Dear SNS FiReFilms member,
We’re excited to bring to you the great Marquee documentary Happening for the next two weeks, with answers to many questions about our ability to survive on alternative energy without fossil fuels. My friend and respected documentary filmmaker James Redford asks and reveals in this film, “Can we make enough renewable energy to supply the world and replace fossil fuels? How will we do that, and will we do that?” Answering these questions was Jamie’s mission when he set out on a journey to explore different types of alternative energy vs. big oil and coal industries. I was honored to introduce this film last month at the Park City Film Series, including, with great thanks to Jamie, a Skyped Q&A discussion.
As stated on the film’s website: “Highlighting innovators and entrepreneurs in communities from Georgetown, Texas, to Buffalo, New York, Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution follows Redford – grandson of a longtime Chevron worker and son of actor/environmental advocate Robert Redford – on an enlightening cross-country journey to discover the current state of clean energy and see what lies on the horizon. The film reveals pioneering renewable-energy solutions that are making the potential future brighter than ever before, while underscoring notions of human resilience and social justice. Additionally, Redford brings his own personal point of view to this complex, polarizing issue.
“Providing real, comprehensible answers to complex energy questions facing America and the world, the documentary looks at politicians, executives, and activists banding together to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels. Highlighted by humor, compelling characters, and insights into incredible technological innovations, this uplifting film spotlights a revolution that is democratic, resilient, and sustainable, despite considerable headwinds and lack of action from the federal government.”
Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution is directed by Jamie Redford; executive producers, Jeff and Laurie Ubben, The Neda Nobari Foundation, James Langer, Todd Clayton Chaffee; produced by Jamie Redford and Jill Tidman. For HBO: Coordinating producer, Jesse Weinraub; senior producer, Nancy Abraham; executive producer, Sheila Nevins.
Filmmaker James Redford embarks on a colorful personal journey into the dawn of the clean energy era as it creates jobs, turns profits, and makes communities stronger and healthier across the US.
Unlikely entrepreneurs in communities from Georgetown, TX, to Buffalo, NY, reveal pioneering clean energy solutions while James’ discovery of how clean energy works, and what it means at a personal level, becomes the audience’s discovery too. Reaching well beyond a great story of technology and innovation, Happening explores issues of human resilience, social justice, embracing the future, and finding hope for our survival.
Best Environmental Film Award: New York WILD Film Festival 2018
Nominee: EMA Awards
Official Selection (partial list): DOC NYC Film Festival, St. Louis Film Festival, Woodstock Film Festival, American Documentary Film Festival, American Film Showcase, EARTHxFilm, Sun Valley Film Festival, Tahoe Film Festival
Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution
Vimeo link: https://vimeo.com/268289192
Today, most Americans understand and accept the reality of climate change. But as disturbing evidence and imagery continues to mount, many of us feel increasingly uncertain about what we, as individuals, can do. For many of us, solutions to climate change seem out of reach, out of scale, and fatally entwined in partisan politics.
Nonetheless, the clean energy revolution is quietly but spectacularly underway. The clean energy industry now employs more people than the fossil fuel industry. Electricity generated from wind and solar is increasingly more affordable than electricity generated from fossil fuels, and the growth curve for the generation and storage of renewable energy now resembles the exponential curves seen with the advent of radio, TV, and the internet. The revolution also reveals another intriguing fact: politically speaking, the clean energy revolution is increasingly color-blind. As we see in Happening, when something is cheaper and better, political divides often begin to collapse.
Although this information is encouraging, information alone is not enough. I spent a considerable effort working with The Redford Center to determine the most impactful and engaging way to tell the story. Key to the strategy was casting myself in my true colors: a semi-knowledgeable Luddite who prefers plain English. As such, I journey through Happening with three questions in mind: Can we meet our energy needs with renewable energy? How would we do that? And, most important, will we do that?
Happening chronicles my quest to answer these questions. Although I have traversed the country meeting the inspiring people leading the revolution, the most significant journey involved my own heart and mind. At the start of Happening, I was feeling pretty cynical about the value of civic engagement and the political process. Three years later, I have witnessed first-hand the enduring value of political engagement, active citizenry, and reason over ideology. In spite of the turbulent political waters we are currently enduring, I feel more hopeful today than ever about our ability to combat climate change, and I am excited to share this with audiences so that they may feel this way as well.
– James Redford
About Director James Redford
James Redford writes, produces, and directs for film and television. Prior to completing Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution for HBO, James’s other HBO films have included Toxic Hot Seat, The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, Mann v. Ford, and The Kindness of Strangers. While completing Happening, James has been traveling the world as an American Film Showcase ambassador with his two award-winning documentary films, Resilience: The Biology of Stress and the Science of Hope and Paper Tigers.
James is the co-founder and chair of The Redford Center, a nonprofit media entity that engages people through inspiring stories that galvanize environmental action. Among many of its functions, the center’s documentary film projects include Watershed, Fighting Goliath, and The Art of Activism. James lives in Marin County, California. His interests include playing lead guitar for Olive and the Dirty Martinis as well as yoga, skiing, surfing, and cycling.
SNS FiReFilms Membership
We always pay filmmakers for allowing us to share their films with FiReFilms members. At the same time, we feel that it’s important to keep our membership fee low, at an annual cost of $195/person, or 2 for $350.
Please share the love of SNS FiReFilms with your friends, and invite them to join at www.firefilms.org. With the new cellphone notification system you have, you can share the trailer of our current documentary with friends and family, and they can sign up on the spot using your phone, gaining immediate access to the full film and receiving all of the annual benefits that FiReFilms memberships provide. These memberships also make great gifts.
Annual benefits include 12-14 Marquee films and 4 Director Call-In Series documentaries and phone calls; invitations to FiReFilms Screening Clubs in your area; invitations to occasional members-only special events, including at select film festivals; and a complimentary 2-month subscription to Mark Anderson’s weekly digital SNS Global Report on Technology and the Global Economy.
Give a FiReFilms membership to loved ones! You can register, renew, or purchase a FiReFilms gift membership at www.firefilms.org. If you have any questions, please contact my assistant, Mary Elders, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sponsorships are welcome!If your company or you are interested in organizing a FiReFilms Screening Club event or participating as an honored FiReFilms Sponsor with great benefits, please contact me at email@example.com. We’ve had dozens of well-attended evenings where I Skype in to introduce a film, and afterward the director Skypes in for a Q&A. We then post select photos in our next mailing. These make for a fantastic evening with people who care about important subjects, leading to high-octane discussions.
If there’s a documentary you believe we should consider for our FiReFilms members as a Marquee Film or as a Director Call-In feature, just email me and cc: Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org with the title and an introduction to the filmmaker, if possible.
Please keep sending us your thoughts; we value every comment we receive, and we share (if you would like us to) your feedback with the directors of our featured films.
With warmest regards and thanks to each of you for your passion for film to educate, inspire, and transform,
Sharon Anderson Morris
FiReFilms is pleased to provide documentary film content to its members that addresses globally relevant issues for purposes of consideration and discussion. FiReFilms does not necessarily espouse the editorial positions of supported films, but presents the best films available on science- and technology-related topics for the independent evaluation and conclusions of its members. We encourage your debate on these critically important and socially relevant issues.
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