In order to participate in the global effort in solving climate change and its urgent issues, ART for The World and its partners, wish to bring their contribution with a new film anthology production composed of 11 short movies of 5’ to 11, directed by well-known independent filmmakers from the five continents.
This anthology follows on ART for The World’s successful production of Stories of Human Rights, 22 short movies commissioned by UNHCR for the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
This new film anthology explores the concept of INTERDEPENDENCE and our urgent needs to reduce environmental damage and to preserve our natural resources, in respect of the four fundamental elements essential for our life on this Planet.
Cinema is perhaps today’s most effective and relevant medium to communicate messages. Filmmakers are more and more often asked to bring their experience to the service of communities, whose collective heritage forms the basis of understanding our common issues faced by the Planet and its future generations.
The forces of nature that surround us have been the cornerstones of primordial philosophies for thousands of years, imparting respect and adoration of the fundamental elements and their equilibrium:
Earth that carries us and whose fruits feed us;
Water that quenches our thirst and renders the earth fertile;
Fire that warms us and through the sun brings life to our planet and
Air that gives us breath to be able to live.
Each of these elements, in all their might, cannot exist without each other. Each a representation of the same fundamental cosmic energy which takes on different forms and allows them to mutate into each other. None inherently good or bad, each element however has power to be both a benevolent or destructive force.
Our hunter and gatherer ancestors used art in its primordial form in cave paintings to represent humans and nature in coexistence, providing us with an early record of this close connection.
We know that human activities have a direct impact on the resources of our planet, as well as on animals and nature with whom we share the Earth. It is indeed clearly evidenced that human influences are the primary cause of global warming, especially the carbon pollution we cause by burning fossil fuels and the pollution-capturing we prevent by destroying forests. Evidence shows that the last decade was hotter than any other in at least the past 1300 years. This warming is altering the earth's climate system, including its land, atmosphere, oceans, and ice, in far-reaching ways. Higher temperatures are worsening many types of disasters, including storms, heat waves, floods, droughts and pollution.
With climate change set to force millions of people from their homes due to more frequent extreme weather events and rising sea levels, by 2100, our oceans are estimated to be one to four feet higher, threatening coastal systems and low-lying areas, including entire island nations and the world's largest cities.
As land and sea undergo rapid changes, the animals that inhabit them are doomed to disappear if they don't adapt quickly enough. Some will make it, and many won't, leading to higher wildlife extinction rates.
Droughts, wildfires, storms, floods, pollution among others, propel us to critically observe and reflect on the relationship between the four elements, between our species, all other forms of life and the environment that hosts us.
These phenomena not only threaten the very basis of our existence on the planet but also are increasingly the cause and motivation for progressively polarized social structures that threaten the stability of our political and economic systems.
The filmmakers have been selected by a set of criteria including strong professional background, recently awarded films at major film festivals, and above all, an engaged commitment to addressing issues and themes related to climate change. Each have directed a short movie on the urgent environmental questions delineated in our key themes, that developed in detail for each filmmaker in collaboration with our Climate Change advisor, Sara Venturini, who has written the preliminary briefing notes appearing in the appendix.
Concept Developer and Producer
Founder of ART for The World, NGO associated with the UNDPI, Adelina von Fü- rstenberg, a Swiss citizen of Armenian origin, is an international art curator and in- dependent short movies producer, working with artists and filmmakers from various generations and continents.
Pioneer in the field, von Fürstenberg works strive to provide a larger context for the arts by making them a more vigorous part of our lives, in creating vivid dialogues with the main issues of our times such as environment, climate change, health, gender, education, among others. Between 2008 and 2019, she has produced 45 short movies on this issues.
Mrs. von Fürstenberg's selected awards
2016 - Swiss Grand Prix for Art «Meret Oppenheim » conferred by the Federal Office of Culture, Switzerland.
2015 - Golden Lion for the Best National Participation of the National Pavilion of Armenia curated by Adelina von Fürstenberg at the 56th Biennale of Venice.
2008 - Label of « Best Cultural Event 2008 » by the Council of Europe for ART for The World’s film production of «Stories on Human Rights», in recognition of «a handful of exceptional and innovative artistic projects organized in Europe in 2008».
1993 - « Special Mention » of the Jury of the 45th Biennale of Venice to Mrs von Fürstenberg for her Direction of the School of Curators of Le Magasin - Centre National d’Art Contemporain, Grenoble.