast-quality format.

See also: Tipping Point launches first of four discussions
Tim Smit and Marcus Brigstocke join debate on popular culture and climate change

via ashdenizen: four podcasts on culture and climate change now online.

Coalition of the Willing: film-making, collaboration, activism

This is a brilliant initiative: a growing online activist movie created by an army of collaborators, who are animating a script by philosopher/activist Tim Rayner:


Still from Coalition of the Willing: Back to the 60s by World Leaders

The film is appearing online at coalitionofthewilling.org.uk. Rayner’s collaborator is the film maker Simon Robson aka Knife Party, who has pulled in a glorious range of film makers and animators to bring Rayner’s script – on how activists can come together to combat climate change.

The first clips went up at the start of this week. More will be appearing in waves in the coming weeks.

it’s a really exciting way of bringing creative people together on a project like this. The medium is wonderful. I’m not entirely sure I’m convinced of the message – though I would like to be. The Coalition of the Willing’s theme is that that the net allows “swarm politics” to flourish, giving activists a unique chance to mobilise against global warming.

While the net does have that effect, there are two other effects which seem to be just as strong:

1) It gives exactly the same power to those who think the very opposite of what you do – witness the swarm  of warming scepticism online.

2) Though it creates lots of networks there is no real incentive for those networks to link up. They are often reproducing exactly the same message, deploying the same tactics, in isolation from each other. At the same time as it pulls people together it also keeps them in separate silos.

Knife PartyTim Rayner

FILMMAKERS: Adam Gault & Stefanie AugustineBran Dougherty-JohnsonCassiano Prado, Mario Sader & Ralph PinelClapham Road StudiosDave BaumDecoyDom Del TortoDylan White & Andy HagueEcholabForeign OfficeAndreas GebhardtJames Wignall,BBWD (Loyalkaspar)Sehsucht – Directed by Mate SteinforthMighty NiceParasol IslandThiago MaiaWorld LeadersYum Yum London

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology

The impossible hamster & RSAnimate: thoughts on “nubs”

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sqwd_u6HkMo

Yesterday, the New Economics Foundation released this video to support their report about the irreconcilability of the idea of sustained economic growth with the idea of sustainability itself,  Growth Isn’t Possible. It’s made by Leo Murray, one of the makers of The Age of Stupid and the short film  Wake Up Freak Out.

The Impossible Hamster is a clever way of drawing attention to an idea, using a short viral video. In some circles this would be called an agit-nub, nubs being “short videos that explain or bring an idea to life“.

In the last couple of years, nubs have increasingly become the means by which new ideas are spread around the web. They encapsulate how the web works; by making them embeddable, they become a freebie for other content producers. Spreading ideas and messages on the web is about reciprocity; you have to give in order to receive attention.

Nubs raise a few questions. Firstly, at the moment wit is still prized as much as quality, but will the increasing standards of advertising viral videos begin to crowd out the more low-fi productions like Leo Murray’s? Take a look at this ad about the persuasive technology of a musical staircase which turns out to be an advertisement by Volksvagen. Made to look low-fi by the adevertising agency DDB Stockholm, it became one of the most successful virals of last year. Advertisers are spending increasingly large sums producing these virals.

Secondly, if nubs are the repository for political messages, will we soon have “nub wars”? As somebody in the office pointed out the moment they saw The Impossible Hamster, a climate sceptic might have made a video of a hamster growing not only fat but clever enough to start building new worlds.

Thirdly, do they respresent a kind of Darwinism of ideas; if an idea is not reducible to a three minute nub will it become worthles?

Myself, I don’t think so. I think their mix of expression and intellect makes them an incredibly powerful new genre.

On the last point, the RSA’s own RSAnimate series shows that nubs don’t need to be reductionist. Take a look at Matthew Taylor’s Left Brain Right Brain which is just out this week:

Look out for new videos coming up on the new RSA Comment pages:http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology