Pacific youth films on climate change gain global recognition


Photo: Central School students at the showcasing of their work in Port Vila, Vanuatu. 


The Action4Climate film competition, an initiative of the World Bank’s global communication program, Connect4Climate, asked youth from around the world to produce and submit a documentary telling a story about climate change.

Connect4Climate decided to award the film We Talk Too Much, But You Gotta Listen, produced by students from Vanuatu’s Central school, a unique Pacific Prize to the value of $1500 for its creativity in presenting gender issues in the context of climate change. In addition, The Children Are Our Future, produced by special needs students from Samoa’s Loto Taumafai school, was given exceptional recognition by Connect4Climate for its enthusiastic interpretation of approaches to climate solutions. The video platform, Vimeo, is also providing a Vimeo Plusaccount to both groups to give them high quality online access in the future.

The attention the films have received is very timely given the recent agreement between the USA and China to further reduce their emissions, paving the way for scaling up international action on climate change. Discussions at the recent G20 meeting in Brisbane, Australia, also focused on climate change and the actions that all countries must take in the lead up to the Climate Change Convention in Paris in December 2015.

“These talented young film makers connect their audience in emotional and powerful ways about the dangers of climate change. They have done serious, important work, which shows that climate change could result in a world that is unrecognizable today, and that we need to act now to protect the planet for future generations” Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group.

Amongst the 230 compelling entries received from youth in 70 countries, twelve films produced as part of the PACMAS A2C2 (Action Against Climate Change) project by Pacific high school and university students from Samoa, Vanuatu, Kiribati, and Tuvalu were submitted. The films received international exposure at Cannes Film Festival, in Times Square and at a private meeting of leaders of the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations. An expert panel, headed by Italian film director and screenwriter Bernardo Bertolucci, viewed and judged the final films before announcing the winning entries.

The A2C2 students have so much to be proud of. To have their films accepted into the Action4Climate competition was a big achievement in and of itself, but to gain international exposure for the Pacific and bring attention to the critical climate change issues the region is facing is very powerful.” said Joelle Auffray, Co-Founder of Apidae Development Innovations, the implementing partner for the A2C2 initiative.

Reaching the final round of the Action4Climate competition is a major accomplishment for these creative and enthusiastic young filmmakers, as well as the PACMAS A2C2 initiative that facilitated their work. A collaboration between the Australian Aid-funded Pacific Media Assistance Scheme (PACMAS), the Australian Government Department of the Environment and ABC International Development, the A2C2 project aimed to raise awareness about local climate change solutions by showcasing the voices of youth.

We’re so proud of all of the students for getting so far in this competition – it has been a fantastic opportunity to share our local stories with the world,” said Francis Herman, PACMAS Program Manager.

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