Showcasing local and international documentaries aimed at empowering audiences to build a better world, the films in this year’s program cover a broad range of meaningful themes including: creative and technological innovation, the future of food, gender equality, online privacy, climate change, animal welfare, renewable energy, social justice and the revolutionary power of artificial intelligence.
The complete program presents 28 feature documentaries, including 24 Australian premieres, as well as a speaker program featuring leading sustainability academics, artists and entrepreneurs.
The festival opens with the Australian premiere of Point of No Return – an epic adventure story about the first ever all-electric aeroplane flight around the world, and closes with Serengeti Rules, a visual masterpiece about the discovery of a scientific law that governs all life and offers hope for humanity.
Other highlights include the world premiere of Run India – an uplifting documentary about international celebrity endurance athlete Samantha Gash (Australian Survivor) and her epic 3200km run across India to raise awareness about barriers to education; Accelerate – which follows one of the world’s most recognised and respected environmentalists, Bill McKibben, on his 2018 tour of Australia; and Metamorphosis – a beautiful visual poem about the future of our planet by international award-winning director Velcrow Ripper (Occupy Love).
Australian films celebrated also include: Our Power – which explores the Hazelwood mine fires and the need for a just transition in the Latrobe Valley; Ranger to Ranger – which follows the epic journey of acclaimed musician Dan Sultan and a group of Indigenous Australian Rangers as they travel to Kenya, Africa, to share knowledge, culture and music with a tribe of Maasai Community Rangers and Ubuntu, a heart warming film about our global interconnectedness.
Solutions to climate change are on offer with The Human Element – the latest masterpiece from internationally acclaimed photographer James Balog (Chasing Ice, Chasing Coral); Youth Unstoppable – which gives an 8 year, fly-on-the-wall insight into the global youth climate movement; Dirt Rich – which shows us how regenerative farming can reverse global warming; and The Need to Grow – a fascinating film executive-produced and narrated by Rosario Dawson (Iron Fist) about breakthrough remedies to soil and climate challenges.
Alternative ways of thinking about the world we live in are explored in System Error – which questions the economic logic of infinite growth; Psychonautics – which follows comedian Shane Mauss on his investigation into the healing benefits of psychedelics; and A Living Earth – which showcases the potential of permaculture to build sustainable and resilient communities.
The power of technological innovation is highlighted with Energy Pioneers – which follows two inventors on their quest to take world-saving new technologies to market; She Started It – which celebrates female-led startups and their potential to change the world; and SXSW favourite, More Human Than Human – which sees Tommy Pallotta (Waking Life) attempt to create an artificially intelligent robot to replace himself as a filmmaker.
Other highlights include It Will Be Chaos – a deeply moving exploration of the plight faced by Refugees as they seek a safe haven; Tawai: A Voice From the Forest – a profound film which follows Bruce Parry (BCC) on a round the world adventure to see what we can learn from indigenous cultures about being human; and The Bikes of Wrath – which follows a bunch of Australians as they bike across the US, following the route set out in Steinbeck’s literary masterpiece Grapes of Wrath.
The Festival also features a number of industry nights and special events including a live Humans of Purpose podcast with Mike Daves and Matt Wicking; a VR for Good event with iconic Melbourne meetup RealWorld VR; and special events at the Brunswick Mechanics Institute.
Special guests of the festival include, celebrity endurance athlete Samantha Gash, Solar tuk-tuk adventurer and social entrepreneur Julian O’Shea, comedian-turned lawyer Corinne Grant, CEO of That Startup Show, Anna Reeves, Expert communicator Adam Bumpus, as well as half a dozen Australian filmmakers including Cameron Ford (Bikes of Wrath), Emma Hudson (Accelerate), Peter Yacono (Our Power), Anna Davies (Ubuntu), Steve Young (Run India) and Natalie Nalesnyik (Ranger to Ranger).
The 2019 Transitions Film Festival runs 21 February – 8 March at Cinema Nova before touring a small selection of films across Australia. For more information and full program, visit: www.transitionsfilmfestival.com for details.
Image: More Human Than Human (film still)