March 15th 2009: The People's Premiere

Date 20th Mar 2009

On Sunday March 15th 2009 we turned over the final page of Chapter One (Book Two) in the story of Stupid: The People's Premiere. We launched the film at the greenest and biggest film event the UK has ever seen. And changed the UK Government's policy on coal while we were at it...

 Watch the whole story here (20 mins): 

Huge huge thanks from everyone at Team Stupid to the more than a thousand people (more than a thousand!!) who helped make the event such a success. We can now report that all your efforts have most definitely not been in vain: the ball is officially rolling, and it doesn't look like we'll be gathering any moss on the way to our 250,000,000 viewers target.

Amazing update, 26th April: We asked Ed Miliband whether we influenced his new coal policy announcement - which came just a month after we ambushed him on the subject at the premiere - to which he replied "Of course". Basically: Pete Postlethwaite threatened to give back his OBE - and never vote Labour again - if Miliband commissioned a new coal power station at Kingsnorth. See how much this hurt Milband in the video above.

This is what happened:

  • Eco-elements - preparations for the greenest film premiere ever
  • Dedication's what you need - Stupid wins the Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous premiere in film history
  • The 1% Event - eco-audit explaining how we managed to produce only 1% of the emissions of a standard premiere
  • On the Green Carpet - Photos & video of guests arriving at the Solar Cinema
  • All the photos - Head to our Flickr photostream for way too many pictures
  • Not Stupid National Wave - pictures and viewing figures from some of the 62 cinemas up and down the country
  • The kids storm Fulham - Video and written report from the Youth Premiere at the Fulham Vue
  • Out of Eden - Video and written report from the Eden Project simultaneous event
  • Not Stupid - Pictures and written report of the Q&A which followed the film, including Pete Postlethwaite scaring Ed Miliband
  • Maldives showstopper - Exclusive video of President Nasheed committing the Maldives to go carbon neutral in ten years. First screened at the premiere. 
  • What did they think? - video reactions from celebs at the Leicester Square solar cinema
  • Audience Feedback - A selection of the 1200+ emails which flooded in the next day
  • Word of Mouth - Official exit poll by the UK Film Council reveals overwhelmingly positive audience reaction to the film
  • Leicester Square Companies - details of, and links to, the fantastic organisations whose invaluable support and expertise made it all happen on the day. 
  • Firefly Solar - the awesome outfit behind the Not Stupid Solar Cinema

This is what the press thought...

.... and the celebs


... and the public

 Youth report from Cardiff event (personal video)

A selection of the 1200+ emails we received the following day

"A huge cheer to TEAM  STUPID.  Jaw-droppingly impressive as to how such a raft of fantastic ideas were so superbly executed. From the solar-powered tent to the camera phone pictures of the audiences, from the campaign packs to The Met Office guy rubber-stamping the science, from the ultra-low transport footprint to the Big If (not forgetting Pete's OBE etc...) and topping it all with the Maldives' challenge to us all. What a night. Thank you all for showing me a way through the rest of my life."

"I feel I have shared in the making of history this evening - such a privilege"

"The build up before the film with the satellite links and attempting to take blurry camera-phone photos before hand gave us in the audience a real sense of coalition and purpose. And as for the film itself… Nothing else has ever made the issue clearer, the solutions more obvious, and the urgency more acute. Nothing else has ever shouted more loudly. I challenge anyone to watch this film and not feel compelled to take action."

"What a triumph. Impressed beyond belief."

"The audience were absolutely riveted by the film.  At the end, the cutover to Leicester Square was so slick and the synchronisation perfect, it was like being transported to the cinema tent and we felt a real sense of being part of that audience -- to the extent that there was clapping at the right moments and barracking ('rubbish') at some of the stuff Ed Miliband spouted.  The sense of engagement with the Premiere was palpable -- I have never experienced anything quite so intense in an audience that size.   And moments like Pete saying that he would hand back his OBE were electric!"

"I work for a large corporate so I went back into the workplace on Monday filled with passion to make a difference and have set up a host of meetings to do just that."

"Brilliant night in Cambridge - sold out - people turned away - fantastic atmosphere - congratulations to all of you!"

"The film was amazing. Saw it at The Light (Leeds) which was sold-out. It was great to be "with you" at Leicester Square, and afterwards.  I went with a friend who does lots of flying (holidays) and she came away very thoughtful indeed. The film had a huge impact on her and I'll be very surprised if she doesn't change her lifestyle. Pete P was such a wonderful person for the role, though clearly he wasn't acting in this case."

"The youth premiere was blazing!"

"The Age of Stupid has brought together local environmental groups from a wide area some of whom didn’t know the others existed, representatives from different groups attending meetings of other groups to listen and share ideas, a new network of like minded friends who are now discussing the possibility of an autumn gathering of all local groups in one place for tea/coffee and a chin wag! Imagine then the friendships that will forge every evening when these groups meet at the showings to talk to filmgoers; the optimism here in Inverness is exciting and electric."

"It was a fantastically great evening and well worth the journey through most of Cheshire to get to Cheshire Oaks."

"The world seems a little different today."

"Congratulations on a very successful record breaking Premiere from all of us at Newcastle under Lyme! We thoroughly enjoyed an admittedly extra-cinematic experience, it was like a three-course meal and perhaps can be done more often, with live link ups both to London and the Maldives! The £10 was definitely worth it!"

"I have seen countless climate change, activist films etc  and none has moved me as much as yours. I had to try and be discreet when I could no longer hold back the tears, as I was without tissues and didn't want to ask my friends for any!! And then just as I had found my composure, Pete got up on stage and gave such a rallying, passionate plea, that I began all over again!"

"Your film changed my life completely, it's hard and scary but I've been converted to full on activist status!"

"Mum brought me tea this morning [the day after the premiere] and burst into tears on my bed. She had been up since 5am thinking about the film, and how we live, and getting upset. I have been banging on about this for years (quite ineffectively I realise), but the film acted to distill, and make stark, the totally misplaced and confused framework through which we value things. It really hit the soul of this household."