The role of filmmaking in climate change – Egypt Today | Episode Movies

Larry Engel is an Emmy-winning producer, writer, director and cinematographer now in his fifth decade of filmmaking on all seven continents.

He has worked on over 250 projects for national and international broadcasters and cable channels.

Currently, Engel is an Associate Professor at American University’s School of Communication, Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking, and Filmmaker-in-Residence at the Investigative Reporting Workshop.

Larry told Egypt Today that the film medium in general, whether it’s documentaries, public announcements, commercials and even social media, encompasses everything to raise awareness about the climate crisis and is seen as an effective way to address the Communicating the climate crisis effectively.

“Film is ubiquitous because it’s everywhere, whether it’s on TV or streaming through digital platforms,” says Larry. For Larry, films are an important and important medium to communicate and share the deep concerns of young people in particular about climate change.

Larry added that regardless of movie genre or theme, a movie can be a good movie that is effective and grabs an audience’s attention, or it can be a pretty lousy movie.

”So when I go to the cinema or watch a movie on one of the streaming services, the subject might sound very interesting, but the movie itself might be awful. “An Inconvenient Truth,” the theatrical adaptation of former US Vice President Al Gore’s slideshow lecture on the dangers of global warming, won the Oscar for Documentary and Best Song, while not particularly compelling in my opinion, it received Oscars because the Academy recognized that this issue needed to be recognized, known and therefore effective,” said Larry.

Ted Talks can be remarkably persuasive and it’s just the person on a stage with dramatic lighting.

From Larry’s point of view, the way the story is told can make for a compelling documentary about the climate crisis or climate change.”

“Broadly speaking, our role in environmental, wildlife and conservation films is to recognize the importance of reaching diverse audiences, which means we need to have more people and more diverse voices on both sides of the camera. And I think that will help create strong stories about climate change,” Larry said.

Larry explained that the Center for Environmental Filmmaking was founded in 2005 with a focus on environmental films and wildlife films.

Now the center is devoting more attention to environmental justice, environmental racism, and the decolonization of the practice of documentary and environmental filmmaking.

“We are working with several external organizations to empower local people and communities in environmental and nature film production, with a current focus on Africa,” added Larry.

Larry admitted that the documentary, which he considers a milestone in his career, is a film for National Geographic that he screened many years ago in the 1990’s called Height of Courage: The Story of Norman Vaughn.

” It was a documentary about Norman Vaughn, an 86-year-old adventurer who lived in Alaska. So Norman went to Antarctica as a dog sled guide and guided a canine teenager to an area near the South Pole, so 66 years after he was in Antarctica, Norman had the opportunity to lead an expedition back to Antarctica,” Larry said .

Larry added that this film is a once in a lifetime experience.

Larry said he worked on a film for a public television network in 2009.

“We did an episode called Bangladesh Water World. And it was the first time the United Nations had declared climate refugee status to the people of Bangladesh. It was the first, that was a long time ago. And we interviewed experts in Bangladesh who predicted where we are right now, where we have climate refugees migrating from water-rich countries, countries that are not viable for human habitation.”

Larry explained that he also published a book with a British friend on sustainable filmmaking in 2009.

“I probably realized in the 1900s-2000s when I was traveling around the world filming environmental stories or natural histories that the world was really changing, so in 2009 we released the Code of Best Practices for Sustainable Filmmaking,” said Larry.

Larry admitted that the climate crisis is omnipresent.

“Mother Earth doesn’t care about us, she only revolves around the sun. What we do to protect ourselves and other species is critical, and it is critical right now,” admitted Larry.

Larry said that the youth take better care of this planet than his generation or generations before.

For Larry, the role of youth in climate change is really simple because they have no choice.

“I will not be affected in the same way as my children, my grandchildren and youth in general, so they must lead the revolution. They must take power in countries around the world and fulfill the civic duty that we should exercise now. But they can’t because politicians and policy makers are greedy and they don’t give a shit.”

Larry said that youth around the world are really leading the climate change scene while disgusting their elders for not taking responsibility. “After the Second World War, many films reflected that adults had given up and that it was up to the youth, the young people, the children, to take responsibility. It’s the kids who take responsibility because the adults have given up their responsibilities to their kids and to their society, so it’s up to the youth,” added Larry.

Larry admitted that we have hindsight, but we don’t apply it to the future. We ignore it and keep making the same mistakes. We are not that different from other species. Evolution is based on mutations but that doesn’t make us any better than any other species on the planet, in fact the most successful creatures on earth in terms of biomass are not humans but bugs.

“My greatest hope is to save our planet, as countries and people work together to save ourselves by saving our planet,” Larry said.

“A direct message from a humble filmmaker and professor to the international climate community is: Make the change now, the world is literally burning up. My message to political leaders is that you have an obligation to protect your citizens, not your institutions, not your power. You have a duty to protect your people and the other inhabitants of your countries. It’s as simple as that, let the scientists do their jobs, let the environmentalists do their jobs. Let them, let the youth who know better than you do their job,” said Larry

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