Australia & New Zealand: Stupid is go 31/7/2009

Hi Australia and New Zealand
and anyone who knows anyone who lives there,

Sure you will be thrilled to know that you have won the "Most Eager Stupid Fans" competition. More than 400 of you lovely antipodeans have written to ask how you can help spread the Stupid word... Your enthusiasm is most appreciated here at Stupid Towers - I just hope this message has been worth the wait and that you can all now leap into action...

Here's the plan

On the evening of Weds 19th August, A-list celebs will arrive at both the Sydney Theatre in, er, Sydney, and at a zero-waste tent in central Auckland (kindly hosted by Oxfam and Greenpeace). The guests will come by bicycle, solar car, rickshaw, feet, horse or electric car, before braving the cameras on the green carpet.

Meanwhile, about 10,000 people will be watching the events unfold live at more than 40 local cinemas. (Sorry to say that almost all of these are in Australia, as New Zealand cinemas do not yet have the satellite technology to get the live link. Meaning only the Sylvia Park cinema in Auckland will actually be watching live event. Get in there quick, keen Kiwis.)

Following the movie, there will be a Q&A with the Oscar-nominated star of the film, Pete Postlethwaite (In The Name of the Father, Brassed Off) and the director, er, me, Franny Armstrong (McLibel, Drowned Out) in Sydney. We will be joined by a couple more people who haven't quite confirmed yet so we're not allowed to tell you who they are - plus an Aussie explorer who's on a Greenpeace boat in the Arctic who will hopefully be joining us live via satellite - and then there's the producer, Lizzie Gillett, who will be satellite-ing in from the Auckland tent. Linking up the two countries with low-carbon technology! Holding hands to stop climate change! Something like that! I'm very tired, it's been a long day! I mean a long six years!

Tickets are now on sale from participating cinemas and at:

Our UK launch produced just 1% of the emissions of an average Hollywood premiere - as well as hitting the top spot at the box office (by screen average) and winning a Guinness Record for biggest ever premiere - so we plan to replicate as many innovations as poss in Oz and NZ. Every aspect of the event - from the transport to the heating to the drinks to the power supply - will be genuinely green, as opposed to “greenwashed” and the pedal-powered popcorn machine is a must-have, surely. Only problem is the small fact of three of us flying round the world to do all this. We think the potential benefits outweigh the frighteningly high emissions (13 tonnes each - about 13 years of emissions for someone living sustainably), but we may well be proved wrong. In which case we will have hastened the apocalypse just that little bit nearer.

Enormous thanks to Pete for giving another eight days of his time to Mission Stupid. The poor man only signed up for a one day voiceover and the next thing he knew we'd taken over his entire life... sorry Pete. Big thanks, too, to everyone involved in the aboriginal film Liyarn Ngarn (which Pete narrated) and the Black Arm Band, who between them raised the cash to get Pete to Oz.

We're definitely going to be screening at the Aussie parliament while we're there - and hopefully at the New Zealand one too. So all in all, we have high hopes for the Aussie/Kiwi launch. Clearly our goal is to catapult climate change - and the all-important Copenhagen climate summit - slapbang into the Aussie and Kiwi consciousnesses. Can't think of any other reason I'd agree to four days of back-to-back media interviews on the other side of the world...

So here's hoping you can all help spread the word - ideas below - not least because, as ever, we have a zero dollar advertising budget.

Would end on a cheery Maori or Aboriginal sign-off, but too tired to look one up.

Hopefully see you on the 19th.
& Lizzie & Pete P

Here's where it's on
Green Carpet Premieres
Sydney: Sydney Theatre, 400 public tickets on sale from the theatre box office from Tuesday 4th August. A total bargain at $30 each. You'll get to wave at the cameras, take pics of the celebs and even walk the green carpet.
Auckland: Zero-waste cinema tent in downtown Auckland. Sorry, no public tickets, though Oxfam and Greenpeace will be offering some to their supporters - so sign up to their campaign quick if you'd like to get in with a chance...

