Damon Gameau’s spotlight on climate change in doco 2040

Damon Gameau.
Damon Gameau.

ACTOR and documentarian Damon Gameau made headlines with his first documentary That Sugar Film in 2014.

With his new film 2040, he’s putting the spotlight on climate change and wanting to create a more positive story about the topic.

“We’re being bombarded with negative stories and it can feel very overwhelming, so I thought it was time to add to the mix a different version of that story,” Gameau said.

“I feel like all of us do know that it’s a really dire situation and a lot of us want to get on with helping, but that’s where there’s a lack of information about what people can actually do to start turning this thing around.”

The film is framed as a letter to his four-year-old daughter Velvet and looks at what her life could be like as a 25-year-old in 2040 with the help of technologies that already exist.

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Damon, Velvet and Zoe Gameau.

One idea featured in the documentary was to plant crops of seaweed in the ocean.

“We often think of seaweed as a bit of a nuisance so I was pretty blown away to see how pivotal a role it’s going to play,” Gameau said.

“It can bring back marine ecosystems, improve the quality of the water and can also be used for plastics or bio fuel or for fibres in clothes.

“It just seems like a bit of a no brainer and something we should get going on.

“A surprising (aspect of the film) was educating girls; I don’t think I’ve ever seen that connected to climate before.

“Obviously the education and empowerment of women is a terrific thing on its own, but to see the ripple effects of what that might do in terms of impact on the climate.”

Gameau said climate change is not a matter of belief anymore and that all you have to do is look around the world and listen to what nature is telling us.

“We are playing into the hands of companies who want us to back away or be doubtful when we try and convince someone,” he said.

“I think we just have to lead by action and say which side of history do you want to be on?

Gameau said he made the film to be accessible to families and he hopes it is seen across schools, communities and workplaces.

“The ideal scenario for me is that the whole family comes to see this film and then they have that discussion in the car on the way home.

“We’ve got a lot of materials to help people out, such as the book and the online platform where you can fill out a questionnaire and it will create your own personalised climate action plan.

“I don’t think it’s enough anymore to just have a film that makes people feel hopeful and aspirational.

“I wanted to start arming people with better knowledge on the solutions, so they’ll know what to demand from our leaders and also might be motivated to take a leadership role themselves and get involved in a much bigger way.”

2040 is in cinemas from May 23.

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