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Climate Change through the Lens of Youth

by Rachel Petterson Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2006 at 7:31 PM

“The strongest way to deliver an environmental message and to create an impact is certainly through film…” (Nick Bonner, cartoonist, landscape artist, filmmaker and NUFF Global ambassador from Beijing, China)

The youth of today, who are (unfairly or not) dealing with the effects of climate change, must take on the challenging task of stopping and reversing environmental degradation and depletion. Indeed, it is the youth of today who can secure a future for the youth of tomorrow. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this and one of the most effective and creative ways to promote change is through the medium of film.

Nordic Youth Film Festival Global (NUFF Global) is a grassroots project supported by the Minor Foundation for Major Challenges and based out of Tromsø, Norway. Its focus is on making change through film and its mission is to address climate change on an international level. How do youth from around the globe perceive and interpret climate change and what do they want to do about it? We are confident that this project can be a positive force in the fight against climate change!

The Film Idea Competition

NUFF Global is comprised of two separate competitions. The first is a film-idea competition. By November 15, 2006, the last day to submit entries to this competition, we had received 198 registered film ideas – a pleasantly surprising and very positive response! Among those entries were 183 different film ideas from all five continents and 28 different countries – from the Philippines to Canada. The fact that NUFF Global had such a diverse international turn-out will serve to fuel the fire in the fight against climate change. Africa led the way with 79 entries, followed by Europe with 59, South America with 22, Asia with 14, North America (Canada only) with eight, and Australia with one entry.

After sending a selection of 100 entries to the panel of judges, the top ten film ideas were announced on December 1. These ten ideas will each receive 30,000 Norwegian kroner to put towards bringing their film to life. A pilot of the film must be completed by February 1, 2007, and the finished product has a deadline of April 1. We look forward with great anticipation to seeing the films!

The winners are:

"The Fridge" by Lucie Stamfestova, Czeck Rep.

"Jonathan Brown and the Lost Penguin" by Sarah Stephen & Nick Roffey, Australia

"Mountain Pine Beetle: A Climate Change Catastrophe" by Lindsay Robles, Canada

"Hot Planet, Thirsty Joburg" by Jon Durand, Canada

"Nunguk Ujai (Waiting for the Rain)" by Ramadian Bachtiar, Indonesia

"From The Camp" by Ahmed Khalid Mashharawi, Palestina

"Don't burn our future" by Bai Yunwen, China

"Adaptive Greening" by Zahra Ebrahim, Canada

"Going under" by Tomas Mankowski, UK

"You must be choking! - Camp for Climate Action 2006" by Julian Benz, Germany

The Film Competition

In the meantime, NUFF Global is currently accepting film entries in the film competition category. In order to be eligible for this competition, the film cannot be made earlier than 2001, it must be 15 minutes long or less, and the filmmakers must be between 18 and 30 years of age. The deadline for the film competition is April 1, 2007, so we encourage young filmmakers to find a camera, think creatively, and tell the world about your climate change concerns through the powerful medium of film. More information and applications can be found at the NUFF Global website:

Films from both the film idea contest and the film contest will be shown at the Nordic Youth Film Festival (NUFF) in June of 2007 (visit, which is also happening in conjunction with World Environment Day and with support from the Minor Foundation for Major Challenges, CICERO (Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo) and the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromsø.

The Ambassadors

NUFF Global has a number of global ambassadors who have voiced their support of the project. Included on this list are Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, Chairman of the Nobel Peace Prize committee Ole D. Mjøs, former chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Conference and 2005 Sophie-Prize winner Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Norwegian Minister of Culture Trond Giske, author, filmmaker, and writer Antonio Skarmeta, and other notable environmentalists and filmmakers. Currently, there are 38 ambassadors for NUFF Global, and the fact that the list is growing gives proof that climate change and global warming deserve a top spot on the international agenda.

NUFF Global in Action!

We recently received a letter from Christopher Uche Roberts, a young man from Nigeria who got to know about NUFF Global while living in Tromsø for a few months in 2004, and who also served as project leader for the HIV/AIDS Youth Documentary Film between Nigeria and young Norwegian filmmakers. He wrote to tell us about the growing importance and recognition of NUFF Global in Nigeria and other parts of Africa. Christopher has put great effort into spreading word about the project and even managed to reach some 80 million viewers after being featured on a morning television program in his home country. He will also be presenting at a conference in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s oil capital, on the theme ‘Climate Change: Using Youth Film to Save the Niger Delta’. His efforts and initiative are both encouraging and outstanding.

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