×

Director Damon Gameau Discusses Berlin Film ‘2040’

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

  • Dreamville Dreamers doc

    J. Cole's Watchful Eye, All-Nighters and Weed: Inside Dreamville's 'Revenge' Doc

    Having the No. 1 project in the country is old hat for J. Cole, but the instant success of Dreamville’s highly-anticipated “Revenge of the Dreamers III” collection, which features collaborations with more than 25 artists, writers and producers (among them: Cozz, Omen, Bas, J.I.D., EarthGang and Ari Lennox), took many by surprise. The first installment [...]

  • The True Adventures of Wolfboy

    Film Review: 'The True Adventures of Wolfboy'

    Most teenage boys would kill for a few whiskers, but not Paul. At 13, he already has a full face of hair, and his peers treat him like a freak for it. So, too, does Martin Krejčí’s “The True Adventures of Wolfboy,” although the movie argues that perhaps being a freak isn’t such a bad [...]

  • 'Top Gun: Maverick' Trailer: Tom Cruise

    Tom Cruise Drops First Trailer for 'Top Gun: Maverick' at Comic-Con (Watch)

    Tom Cruise made a surprise appearance at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday to hype the forthcoming “Top Gun: Maverick” and receive mass adoration from Hall H. “I felt it was my responsibility to deliver for you,” Cruise told the crowd, tugging local heartstrings by reminiscing on the original “Top Gun” shoot in Downtown San Diego. [...]

  • Tribeca Film Institute

    Tribeca Film Institute, Pond5 Announce Latest Indie Film Grantees (EXCLUSIVE)

    Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) and Pond5 have once again teamed up to offer microgrants to indie filmmakers and artists. The grants, which go as high as $7,500, are intended to help storytellers during “in-between” phases of their projects, such as research, festival travel or community screenings. They’re the kind of unexpected costs that can lead [...]

  • On-Location Filming Slides 3.9% in Los

    On-Location Filming Slides 3.9% in Los Angeles in Second Quarter

    Held down by a lack of soundstage space, total on-location filming in greater Los Angeles declined 3.9% in the second quarter to 8,632 shoot days, permitting agency FilmLA reported Thursday. “Although our latest report reveals a decline in filming on location, local production facilities tell us that they are operating at capacity,” said FilmLA president [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    U.S. Box Office, Movie Admissions, Ticket Price Fall in Second Quarter

    U.S. movie admissions slid 2.5% in the second quarter of 2019 to 347.8 million, with box office receipts declining 3.8% to $3.22 billion on the heels of a record-setting year, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) reported Thursday. The overall ticket price for the quarter slipped 1.3%, or 12 cents, to $9.26, compared to [...]

  • Terminator: Dark Fate

    'Terminator: Dark Fate' Will Definitely Be R-Rated, Tim Miller Reveals at Comic-Con

    “Terminator: Dark Fate” is not just a reboot of a beloved franchise, it’s a return to hardcore form that will receive an R rating from the MPAA. Announced at San Diego Comic Con’s opening Hall H panel on Thursday, the move is a departure from the PG-13 status of recent reboot attempts like “Terminator: Genisys” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content