Oz & NZ triumph
The NZ premiere of The Age of Stupid was a perfect Kiwi version of the UK premiere. Jam packed with celebs and VIPs, the solar cinema tent in Auckland's viaduct basin attracted more media attention than your average All Blacks game, which is really saying something in rugby mad New Zealand.
Oxfam and Greenpeace co-hosted the premiere brilliantly co-ordinating all the logistics, volunteers, guest lists and press invites including making the event as low-carbon as possible. They charged the solar panels for two days beforehand to make sure we had enough energy for the premiere itself, and instead of using batteries (inefficient & toxic) we fed the electricity into the grid for 48 hours then drew down the same amount on the night. Top Kiwi actors including Keisha Castle-Hughes (Whalerider & Star Wars) and Lucy Lawless (Xena, the Warrior Princess) arrived by bike rickshaw before walking the green carpet (re-used and re-useable), into the tent. Waste was kept to an absolute minimum and food and drinks were all organic and locally sourced.
The green carpet is making a habit of being the diva of our eco premieres, always making a dramatic and late entrance, this time after hours of cleaning and vacuuming by volunteers, but once in place it added a touch of glamour to the site adorned with fairy lights twinkling away with Auckland's skyline in the background.
Linking by satellite to the Sydney Premiere was a magic moment when the technology kicked in and suddenly we saw our own green carpet arrivals projected onto the big screen in the tent.
MC Oliver Driver turned his five minutes of padding into a standup comedy routine, and Noelle McCarty covered all the elements in hosting the Q&A session.
Pelenise from Kiribati stole the show with an emotional speech about the impacts of climate change on her life.
"It may be ugly and rocky, but it's my home and I will not leave" she said about her house in Kiribati which could easily be lost to sea level rise.
The press in NZ have covered the story from every angle imaginable with mentions creeping into the columists' vocabulary on a regular basis, and twenty minutes coverage in total on mainstream telly.
We were even featured in the 'Party People' pages of todays' Sunday Star Times who said:
"HIT: Producer Lizzie Gilett - from Dunedin's regional TV station Channel 9 to global phenomenon.
MISS: According to the film, the government's emissions reduction target."
This press coverage is really crucial to get the urgency of the climate crisis across in NZ where the debate about climate change is twenty years behind the UK. Deniers still get a huge amount of airtime and the govt has just announced their pathetic 10-20% target for Copenhagen.
Around NZ screenings were held with local speakers from a huge number of NGO partners; Sustainable Christchurch , NZ Climate Action Partnership, EcoMatters Trust , Environment Centre, Sustainable Business Network, Green Party, Sustainable Dunedin, 350.org and Transition Towns.
Dunedin, Lizzie's hometown, has gone totally mad for Stupid with huge articles in the press and on the local TV station, a permanent stall at the cinema, a militant facebook campaign and flyers everywhere you look. All of this work has really paid off - Dunners is now the highest selling cinema in all of Australasia!
"I didn't realise how emotional it would be finally bringing the film home to NZ and premiering it in a tent for my family, friends and fellow Kiwis.
To have our independent political documentary about climate change screening in the most mainstream cinemas around NZ, including my hometown, Dunedin NZ, is a dream come true for our team, thrusting climate change into the Kiwi consciousness in an unforgettable way."
Thank you to everyone involved in the premiere especially Oxfam and Greenpeace for putting it all together.
Photos from the NZ premiere:
Main breakfast show on TV1, Good Morning:
Main nightly current affairs show on TV1, Close Up.
Main nighty news show on TV3, Nightline.
And the extended interview with Lizzie (and Samantha Hayes) on TV3 website.
Lizzie's old TV station found clip of her presenting ten years ago and used that in their story.
The Listener - on our site
Women's Weekly! Coming out soon.
NZ Herald - main newspaper in Akl
Otago Daily Times - on our site.
The Press (Chch main newspaper) - out this weekend.
Sunday Star Times (main Sunday newspaper) - out tomorrow.
Time Out - hard copy coming in post
95bFM's Podcast also interviews Franny. Listen here.
National Radio interview with Lizzie:
New Zealand's answer to Jeremy Paxman, Kim Hill, had a good old chat with Stupid Director Franny Armstrong on one of the country's most popular radio shows. Listen here.
We're on Lucy Lawless's site:
"It's a shocker-in a good, slap-in-the-face, "holy crap I need to do something about this" kind of way. Set in a dystopian future that makes Bladerunner look quite good after all"
"The house was utterly packed for the premiere. If you have not heard about this movie, you absolutely must go see it. "