Who are the young people that are changing the world for the better?

Thousands of young people across Europe are fighting for climate justice. Some campaign and take action, others raise awareness through artistic work or spread their knowledge through educational programs. All these people have one thing in common: The conviction that this planet is worth fighting for. But who are these people? What are their initiatives? What drives them, what are their hopes for the future? And how do they think change will be achieved?

Ellard, Job and Guus, three young filmmakers, will travel across Europe to find out. They will make a feature documentary that shows the diversity of people working on social and environmental justice within the Young Friends of the Earth Europe Network. With the documentary they intend to focus on the diversity of these people, the different strategies they employ to reach their goals and the way they are all connected, even though their homes are spread all over the continent.

Two examples of whom Ellard, Job and Guus are following are Luka and Ina. Luka (26 years old) is a young photographer from Croatia, who travels the globe capturing images of people and nature, most recently on the threat climate change poses to the Arctic ecosystem. Luka’s photographs show us what we are fighting for and preserve these sights for future generations. (See Vimeo opposite.)

Ina (22 years old) is leading the fight in Norway to keep the Lofoton-fjords free from oil drilling. She wants to protect one of the most beautiful places in Europe by stopping the extraction of the dirtiest and most climate devastating sources of energy buried beneath it. (See Vimeo opposite.)

Young people across the world are at the forefront of what will be the worst and most unpredictable effects of climate change. The documentary aims to be a building block in creating a strong global movement for climate justice. The filmmakers hope to inspire and unite young people to take positive action and work together to create just solutions to the climate crisis, and take action to reclaim our futures.

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The proposed completion date for the project is autumn 2014. The film is to be finished in the summer, and released and promoted throughout the autumn.

Principal photography has now been completed, with filming taking place in Belgium, Norway, Bulgaria, Poland and Germany. All the main elements of the film (portraits of the 4 young people, as well as their activities) have been recorded. This has resulted in a total of 72 hours of footage, and many fascinating experiences. Click here for some of which, that have been recorded on this blog(This will soon be updated with stories from Poland, where filming took place during the COP19 UNFCCC climate summit, and the final location in Germany).

Click here for a second “taster” clip has been produced, featuring Ina Bjørnrå from Young FoE Norway (Natur og Ungdom):

The long process of editing the footage has begun, to narrow down 72 hours of material to a 2 hour rough edit. Over the next few months this will be cut back further, and shaped into the finished film.

Immediate next steps are the creation of the context/narrative sections for the beginning and end of the film (this will take place in March). The film makers are also searching for music which can be used at low or no cost. Contact has been made with “activist” or progressive record labels including Ninja Tunes, who were a partner of FoE Europe on the “Energy Union” project.

“We are really thrilled to have the support of APE to help make ‘Portraying Young Friends of the Earth’ happen. It really means we can take our project to the level we dreamed of with it, and film some truly inspiring young people as they fight for climate justice. We’d like to say a really big thank you to APE for seeing and trusting the potential of our project, and we’re really excited to show you the end project!”


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