IUCN Member GoodPlanet runs film festival in Rio

IUCN Member GoodPlanet will be running a Film Festival during the Rio+20 negotiations in Rio de Janeiro in June. Find out what GoodPlanet's founder, the world-renowned photographer, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, has to say about the event and what it hopes to achieve:

GoodPlanet Film festival

Dear friends,

I recently heard the following from Brice Lalonde, Executive Coordinator of the United Nations conference on sustainable development Rio+20 (from 20 to 22 June): “Of course, international negotiations are complicated. But actions and solutions don’t come only from diplomats and Heads of State – they also come from you (the citizens). There is nothing more splendid, more exciting, than our cause, that of humanity as a whole, that of the planet. We must inspire a new enthusiasm, a new desire to change the world.”

This is something I believe profoundly. It is why, with my foundation GoodPlanet, we have decided to organize a big GoodPlanet Film Festival, from 16 through 21 June, at the prestigious Odeon cinema in Rio de Janeiro. Some of you may remember our Copenhagen festival in 2009, the many films shown and the quality of the speakers. The 2012 GoodPlanet film festival promises to be just as exciting!

Every day of the festival will be devoted to a specific sustainable development theme. For the opening on June 16, you will discover a whole series of fascinating documentaries on sustainable development challenges in big cities with Cities on Speed, and on the 17th a whole day devoted to water with the projection of Carbon for Water, Rainmaker and A Thirsty World. June 18 will be devoted entirely to forests, with the preview of the superb Amazona Eterna and Jane’s Journey, the film of my dear friend Jane Goodall. On June 19, I will have the honor of showing the première of my latest film Planet Ocean / Ocean Planet, produced with Michael Pitiot and with the generous support of Omega (invitation enclosed), just after The End of the Line, a fantastic film on over-fishing. The combat against climate change and citizen engagement will be highlighted on the 20th, with the moving They Killed Sister Dorothy, Severn – the voices of our children, and Himalaya Meltdown.

Finally, we will conclude the festival on the 21st with our project 7 billion Others on the Millenium Development Goals and the film The Man Who Stopped the Desert. Every evening, experts, well-known NGOs and committed personalities will do us the great honor of taking part in discussions with the public. Among our guests will be Severn Suzuki, who in 1992 moved the whole Planet with her speech to the United Nations, at the age of 12 (for those who are not yet familiar with this incredible speech, click here), Prince Albert II of Monaco, Tara Expeditions, the WWF, and also the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Global Fund for the Environment, the United Nations Development Programme, the US Environmental Protection Agency and many others.

I was particularly touched by the commitment of our partners, particularly the AFD, the main partner of the festival, and also the Global Environment Fund and O’Globo, our media partner, who are helping us make this festival a unique, free, awareness-building event during Rio+20.

For me, Rio+20 marks a very important stage in my life as a photographer and activist, because it was during the first Rio Summit , in 1992, that the Earth From Above adventure started, and with it, my commitment to ecology. It was the ideal opportunity to offer the inhabitants of Rio the exhibition “Earth from Above, 20 years later», which they have visited in their thousands since April and which will remain in Cinelandia Square, right next to the producer Christian Boudier. Thanks to both of them. Its success testifies to the crucial importance of Rio+20 for the planet. I will be really very happy to meet up with you at the GoodPlanet 2012 Film Festival.

For those of you who cannot be with us, you can follow day-to-day events at the Summit thanks to the GoodPlanet Info news bulletins, to which you may subscribe in French and in English on www.goodplanet.info We will also be publishing a book on the challenges of Rio+20 on June 14, to help people understand the stakes of this extraordinary rendezvous, and we will do our best to let you share as many aspects of the festival as possible on www.goodplanet.org  

Let us mobilize around this shared challenge, so that each one of us, in his or her own way, can contribute to putting ecology at the heart of our conscience for a better world.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Work area: 
Rio + 20
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