Five movies to inspire you in 2017, from the Film4Climate competition

Four months have passed since the beginning of 2017 and, for many, that means that their New Year’s resolutions are still in mind. The gym is still crowded, your refrigerator is still full of healthy food, but that initial motivation may not be as high as it was on, say, on the 2nd of January. So

Four months have passed since the beginning of 2017 and, for many, that means that their New Year’s resolutions are still in mind. The gym is still crowded, your refrigerator is still full of healthy food, but that initial motivation may not be as high as it was on, say, on the 2nd of January. So it’s time to find new sources of motivation and even inspiration for keeping that New Year’s resolution. One place to find that inspiration is the Film4Climate competition. If you’re trying to find a reason to persevere through whatever new challenges you’re finding, look no further than the winners of this competition. All these films put things in a unique perspective.

Three Seconds, first-place winner

A good place to start is the first-place winner of the short film competition, “Three Seconds”, created by Spencer Sharp and Prince Ea from the United States. Three Seconds is all about putting things into perspective. It’s an incredible four minutes and fifteen seconds of making you realise how quick your own time on the planet is, but also highlighting how much damage humans have done in such a short time.

The title alludes to how much time humans have spent on the planet if you were to compress the entire history of the planet in one day. It’s a mind-blowing fact. Then the movie highlights the damage humans alone have caused in just three of those seconds by polluting, wasting and deforesting, which really puts human impact in a whole new perspective. It’s not a doomsday film, though. It delivers when it comes to highlighting the benefits of a single action from a single person. It’s hard not to feel like you can make a difference after watching this film. So, before you pick the couch over the treadmill, look at this film and then head on over to the gym. Together, we can tackle climate change.

The Snow Guardian

Billy Barr has lived in a two-by-one metre shack in the woods near Gunnison, Colorado, for 40 years. For every winter during that period, Billy has tracked the snowfall twice a day. Sticking to his plan, he has recorded some incredibly valuable and worrisome trends.

“The Snow Guardian”, which won a second-place award, is the story not just of a lovable Colorado man in the woods; it’s the story of what’s happening in our backyards and an examination of the value of sticking to commitments. Billy stuck to his commitment every winter day for forty years. Surely after seeing his story you can make it another day without junk food increasing your carbon footprint.

Love Note to an Island

If your resolution is to reach out to a loved one you lost touch with, an old flame still burning or finally take that trip back home, then “Love Note to an Island” by Lule DeBoer of Kiribati, is for you. In five minutes, this short film tells the story of a woman born on the Pacific Island of Kiribati who finds herself living in the oil country of Texas.

She yearns for her home, which is quickly vanishing into the Pacific Ocean due to climate-driven rises in the sea level. The film is a letter to the many loves she fears she may never again know. For anyone in a situation wondering whether they should go for it, this one may help you decide—like, make that decision to put solar panels on your roof.

Plastic Pollution, Our Oceans, Our Future

Maybe you haven’t figured out what your New Year’s resolution is yet. Maybe this is the year you try to make a big difference in the world. But you’re overwhelmed with where to start, and time is already flying by. “Plastic Pollution, Our Oceans, Our Future” by Christopher Hanson of the United States shows us that big changes often start right in our communities.

This film examines the Styrofoam crisis in Hawaii, which leads the US by far in Styrofoam usage. This is a big problem for an island state, and the film goes to great lengths to show how pollution in the Pacific Ocean is having devastating repercussions on animals and the planet. The film also goes to great lengths to show how actions at the local level, with school lunches and other programmes, can shift habits and make a real difference in the world. The film is presented by young leaders, which reminds us that climate action helps our children’s generation.

Pakkaspoika (Polar Boy)

Making improvements, whether for a New Year’s resolution or some random day any other time of the year, comes with plenty of benefits, many of which impact others. The third-place winner for the best short film is “Pakkaspoika”, which means “Polar Boy” in Finnish.

It’s the touching story of young people taking action on climate change before Christmas because they feel their parents haven’t done enough. The film is touching and revealing; there’s something about this creation by Karim Shahid and Alli Walden that gives watchers the inspiration to go out and make a difference. Maybe it’s the humour.

Together, we can solve climate change

Of course, these films are just a handful of the 864 videos from 155 countries that were submitted to the F4C video contest. In fact, these films are only five of the winners. There is also the winner for best PSA (Public Service Announcement), Price on Carbon Pollution Award, MENA Award, People’s Choice Award and Connect4Climate Special Awards. Like the films above, they provide plenty of inspiration to take action, improve your world and the world around you, and make this year a new year. Together, we can solve climate change.

The Film4Climate competition is an inspiring effort by more than 80 partners, led by the Connect4Climate programme of the World Bank Group to bring stimulating stories through film to COP22 and into 2017. Make your resolutions count, become advocates for climate action and advance solutions.

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