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Reporting on movies, film festivals, film production, premieres, movie events, industry trends and plays from around the world

The Global Film Village: Wading Through the Results of Climate Change


by Marc Halperin

We had lunch last Saturday with Michael Nash the director of Climate Refugees which has a free screening today at the LA film festival. The film focuses on Bangladesh, Chad, China, Kenya, Tuvalu, and the USA and promises to be a riveting 89 minutes.

“Climate Refugees” is a term few people outside the U.S. military and U.N. circles are familiar with until now. This illuminating documentary takes the next step after An Inconvenient Truth and examines the facts behind the phrase and exposes what is being called the biggest challenge facing mankind.

Climate refugees are populations who are being displaced by the effects of extreme climate change, both natural and manmade. As the Earth continues to warm and the ice caps melt the sea will rise. We really have to examine what this will mean in human terms. Bangladesh one of the poorest countries in the world is virtually at sea level even a small rise will force its population to move. The Dutch are already planning to increase their tidal gates and sea wall assuming a 2.5-foot rise by 2050 into their designs. The recent book,The Rising Sea, predicts that governments and coastal managers should assume the inevitability of a seven-foot rise in sea level.

Sub-Saharan Africa already plagued by decades long draughts will become a no man's land due to lack of water forcing it's population to emigrate to Europe. Many of the Gulf States on the Arabian peninsula will need more concrete than they are already pouring in their extensive building programs to build sea walls as they quickly try to adopt the Netherlands defenses as they are also just barely above present sea level.

The United States isn't spared. Large portions of our coast line are barely above sea level. The entire state of Florida has a maximum height of 9 feet. We thought things were bad with Katrina. Wait until we have to plan for most of Florida's 16,000,000 to be resettled. We will see refugee camps just like in third world countries for people who have been living in expensive beachfront property. These are not going to be happy campers.

Through intimate interviews, expert testimony, and unforgettable images, Nash and his dedicated team convey the disastrous political, social, and ecological effects this migration could cause. While Congressional and U.N. leaders attest on-screen that the situation is critical, the fact remains that there is no contingency plan or multi-national accord addressing the issue. Nash’s film is an urgent call for action. We do not have much time to prepare if we are going to preserve life as we know it.

These are not isolated problems and people all over the world will be effected. We could see 100s of millions of displaced people. This will makes today's immigration problem look like Woodstock. How will countries deal with this many refugees? How can we hope to feed, shelter and get them work so that they can survive?

A friend Chris Parry reviewed our film Life After War, about Sarah Chayes rebuilding homes in Afghanistan  and said "you need to get your lazy asses of couches, we need to do something about this issue". We are all connected to Twitter, FaceBook, Myspace, and other social networks. It will just take a few minutes to turn this into a trending issue about this pending disaster and challenge others to help find solutions.

It is not every day that you can get involved with a problem that will effect all of us.

Climate Refugees is being presented free at the Los Angeles Film Festival

Friday, June 25th at 8:30 pm at the California Plaza – 300-350 S. Grand Ave. –

Q&A with director Michael P. Nash, and talent Senator Barbara Boxer(via taped message), Esai Morales, Ed Begley Jr., and Justin Hogan.

In English, Bengali, Chinese, Sudanese with English subtitles

Directed By: Michael P. Nash

Executive Producers: Pat McConathy, Stephen Nemeth

Producers: Michael P. Nash, Justin Hogan

Screenwriter: Michael P. Nash

Cinematographer: Michael P. Nash

Editors: Michael P. Nash, Bret Langefels, Nancy Frazen

Cast: Rajendra K Pachauri Ipcc, Dr.Stephen Schneider, Gov. Bill Ritter Jr., Lester R. Brown, Newt Gingrich, Prof. Wangari Maathai, Secretary Ken Salazar, Senator John Kerry, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Tino Cuellar, Yvo De Boer

Music: Michael Mollura


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About MarlaLewinGFV

Lewin Marla
(Global Film Village)

Marla is a producer, playwright, screenwriter, publicist and now a journalist. She attends 12 to 20 film festivals per year. She has spoken on filmmaking at many festivals including Cannes and SXSW.


Los Angeles

United States

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