My first article as a soon-to-be contributor to Worldchanging. It is in an area that is of interest to me, because while I love film production, I also remember a lot of the associated waste and excess. Luckily, there are a number of groups who are deciding to look after their impact on the environment. New Zealand is notable, as is British Columbia, and a few of the big players in Hollywood have been silently working away behind the scenes. Perhaps in the not so distant future a sustainable standard will be created within the motion picture industry that will do for the environment, what Lucas did for sound.
“I think one movie can make a difference”.
Over the weekend I watched Michael Moore’s most recent movie Sicko. It follows the workings of the US healthcare and reflects on the country’s aversion to universal healthcare. (Warning: There are many kitsch clips of socialist musical numbers). The US is compared and contrasted to the likes of France, Canada and England. As Che Guevara’s daughter notes, it is a little difficult to understand why a country that is several times wealthier than Cuba does not take better care of its people.
And while Moore might get criticized for breaking US trade laws when he took a group of sick American citizens to a Cuban hospital for treatment at no cost, it is hard not to admire his audacity for pulling attention to what is clearly an under reported problem in one of the wealthiest countries of the world, and in a society that is allowing its wealth gap to widen to the detriment of its poorest and least reprensented people.
I am happy to report that the 3 and a half minute documentary we have been developing on the environmental impact of travel and tourism is wrapped. And I am hoping to be able to share it after it is shown at the Global Travel and Tourism Summit in Lisbon next week. It is a meeting of the minds between the private sector, not-for-profit sector (Worldchanging’s Alex Steffen will be speaking) and government to discuss collective plans and responsibilities for travel and tourism.
Calling all filmmakers, animators, writers, creative directors and producers, Filminute 2007 has launched, and I am very happy to be sitting on the pre-selection committee. If possible, I will try to give updates on any juicy tidbits, for now all I can say is get your crew together and get cracking. There are rumblings that Friends of the Earth and other green groups may get involved. Is it possible that we are starting to talk about sustainable cinema? Last year’s winners drew some commercial attention, and if I know the co-founder Sabaa, this year’s Filminute will be even bigger and better.
I would also like to thank Susan Thomas for being my first official sponsor for the Diane Fossey London Great Gorilla Run. Katy G. came in a close second. A heartfelt thank you to you both for bringing me closer to wearing the gorilla suit this coming September. I am about a quarter of the way to making it into the run, so your support is appreciated and necessary! All qualifiers need to raise 400 pounds to be eligible to run. You too can be part of making me a gorilla by going online to Francescaisanape.