The Age of Stupid stars Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite (In The Name of the Father, The Usual Suspects, Brassed Off) as a man living in the devastated future world of 2055, looking back at old footage from our time and asking: why didn't we stop climate change when we had the chance?
Launched at a Guinness World Recording-winning solar-powered premiere in London's Leicester Square, the film was released in cinemas worldwide, topped the UK box office (by screen average), became one of the most talked-about films of 2009 and garnered sensational reviews: The Telegraph called it "Bold, supremely provocative and hugely important", the News of the World described it as "A deeply inconvenient kick up the backside", ABC Australia said "So tightly constructed and dynamic you leave the cinema energised rather than terrified... hits home like a hammer blow" and the LA Times said "Think 'An Inconvenient Truth', but with a personality".
Multi-award-winning documentary director Franny Armstrong (McLibel, Drowned Out) and Oscar-winning producer John Battsek (One Day In September, Restrepo) pioneered the now ubiquitous "crowd-funding" model to finance the film, and then spent four years following seven real people's stories to be interweaved with Pete Postlethwaite's fictional character: an Indian entrepreneur struggling to start a new low-cost airline, a Shell employee in New Orleans who rescued more than 100 people during Hurricane Katrina, an 82-year-old French mountain guide watching his beloved glaciers melt, two Iraqi refugee children searching for their elder brother, a young woman living in desperate poverty in Nigeria's richest oil area and a windfarm developer in Britain battling the NIMBYs who don't want his turbines to spoil their view.
The Age of Stupid led to the formation of the 10:10 carbon reduction campaign which now operates in 45 countries (www.1010global.org). Recognising the film's unique contribution to independent filmmaking, the Huffington Post said that it "represents the future of film, film culture and film distribution and marketing".
The Age of Stupid is now available to view in 20 languages on iTunes, Amazon Prime, Vimeo On Demand, Google Play and direct from this site.
10 YEARS ON
The Age of Stupid was re-released for its 10th Birthday on March 15th 2019. By a beautiful bit of serendipity, this was also the day of the very first GLOBAL schools strike.
To celebrate the re-release - and to commiserate the fact that we are still heading for the disaster dejected in the film - Spanner Films made a new 10 minute short film, WHAT IF? Written and directed by Stupid director Franny Armstrong - and with many of the original film crew returning to work on it. The film stars Ed Miliband, Jon Snow, Jonathan Pie, Jack Harries, Tamsin Allen, Chris Packham and Caroline Lucas as inhabitants of a planet uncannily like Earth in which the people are doing everything they can to stop climate change. Who knew our politicians were such good actors?
Also released for the 10th anniversary is a new film, THE RETURN OF THE AGE OF STUPID, made by the Guardian’s video team. Stupid’s director Franny Armstrong revisits the places and people in the film and asks: what’s changed in the last ten years?
- iTunes - available worldwide, English language version only, from today: https://apple.co/2F4X93k
- Vimeo - available worldwide, English language version only, from today: https://bit.ly/2Hm1CCf
- Google Play - available in UK, USA, Canada & Australia countries, English language version only, from today: https://bit.ly/2UCxaad
- Amazon Prime - available worldwide, in English, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Slovakian, Portuguese from today + 12 more language coming soon: http://amzn.eu/d/4THMKjD
- Spanner Films - available worldwide to download or stream in 10+ languages worldwide from today: www.spannerfilms.net/watchnow
- BBC4 - Broadcast at 10pm on Thursday 18th April 2019
- BBC iplayer - Available for one month from Friday 19th April 2019
Stupid was launched in the UK on 15th March 2009 at the People's Premiere. The green-carpet, solar-powered, celeb-tastic event broke the Guinness World Record for biggest simultaneous film screening (the cinema tent in Leicester Square beamed live by satellite to 61 cinemas round the country), whilst producing just 1% of the emissions of a normal premiere. Highlights included Gillian Anderson, Ken Livingstone, Will Young and loads of celebs on the green carpet, President Nasheed announcing that the Maldives will go carbon neutral in ten years and Pete Postlethwaite ambushing Climate Minister Ed Miliband with a giant pledge (resulting in, a month later, Ed changing the UK coal policy). And Stupid was Number 1 at the Box Office (by screen average) for a week too.
Next, we headed downunder (yes, two of us flew there - see here for reasoning) for the joint Australia and NZ premiere on August 19th 2009. A solar-powered tent in downtown Auckland was linked by satellite to Cate Blanchett's Sydney Theatre, with a live link-up to a Greenpeace ship in the Arctic and celebs aplenty on the green carpets - with the whole lot beaming live into cinemas across the land.
We ratcheted up one final notch for Stupid's Global Premiere on September 21st 2009, which was the biggest live film event ever held: top celebs walked the green carpet at our renewably-powered cinema tent in New York after arriving by sailing boat, bicycle, rickshaw, electric car and skates; Kofi Annan, Dr Pachauri and Ed Miliband spoke; Greenpeace linked in live from the Himalayas and Indonesia; Moby and Thom Yorke from Radiohead played live and the whole lot was linked by satellite to more than 700 cinemas and other venues in 63 countries, with a total audience of more than a million people.