Movies aimed at saving the world screen in Melbourne
The growth of the global youth climate movement, alternative power and a filmmaker’s attempt to replace himself with a robot are some of the topics covered in this year’s festival of world-changing films.
Part of the Sustainable Living Festival, the Transitions Film Festival’s eighth edition is a chance to join like-minded viewers in watching local and international documentaries that seek to address the world’s problems and face the probable future head on.
A total of 28 films will screen at Cinema Nova, and a program of speakers will feature leading sustainability academics, artists and entrepreneurs, including celebrity endurance athlete Samantha Gash, Solar tuk-tuk adventurer and social entrepreneur Julian O’Shea and comedian and lawyer Corinne Grant.
Opening night’s film is Point of No Return, in which two pilots attempt to circumnavigate the globe in an experimental solar-powered plane. Closing night’s The Serengeti Rules is a study of food chains around the world that puts forward a hopeful theory about the resilience of the natural environment.
More Human than Human is Tommy Pallotta’s disturbing investigation into AI and robotics, exploring the ways in which both have already infiltrated our lives. Dystopians will also enjoy System Error, which questions the economic logic of infinite growth.
On the inspirational side of the equation comes Run India, about endurance athlete Samantha Gash (Australian Survivor) and her 3,200km run across India to raise awareness about barriers to education; Accelerate, which follows environmentalist Bill McKibben on his 2018 tour of Australia; and Metamorphosis, a visual poem about the future of our planet by award-winning director Velcrow Ripper portraying the true scale of the global environmental crisis while offering a new vision for humanity and the world.
Films on the subject of solutions to climate change include Youth Unstoppable, a fly-on-the-wall insight into the global youth climate movement; Dirt Rich, which shows us how regenerative farming can reverse global warming; and The Need to Grow, narrated by Rosario Dawson and concerning breakthrough remedies to the earth’s declining soil health.
Aussie doco Ranger to Ranger follows musician Dan Sultan and a group of Indigenous Australian Rangers as they travel to Kenya to share knowledge, culture and music with a tribe of Maasai Community Rangers. The Bikes of Wrath, meanwhile, follows a group of Australians as they bicycle from Oklahoma to California, following the route set out in John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath, meeting locals and reflecting on American life since the Depression.
Special events include a live Humans of Purpose podcast with Mike Daves and Matt Wicking, a VR for Good event with Melbourne meetup RealWorld VR, and special events at the Brunswick Mechanics Institute.