CRITICAL DEGREES: Shorts On Tap @ BFI Southbank

CRITICAL DEGREES BANNER (1)

Following on from their second birthday a couple of weeks ago, our good pals at Short On Tap had an absolute corker in store for us with Critical Degrees: this time with a social message. Teaming up with global health charity Medact, our aim was to spread awareness about climate change in the wake of the Paris climate conference last week that many saw as a historical event that has legally bound 195 countries to hold global temperatures to a maximum rise of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. It’s an ambitious target that many weren’t expecting.

With such an important issue at hand SOT had to bring out the big guns. No back room at cafe 1001 for us this time – this was NFT2, big velvet seats, Southbank-spectacular. Yes, that’s right, the BFI. One of the most prolific film venues in the UK was home to our favourite short film event this week, and we couldn’t have been more excited and proud.

The 5 films on offer were poignant, touching on different global issues. Two which really struck a cord were ISLE DE JEAN CHARLES, about a small island in the bayous of Louisiana gradually shrieking as it is tormented by hurricanes, and SNOWS OF THE NILE. This latter film follows two scientists and photographers on their mission to show the effects global warming has had on the glacier of the Rwenzori Mountains. Seeing the rapid decline of mother nature’s beauty sent guilty pangs pulsing through my body, thinking about all the times I use the car to nip up the road or leave the lights on all day.

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To discus these issues SOT had gathered three panellists to answer questions surrounding the issues featured in the films. Dr David McCoy, director of Medact, gave his views and shared some poignant research with us surrounding global climate problems and the connecting global strategies. Millie Darling, writer and campaigner at 10:10, a charity aiming to bring about practical solutions to climate change, had a more localised approach. Finally Mike Buonaiuto, founder of Shape History, a creative agency that aims to get people interested in social issues by emotionally hooking them, encouraged the audience to make short films about climate change. All three of the speakers brought a great perspective to the debate and were able to bring the issues full circle, from the films we watched to the ways we in the room could make changes.

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We just want to say a big congrats to the guys for making a great event and for an amazing two years of films. Here’s to the next two!!

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