Climate Action

India’s Green heroes film fest

The US State Department just announced that they will be funding a Climate Change Film festival in Mumbai, India in April 2017. This festival will focus on creating films about Indian “Green Heroes” and will include an educational workshop to teach individuals how to make environmental films. The festival will start with a two-day training workshop. The State Department is planning to spend $90,000 for this event. The best films will be screened at the festival during “Earth Month” in April 2017. The US Government will own the rights to the films created during the festival. Late last month, An Inconvenient Truth, Vice President Al Gore’s film created as an educational documentary on climate change, celebrated its 10-year anniversary. The film has been credited with raising international public awareness of global warming and re-energizing the environmental movement. An Inconvenient Truth is an example of how films can be instrumental in shaping our social culture. They allow us to better understand a topic and provide us with an emotional connection to causes such as climate change. This film festival will not only impact those who attend, but will help to educate individuals around the world through the films created there. Studies show that although an increase in knowledge does not necessarily lead to more environmentally responsible behavior, the environmental knowledge people receive through film is considered indispensable to the development of their environmental sensitivity. Specifically, it has been shown in a study made by Tasos A. Barbas in 2009 that nature documentaries have a positive effect on fostering environmental sensitivity in students. Through educational films and documentaries people tend to develop an emotional attachment with the topic and that is what this Mumbai fest is looking to do. Students and children are powerful agents of change, and they can be extraordinarily resilient in the face of significant challenges. Providing them with empowering and relevant education on disasters and climate change can reduce their vulnerability to risk while contributing to sustainable development for their communities.  By empowering youth to take action with a frame of justice and optimism, the national discourse on climate will shift in ways that are proven to affect public opinion and policy.