Alfonso and Alfredo Cuarón at ‘Green Day Venice’: Is Fiction Needed to Tell the Facts?
At the Venice International Film Festival this week, a captivating dialogue between two brothers—Oscar winning film director and president of the festival jury, Alfonso Cuarón and renowned environmental scientist Alfredo Cuarón set the scene not only for a fascinating series of events on how to increase sustainability within the film industry, but also for a whole new perspective on how we might solve the climate communication challenge.
Film4Climate One-on-One discussion between Alfonso and Alfredo Cuarón with Donald Ranvaud (middle) as moderator. Photo Credit: Max Edkins / Connect4Climate
“We’re about to live another Copernican revolution—a unique change,” said Alfonso Cuarón. “It’s about empowering the next generation—we don’t have the solutions. We’re doing all we can with the knowledge we have, but the next generation will have different platforms to work from—they will be the ones to create new economic models.”
The two brothers were in agreement that climate change must be tackled by each of us in our daily lives. Changing to efficient lightbulbs or reducing waste, for example, should be just common sense. But we cannot stop there, we have to go further.
Alfonso Cuarón answers a question presented by Donald Ranvaud (right). Photo credit: Max Edkins / Connect4Climate
For Alfonso, this means changing completely our economic model and establishing a new one. For Alfredo, who has worked for more than 30 years with communities in rural Mexico, it means understanding our environment as a living, fragile and complex system and making sure we work hard to respect the interconnectivity of all living things.
“We must remember that environmental impact eventually has a social impact,” said Alfredo Cuarón. “What happens to our forests and rivers, for example, inevitably affects people as well.”
Both Alfonso and Alfredo agreed that the film industry can set an example by establishing sustainable guidelines for production and they stirred the capacity audience with tales of both concern and lack of concern for the environment within the industry. Reflecting on how productions could also integrate the issues into scripts, they both welcomed the possibility, but Alfonso reminded everyone that the creative process relies on artistic inspiration to tell impactful stories. He also railed against some disaster films that are jumping on the bandwagon of climate change with little substance.