Participating Cinemas
Australia: Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth, Currambine, Warwick, Broome, Bunbury, Hobart (Tasmania), Ballarat, Elsternwick, Carlton, Rosebud, Erina, Avoca Beach, Wangaratta, Rouse Hill, Ballina, Bowral, Broken Hill, Nowra, Hervey Bay, Townsville, Palmerston, Katherine, Tweed Heads, Redcliffe, Batemans Bay, Ettalong Beach, Katoomba, Warriewood, South West Rocks, Wagga Wagga

New Zealand: Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, Petone, Tauranga, Wellington - but only Auckland will be watching the green carpet stuff live, sorry. The others will just have the film.

While we're visiting, we're going to hold screenings in the Australia parliament (confirmed) and hopefully New Zealand too (looking likely).

Here's how you can help, even if you're not in Oz/NZ

1. Block-book tickets for your local cinema.
Get together a big gang of friends, family, colleagues, neighbours and anyone you once passed in the street. In the UK, we got loads of emails from greenies saying they went to see the film one day and then went back the next with their boyfriend/mother-in-law/hairdresser and said "This is what I've been going on about".

2. Spread the word
-> Email the attached e-flyer to everyone you've ever met. If the attachment didn't work, it's also here:
-> Point your friends to the trailer, or add it to your website:
-> Have a look at the list of cities the event is on at (listed above or here for Australia and here for New Zealand). Then send your friend in Sydney/Auckland/Wagga Wagga the details of their local screening (there's a super-easy form you can fill in on the individual cinema page - or just email them the link as per normal). This is really really effective, so please do it if you possibly can.
-> Do you have access to a mailing list/newsletter? Maybe at your work? Or your sports team, choir or charity? Please send round the e-flyer and details.
-> Could you give out flyers or put up posters? Please contact
-> Add a link to the Oz/NZ Premiere page in Facebook:
-> Add our widget to your website (it's slightly out of date at the moment, but we're going to update it with Oz/NZ info today and it will automatically update itself on your site):
-> If your local cinema is not part of the event, you could gently ask them to consider booking it

3. Donate some cash
-> We didn't sign the film to a normal distributor as we plan to allow all sorts of unusual screenings which they'd never agree to. Which means we have no money... Please help by sponsoring something for the Aussie/NZ premiere. 40 pounds for a bike rickshaw, 400 for the solar panels, a single pound for a single poster.... there's something to suit every budget.

4. Friends in high places?
-> Do you know any Aussie or NZ celebs who might like to attend the central event and walk the green carpet? Can never have too many famous faces at these things. Please contact if Kylie or Jason are your best pals.

5. Are you a journalist or do you know any?
-> Pete Postlethwaite (lead actor in the film) and yours truly (Franny Armstrong - director of the film) will be in Australia doing press for four days before the premiere. And Lizzie Gillett (producer) will be doing the same in New Zealand. Contact our press agent Annette Smith if you'd like to book an interview: telephone 61 3 9531 9910. If you have friends who are journalists who may be interested, please forward the info to them.

6. Are you an NGO working on climate change?
-> There's loads of ways you can get involved, from giving out your leaflets, to speaking at a cinema - and even fundraising for your campaigns. Please contact our NGO liasons. Australia: Josh Wyndham-Kidd - M: 0422 491237 - - New Zealand: Rhys Taylor - M: 021 462 260 -

7. Are you a teacher?
-> Tonnes of schools block-booked tickets for the UK screenings and they were without exception a huge hit with the students. Most cinemas offer discounts for groups. BTW the rating is M.

Here's all the links
Trailer for the Oz/NZ premiere (video):
Film of the UK premiere:
Reactions to the UK premiere (text):

Any questions?
EVENT PRODUCER (UK) - Laura-Jane "LJ" Botting.
EVENT MANAGERS (OZ) - Monica Fernandez & Josie Wilson, Green Elephant Events. 0404 809 139 | 0421 398 80. - -
EVENT MANAGERS (NZ) - Susi Newborn, Oxfam -
PRESS (OZ) - Annette Smith - telephone 61 3 9531 9910.
PRESS (NZ) - TBC very soon. For now, contact
CINEMA BOOKINGS (OZ & NZ) - Caroline Karsten, Hoyts - - T: 61 2 8275 6174
NGO LIASON (OZ) - Josh Wyndham-Kidd - M: 0422 491237 -
NGO LIASON (NZ) - Rhys Taylor - M: 021 462 260 -

Here's what they said about the UK premiere

Press here.
More of the 1200+ emails we received after the premiere here.

"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."