×

Australian Director Gameau Challenges Audiences to Improve the Planet

Bright-eyed Australian director Damon Gameau set out in his previous movie, “That Sugar Film” to challenge everyday thoughtlessness about the dangers of our modern lifestyle — and became profoundly sick while doing so. In his new film “2040,” which plays in Berlin’s Generation Kplus section and which he styles as a “hybrid feature documentary,” Gameau challenges us to improve the planet over the next 20 years. Leaving no room for world-weary cynicism, however, he shows that we already have the technology and skills to do it.

How’s your health?

“That Sugar Film” was four years ago. Fortunately, there’s no lasting liver damage.

Where did the idea for this visual letter to your daughter come from?

I wanted to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us. The aim was to shift things away from the mainstream narrative, which often overwhelms and paralyzes us from taking action. I didn’t just want a white man’s point of view.

Did you meet resistance from vested interests?

The hardest thing was to avoid political traps. We started with the idea of cleaner air, and cleaner water. The many kids in the film, all around the world, helped us with that. I think we can all agree on those. Our target audience is the family. I’m certainly not taking a great ax to capitalism.

With dramatized sequences, animation, and interviews, “2040” seems logistically and narratively complicated. Did you know where you were going?

Not at all. It was an unfolding journey. Early on, we came across a Bangladesh mini (electricity) grid, where people were able to rely on each other. So that when the main grid went down, their lives carried on. It was inspiring. And once you get going it becomes a very organic process. What started out as a film about reversing global warming and lowering emissions quickly became a story about strengthening communities, improving the quality of food and soil, embracing cheaper and cleaner energy and transport, plus restoring habitats and ecosystems.

It sounds like perfect material for a TV series. You’re not taking that route?

It is feature because it works as a package. It is not meant to be a 22-part letter to my 4-year-old daughter. The model promoted by Good Pitch (one of the co-producers) pairs filmmakers with [NGOs]. There’s lots of material there to mine. That’s where we might look at other things, like a series, if this connects. There’s at least two years of work there to be done.”

More Film

  • Themba Ntuli and Ashley Lazarus

    Ashley Lazarus, Director of Apartheid-Era Cult Classic, Returns to Screen

    DURBAN–Director Ashley Lazarus, whose film about the interracial friendship between two young boys during the apartheid era became a South African cult classic in the 1970s, is set to return to the big screen with a film that builds on his life-long passion for early-childhood education. “Teacher Wanted” is the inspirational story of a teacher [...]

  • Channing Tatum

    Channing Tatum's Free Association Partners With Atwater Capital for Film Development Fund

    Free Association, a production company led by Channing Tatum, Peter Kiernan and Reid Carolin, has entered into a film development fund with Atwater Capital. The four-year $2 million revolving fund stipulates that Atwater will finance a minimum of five films with Free Association. Michael Parets, VP of production, will oversee the deal. Free Association will [...]

  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Box Office: Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Takes on 'Lion King'

    Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” will have to take on much more than a changing showbiz landscape. This weekend, the washed-up actor and his majordomo are battling Disney’s juggernaut “The Lion King” at the domestic box office. Tarantino’s R-rated auteur [...]

  • Margot Robbie Once Upon a Time

    Margot Robbie Says 'Barbie' Movie Will Put 'Positivity' Into the World

    Over the last 10 years, Margot Robbie has stepped into the skates of Tonya Harding, taken up the mantle of Harley Quinn and, next up, she’s playing the world’s most famous doll, Barbie. The live-action film is due out in 2020 and set to be written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, while Robbie serves [...]

  • 2018 NALIP Gala

    National Association of Latino Independent Producers Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary

    Ben Lopez has seen the future of the entertainment industry, and says it is the Latinx community. “In the next 20 years, we’re going to be prioritized — because not only will we have the numbers demographic-wise, we’ll have the spending power,” says Lopez, the executive director of the National Assn. of Latino Independent Producers, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content