Actor-producer unveils environmental call to action

Leonardo DiCaprio wants to scare us into saving ourselves from extinction.

But the eco-activist/filmmaker, who unveiled his environmental call to action “The 11th Hour” on Saturday at the Cannes Fest, didn’t want his first documentary to terrify the human race into giving up the good fight to save the planet. Nor did he want them to do nothing.

“I want the public to be scared by what they see, to see a bleak future, but not to feel that it is hopeless,” the actor said at the Hotel du Cap.

Producer DiCaprio and his two directors, sisters Leila Conners-Petersen and Nadia Conners, debated every edit in the 90-minute movie, they said. When the film’s original ending predicted the inevitable demise of the human species, DiCaprio persuaded his directors to end on a more positive note.

Nadia Conners said, “We had to strike a balance.”

“These are complicated issues that cannot be predigested like baby food and spoon-fed,” DiCaprio said. He wanted “The 11th Hour” to expand further on some of the issues introduced by Al Gore in “An Inconvenient Truth.”

DiCaprio hopes the movie, which Warner Independent Pictures will release Stateside, will not be perceived as a political tract.

“It goes beyond Democrats or Republicans,” he said. As the press and filmmakers looked out at the sun-dappled sea and bobbing yachts, Leila Conners pointed out that there’s nothing wrong with the excesses of Cannes, which is an excellent global film launch platform. Even the yachts are OK: “But they could be on bio-fuel.”

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