Green carpet out for "The Age of Stupid"

Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:58pm EDT
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By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The stars will arrive by solar car, bike, or rickshaw. The carpet on which they pose for paparazzi will be green, not red. And this world premiere will be screened in a far-from-exclusive solar-powered cinema tent.

British filmmakers are planning the world's first entirely eco-friendly film premiere on Sunday as they roll out the green carpet for "The Age of Stupid" -- a film about a future world devastated by climate change.

The film stars British actor Pete Postlethwaite -- famous for roles in "The Usual Suspects" and "In The Name of the Father" -- as an old man living alone in a wrecked world in 2055, looking back at "archive footage" from 2008 and asking why mankind didn't save itself while it had the chance.

The film's director, Franny Armstrong says the film is as much about campaigning as entertaining -- and for her there is no question about the world's most pressing issue.

"We've just got a couple of years, maximum, to act if we are going to prevent catastrophic climate change and stop the deaths of hundreds of millions of people," she told Reuters in an interview. "So, as a film-maker there is absolutely no choice now as to what subject you should be working on."

Taking its lead from Al Gore's Oscar-winning climate change film "An Inconvenient Truth," a trail blazer for a new genre of "envirodocs," The Age of Stupid casts Postlethwaite as the founder of a "Global Archive" in the now melted Arctic, preserving humanity's achievements in the hope the planet might one day be habitable again.

He pulls together archive clips from six real-life tales -- including an 8-year-old Iraqi refugee forced to live on the streets of Jordan after her family and home were destroyed during the U.S.-led invasion, and an 82-year-old French mountain guide who has seen his beloved Alpine glaciers melt away.

Finance for the film was raised by a unique scheme dubbed "crowd-funding" -- which saw the entire 450,000 pounds ($623,000) budget raised by selling "shares" to groups or individuals prepared to invest but not interfere.   Continued...