"The Age of Stupid" screening

Date(s) - Sunday 03/14/2010
1:00 am - 3:00 am

The screening will be preceded (from 7-8pm) by a reception sponsored by the Honest Weight Food Coop and information tables from local organizations.

The Climate Crisis Film That Focuses on the Big, Moral, Human Stuff

In the year 2055 – now a ravaged, war-torn, flooded world – an unnamed archivist, played by Oscar-nominated actor Pete Postlethwaite, is entrusted with the safekeeping of humanity’s surviving store of art and knowledge. Alone in his offshore repository, he reviews archive footage from back “when we could have saved ourselves,” trying to discern where it all went wrong. Amid news reports of the gathering effects of climate change and global civilization teetering towards destruction, he alights on the stories of seven individuals whose lives in the early years of the 21st century seem to illustrate aspects of the impending catastrophe. These stories take the form of interweaving documentary segments that report on the lives of real people in the present, and switch the film’s narrative from fiction to fact.

Screening co-sponsored by the Honest Weight Food Coop, and The Community Renewable Energy (CoRE) Project, Capital District Local First

Scroll down to see small and large versions of the poster!

More on the film
The 2009 film by award winning British director, Franny Armstrong, is a drama-documentary-animation hybrid shot in seven countries over a period of three years. The original plan – begun in 2002 – was to borrow the narrative structure of Steven Soderbergh’s movie, Traffic, and make a documentary about climate change by following the stories of seven characters However, after seeing the finished documentary, Armstrong decided to add a dramatic component to awaken her audience to the impending global crisis. Click here to read more about the film.

Armstrong Bio
Born in 1972, British documentary film director Franny Armstrong became obsessed with the issue of climate change in high school. Working through her own company, Spanner Films, her first documentary, McLibel, told the inside story of the infamous McDonald’s trial. Filmed with no commission, no budget, and a voluntary crew, the film took years to both make and screen. It was recently chosen for the prestigious British Film Institute series “Ten Documentaries That Changed the World.”

Next came the 2002 documentary Drowned Out, which followed an Indian family who chose to stay with their home and drown rather than make way for the Narmada Dam. After being sold to Television worldwide, it went on to be nominated for Best Documentary at the 2004 British Independent Film Awards, and was released theatrically in the U.S. in 2006. Another documentary on climate change, Baked Alaska, was never completed. Click here to see an interesting article by Armstrong on the Huffington Post.

An offshoot of The Age of Stupid project, 10:10 is a UK-wide campaign encouraging everyone in Britain to reduce their carbon emissions by at least 10 percent during 2010. While the documentary is aimed at raising awareness of climate change as a pending global humanitarian crisis, 10:10 is presented as a strategy for people to take positive action in the face of such an urgent and daunting problem.

Crowd-Funding and Distribution
Almost as interesting as the film itself is the way it was made and funded. The film was “crowd-funded”, with the £450,000 budget being raised by selling shares to 223 individuals and groups, who donated between £500 and £35,000. This manner of funding the film gave it the best chance of reaching a mainstream audience while allowing the Armstrong and her crew to retain complete editorial control.

In May 2009, The Age of Stupid team launched their Indie Screenings model, a new form of film distribution which allows anyone, anywhere to buy a license to hold a screening of the film – with the price set according to the screeners means. The model immediately proved extremely popular, with 682 screenings booked in the first four months.