Movie night #takingitpersonally

Day Three: Age of Stupid — a movie for motivation

In December 2004 I signed up to help fund a new film, using an odd new concept nicknamed crowdfunding.

The resultant docudrama uses the power of hindsight, gallows humour and Pete Postlethwaite’s gravitas to challenge the decisions we make today.

The film was watched by over a million people in 62 countries at the biggest premiere ever at the time, and since the initial cinema run it has gone on to be shown at over independently-held 1500 screenings in over 60 countries, so far. It directly influenced Government policy, revolutionised film distribution, and inspired funders to also support the education of young Iraqi refugees.

One criticism of the film was the lack of a clear call to action. With viewers asking ‘but what can I do about it?’, director Franny Armstrong set up the 10:10 campaign, to encourage individuals and organisations to cut their carbon emissions by 10% in 2010. This led to

  • 110,000 individuals, 4,000 businesses, 1,700 schools and 1,600 organisations signing up to cut their carbon
  • The Science Museum cutting its emissions by 17%, thanks to a new heating and cooling system
  • Tottenham Hotspur football club diverting 45% of its waste from landfills to recycling, and introducing new low-wattage stadium lighting, achieving its 10% cut
  • The UK Government beating its 10% target to cut its carbon emissions by 14%, delivering benefits for the taxpayer as well as the environment, and
  • The solarschools campaign led to the installation of over 2000 panels on UK schools, and got more than 30,000 pupils involved in renewable energy.

How to take it personally

  1. Watch the film. It’s free.
  2. Franny is now making a new crowd-funded tv drama, Undercovers, about the ‘state-sponsored sexual abuse’ of women in British activist groups by the Metropolitan police. Find out more, including the potential to invest, here.
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