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'The Future of Energy' Film Premiere at Transitions Film Festival 2014

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by Leona (Devaz) Fensome (subscribe)
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The Future of Energy in Your Hands
Theo Badashi, Future of Energy
Theo Badashi, Future of Energy

"The question is not if we are going to move to renewable energy, it is how and when." This line from documentary movie The Future of Energy: Lateral Power to the People, is pretty powerful. There is a significant cultural change occurring in America and many parts of the world. A movement towards energy solutions and more so, an energy revolution.

The Future of Energy
The Future of Energy

Filmmaker Maximilian DeArmon, alongside co-writers and producers Missy Lahren and Theo Badashi are passionate about this cause. Max's decade long legacy in the music production business, five year career in the NYC film and television industries including producing show 30 Rock have lent their skills beautifully to this piece. All planetary advocates, they discuss the reasons for creating The Future of Energy and how important it is to be raising awareness. It's been dubbed a 'fun film' a love-story between people and our planet.

Maximilian DeArmon, The Future of Energy
Maximilian DeArmon, The Future of Energy

"The climate crisis could be the greatest challenge we have ever faced. The decisions we make in the next ten years, about where we get our energy from and how we use it, will determine whether or not we have an environmentally livable future. Energy is possibly the most socially and globally relevant issue for all people and all nations. It affects everyone and everything, from food and water to jobs and the environment. It's that big."

As filmmakers, the trio faced two challenges in creating this film: the need for a positive vision for the future and and finding ways to help inspire the political will to create that vision.

"This energy revolution is not an issue of technology. We learned quickly that all of the tech is here (United States), and that solar and wind technologies are far more advanced and efficient than what most people realise. But the actual idea of powering our societies on 100% renewable energy is pretty new, and it's going take a little time for the general public to grasp the potential of this change. To do so we need storytellers to go out there and share the vision, and really show people that it's possible, beautiful, and ecologically responsible. And it can be a lot of fun too."

With more and more people recognising that climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our time, the ways to solve it are through better energy solutions. The film shows many of those solutions through the lives of average people who have decided to step up and make a difference.

"When we started on our journey to educate ourselves about energy we didn't know what we'd find or what story we'd tell. We knew that Europe was making headway in renewables, but we did not know what kind of traction renewables were getting in the United States. We were thrilled to hear experts explain that the technological solutions are out there and what we need now is the political will to put them in place."

The Future of Energy crew
The Future of Energy crew

Described as a "also a love story", the film is also a call to action. The team set out searching for renewable energy solutions and ended up falling back in love with humanity and the planet. "It's hard to believe that an environmental film in this day and age could be fun, but when you meet so many people excited to tell their stories of how they're leading their communities towards a renewable future, it's impossible not to be swept up into their energy and enthusiasm."

The goal is to show viewers that a 100% renewable energy future is possible, and that we each can help to create it. "Making the film was a total adventure. We knew very little about the energy debate when we began, and had to learn a lot along the way. And you can feel that freshness when you watch the film. Renewables really are the future of energy, and we're just excited to be able to tell the story as it emerges."

With the film completed and screening to diverse audiences, the team are excited to be in the educational phase of the process. The world premiere will be in Melbourne at the Transitions Festival on February 21st, 2014. Then the team will head to Sedona, Arizona for a local screening for the community including indigenous elders and city officials.

"These two releases are very meaningful to us, Melbourne because of its commitment to a renewable future, and Sedona because of the unique ties its indigenous elders have to the Great Turning iconic traditions of America's natural heritage." The events harness what the team feel most strongly about for people: education and implementing change in the community. Their suggestions for people wanting to get involved and make a difference:

Educate yourself.

"Learn how renewables will benefit the environment and the economy by exploring how other communities and businesses are making it work. We learned that there are several cities in the U.S. that are being powered almost entirely by wind and solar. That's a big deal! More and more cities across the planet are powering their electric grids on 100% renewable energy. When you learn about exciting stuff like that, tell people."

"Post it on Facebook, Tweet it. Craft your message so it's clear and compelling, not aggressive or confrontational. Studies show that people are turned off by negative political marketing, and the environmental movement is beginning to realize that And it's a similar story all around the world. The economic potential is incredible. So that's Step One: learn the facts about renewables."

Implement change in your community.

"Stay positive and inspire people with a vision of a better, cleaner, more beautiful world. Form a weekly film discussion group and screen films like The Future of Energy. Contact an organization like the Alliance for Climate Education and bring them to your schools. Or join a local group working towards energy solutions. They're in almost every community, and if you can't find one, start one."

"Use the Internet, use social media, connect with people across the age, gender, and cultural spectrum. Dedicate yourself to standing up for what you believe in, and support others who are standing with you. And have some fun doing it."

With an action plan for people on the website covering a wide range of way you can participate, some 'fun' things to try are:

Lower our carbon footprint by buying and growing local food (FOE believe local food tends to taste better, consumes less energy, and supports local economies)

Utilizing more efficient transportation, like biking and ride sharing (Bikes and public transport help to re-embed ourselves into our communities.)

If you have a longer commute and need a car, consider switching over to an electric vehicle. "They're becoming really hot right now: they look good, drive beautifully, and are competitive with gas powered cars. EV's are definitely the way of the future."

If you own a home or business, install rooftop solar, and retrofit your building to be energy efficient. Energy consumption can be dramatically reduced through better insulation and by switching to highly efficient appliances as they are replaced.

Once you are part of a community of excited energy advocates, bring your message to local government officials and business leaders, and do it often. Show them that renewables are not only the most viable energy solution for our future, but that the economic benefits are amazing as well."

The Future of Energy believe it is really inspiring how big of an impact a small group of active citizens can have. "We are part of the largest social movement in human history, and everything we do matters. Don't be discouraged at the task ahead, be excited that you're gonna help create a better future for your family and all families."

With the film has been submitted to some of the major film festivals in the U.S. FOE will be fundraising in order to attend as many festivals as possible over the upcoming year.

"2014 is a critical turning point in the global shift towards renewable energy, and we're excited to be out here telling a fun story that inspires people to make positive change."

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When: 21 February 2014
Where: Cinema Nova / 380 Lygon Street, Carlton North
Cost: $11.00
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