VW film competition: classic Greenpeace films - Ancient Forests

Posted by Richardg — 12 August 2011 at 11:07am - Comments

This September, we're running a film competition. We need your help to turn the cameras on Volkswagen and expose their dirty lobbying against laws to reduce our carbon emissions in Europe.

In the past, Greenpeace has worked with some amazing film makers, and they’ve made really creative films to support our campaigns. So each week between now and the start of the competition, we’ll be digging through our archives and showcasing some of the best.

The first of our film selection - called simply Ancient Forests - comes from 2003. It accompanied our campaign to stop deforestation of the last remaining ancient forests, which were – and still are – under threat from illegal logging.

Klaus Toepfer, head of the United Nations Environment Programme, had warned governments that "the clock is standing at one minute to midnight for the great apes". But, with even the Cabinet Office using rainforest timber, time was running out. We knew that it was vital to convey the seriousness of the threat without bombarding audiences with lectures.

We couldn’t shy away from presenting the impact that deforestation has on ancient forests and great apes. But neither could we just shock people for the sake of it. We had to find the right balance.

With Julien Temple - of The Great Rock And Roll Swindle and The Filth And The Fury - in the director’s chair, we asked Ewan Macgregor and Sir David Attenborough to narrate. Angelo Badalamenti and the neo-classical group Dead Can Dance wrote the haunting soundtrack. You'll also spot a pre-Gollum Andy Serkis.

The film – which takes deforestation out of the rainforests and into the nation’s living rooms – was shown in cinemas across the UK and went on to win a number of awards. Despite being almost a decade old, the film has lost little of its power: that shock as the chainsaws start cutting through the walls still sends a shiver up my spine.

If you fancy yourself as a dab hand with a video camera and can produce something which has the visceral impact of Ancient Forests, then check out www.greenpeace.org.uk/filmcompetition for more details.

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