New Al Gore movie to open Sundance film festival

The as-yetunnamed film will follow former United States vice-president Al Gore (above) as he travels around the world exploring advances and challenges in the fight against climate change.
The as-yetunnamed film will follow former United States vice-president Al Gore (above) as he travels around the world exploring advances and challenges in the fight against climate change.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON • The Sundance Film Festival will open next month with a new climate change movie from former United States vice-president Al Gore - and the timing, unfortunately, could not be better.

Paramount Pictures and Participant Media announced last Friday that the follow-up to the 2006 Oscar-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth - in which film-maker Davis Guggenheim documented Mr Gore's travelling slide show on global warming - will follow the former vice-president as he travels around the world exploring advances and challenges in the fight against climate change.

In a statement, Mr Gore said: "Now more than ever we must re-dedicate ourselves to solving the climate crisis. But we have reason to be hopeful; the solutions to the crisis are at hand.

"I'm deeply honoured and grateful that Paramount Pictures and Participant Media have once again taken on the task of bringing the critical story of the climate crisis to the world."

So that is good news, yes?

Presumably, Mr Gore said as much to President-elect Donald Trump when the two met last week for a chat that Mr Gore described, somewhat enigmatically, as an "extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued".

Not so fast. Three days after that meeting, Mr Trump named Mr Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma's attorney general - and a climate change sceptic, who is currently suing the Environmental Protection Agency - to head that agency, provoking outrage from environmentalists.

The Inconvenient Truth won Oscars for best documentary feature and best original song. It grossed US$49.8 million worldwide.

The as-yet-unnamed follow-up film is directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, directors of Audrie & Daisy, a documentary about three cases of rape which premiered at Sundance this year.

The new documentary will premiere on the opening night of the festival, which will have an environmental focus throughout its 11-day run from Jan 19 to 29. Paramount Pictures will release the film in theatres next year.

Mr Gore will also appear on Sundance's Power Of Story panel, a collaboration between Sundance Institute and The Redford Center, that will also feature former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed, producer Heather Rae (Frozen River, 2008), social entrepreneur and philanthropist Jeff Skoll, as well as environmentalist and scientist David Suzuki.

The executive producers of the new Gore documentary include Mr Skoll and Guggenheim.

Veteran actor and Sundance Institute founder Robert Redford said in a statement: "My own engagement on climate change began more than 40 years ago, and the urgency I felt then has only grown stronger given its very real and increasingly severe consequences.

"If we're going to avoid the worst- case scenario, then we must act boldly and immediately, even in the face of indifference, apathy and opposition."

In truth, Mr Trump probably would not be able to make it to the film's debut in Park City, Utah.

His inauguration is scheduled for the next morning in Washington.

But it is a good guess that his new friend Gore could arrange for a special screening. Mr Trump will, after all, soon have his own private cinema in the White House.

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 12, 2016, with the headline 'New Al Gore movie to open Sundance film festival'. Print Edition | Subscribe