3-2-1 and the Social Change Film Forum at Harvard

Once upon a time, before Facebook and Twitter and everything else we consider new media, a film documentary had a limited ability to make an impact (as good as some of the older documentaries were.) An audience would file into a movie theater (distribution always being the first major barrier a thoughtful documentary would have to overcome) but then the audience would file back out into the night at movie's end, touched, moved perhaps, angered but with little means of turning those emotions enter action.

Mercifully, one of the largest advantages I see of the explosion of new media is that the film documentary is no longer the start and end of the activation process but a piece of a new media puzzle that can turn emotion into action.

Consider my friend Lawrence Bender's shocking new documentary "Countdown To Zero"about nuclear weapons. It's shocking, sobering and as Lawrence said in his intro, a documentary that is trying to not just draw attention to an issue but to drive action on this issue. The screenings and soon to be broader distribution of the film is just part of the leadership that Lawrence, Participant and other partners are involved in.

What's amazing is consider that when Lawrence worked on "An Inconvenient Truth" just a few years ago many of the tools that can be used to drive action on the nuclear weapon issue were either non-existent (Twitter) or platforms with a fraction of the power they have today (Facebook.)

This topic and many others were part of the inaugural Gleitsman Social Change Film Forum where "Countdown To Zero" was shown as was the touching "A Small Act" -- the Film Forum asks the simple question "Can film change the world?" I think the answer is clearly yes.

For any aspiring documentarian, I think the take away from the weekend was use your film as the leading piece of your movement but you can create a multi-media movement that is far more powerful than the film itself.

Oh, and one more thing about Countdown To Zero. You should definitely see it -- and I won't spoil the story too much to say except to note that when you hear the story about Boris Yeltsin, well, that drove me to sign up to take action.

Because if our future depends on leaders like Boris Yeltsin making good split-second decisions, we definitely need to get rid of all nuclear weapons as soon as possible.

Yearly IPCC climate change documentary, and mobilizing the youth vote

As effective as Al Gore's documentary An Inconvenient Truth was in awakening a complacent America to the climate crisis we face, many among us were not sufficiently convinced by his presentation because of three reasons.  The first is that Gore is a politician.  The second is that Gore is not a climate scientist.  And the third is that the complexities of climate change are too great to present in a one-time documentary.

As you know, the most authoritative body on climate change is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is comprised of over 3,000 scientists from 154 countries and whose conclusions require the 100 percent consensus of all countries that comprise it.  My suggestion is for someone within our Democratic Party to persuade the IPCC to EVERY YEAR produce and premiere an updated documentary for worldwide public movie theatre distribution.  

This documentary would remind the public about the dangers we face and apprise them of the steady stream of important developments, like James Hansen's 2008 paper concluding that the threshold CO2 number is no longer 450ppm, but 350ppm.

There's more...

REVEALED:Fuel & Mining Magnate Behind Gore Film Attack in UK

British Government released the movie, An Inconvenient Truth, to be shown in schools.

One man, Mr. Dimmock, a school Governor, challenged that in court, making of course, outrageous claims of the movie.

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Al Gore Has Found His Calling

It would appear to me that there are those who are so wrapped up in their "presidential fantasies" that they are missing the greater picture behind what Al Gore is now accomplishing that will have a longterm effect that will last far beyond the next four years. I think it is time to focus on that because when put in context it is truly what great statesmen are made of.

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What Are You Doing To Solve The Climate Crisis?

The petition I have up at Tree Nation is asking people to pledge to become climate messengers in response to Al Gore's movie and book An Inconvenient Truth, and has drawn signatures from around the world of those pledging to do just that. And for every 100 signatures, Tree Nation (which is also sponsored by the UNEP) has planted a tree in Niger in their goal to plant 8 million trees in the shape of a heart.

I want to show some of the responses (names withheld) to give you an understanding of what people globally are thinking and pledging to do because this damn well is important news. And these are just the signatures with comments. There are hundreds more from countries all over the world pledging to become climate messengers in response to Mr. Gore's environmental work, because this work is crucial to the sustainability of our planet. Therefore, I would also like to ask: What are you doing to solve this crisis? What are you doing to help him?

There's more...

Diaries

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