Crude attempt to get calamity on camera

A Camden Town film director and environmental activist wants her next project to help change the world

Tan Parsons

A Camden Town film director and environmental activist wants her next project to help change the world.

Franny Armstrong - whose company Spanner Films is based in South Villas - wants more than 100million people to see the movie she plans to launch at the Cannes Film Festival in May.

Under the working title of Crude, the film is about climate change and the human race's reluctance to stop it.

Ms Armstrong said: "We want to help prevent runaway climate change - and I think films can be a part of that.

"At first, people called global warming the greenhouse effect - now it's called climate change.

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"This film is showing these things as a human story.

"People have seen images of polar bears and ice caps being affected. But this film shows how this is going to turn into a human disaster as well as an environmental one."

Ms Armstrong is no stranger to documentaries having previously directed McLibel - the story of two environmental activists who took on McDonald's in a libel trial.

Her new film is set in 2055 at a time when the world has been devastated by extreme climate change.

The story is told by an old man looking back at footage from the beginning of the millennium.

There are six strands to the film, looking at the real-life stories of people affected in some way by climate change - each one is a documentary filmed by Ms Armstrong and her crew.

They include a refugee Iraqi child whose father was killed in the war, an Indian entrepreneur who dreams of ending poverty by creating a low-fare airline and an old man who has witnessed glaciers melting in the Alps.

There is also a hero who saved 100 people after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, a Nigerian girl living in poverty and a man fighting nimbys in Cornwall in a bid to build a wind farm.

Ms Armstrong said: "We've been making it for three years now and it's been the adventure of a lifetime. According to the World Health Organisation, 150,000 people are dying from climate change at the moment.

"It could be the single most important issue ever in the history of humankind if it's the thing that wipes us out.

"Every day that passes it gets worse. This film is about raising awareness and inspiring action - you could say I like to tackle the big issues."

The company practises what it preaches and carbon emissions are kept to a minimum by employing people who live in the borough of Camden.

Ms Armstrong said: "We wanted to launch the film at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah - but it would be hard because we don't fly."

The group is still looking for funding to complete the film and is welcoming donations.

For investors, there is also an opportunity to buy shares in the film at a price of £5,000 each. There are still eight left.

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