03/06/2009 05:09 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How a Green Premiere Aims to Kickstart The Countdown to Copenhagen

Documentary film maker Franny Armstrong (along with the UN and some climate scientists) has a very keen sense that time is running out for us to turn the big climate ship around and head it in a low-carbon direction.

Armstong's new movie Age of Stupid tells of an an old man alone in an archive in 2055 looking back and pondering why we didn't act when we could have to stabilize climate.

The Age of Stupid: final trailer Feb 2009 from Age of Stupid on Vimeo.

From the start, Armstrong wanted the new film (which had the working name Crude but is being released next week in the U.K. as Age of Stupid) to be not just a blockbuster, but the spark set to ignite a new climate action movement.

"We want to be part of the sea change in awareness which leads to the greatest ever public uprising which in turn forces the world's Governments to make a binding international agreement to cut global emissions so as to stabilize global temperatures below two degrees and keep the planet habitable for humans and other species," she said in Edinburgh Guide.

To get the UK opening of Age of Stupid at 64 cinemas on March 15 into the Guinness Book of World Records for largest film premiere (16,000 film goers), Armstrong's dedicated band of activists has greened the event in every way they can think of and invited everyone to attend.

There will be a re-used green carpet instead of the usual red one, a solar-powered projector and solar-powered tent, star Pete Postlethwaite arriving in a solar car and lots of other luminaries coming by bicycle rickshaw or hybrid electric cars.

There will be a pedal-powered popcorn machine, no disposable cups or bottled water, purchasing of carbon offsets.

Of course there's a terrible irony in that to make a film with a climate action message you not only have to emit a bunch of carbon (Armstrong estimates about 94 tons for the movie itself). You also have to have a big gala premier in which lots of celebs fly in from far and wide to see your work, in the process emitting a bunch more carbon.

If you are trying to make your movie's premiere a record-making event for number of bodies, you've just piled a bunch of icing on that ironic cake.

Age of Stupid 's creators are aware of this. They are telling everyone coming not to fly, and inviting everyone (not just stars) to come to the film showing. But while they will eco-audit the event to see how green it really ends of up being, they won't buy offsets for the carbon the event may entail. They don't believe offsets are doing any good.

Instead they'll launch Not Stupid, a campaign that hopes to give people concrete political actions to take from now until the climate talks in Copenhagen. Armstrong's goal for Age of Stupid is to turn 250 million viewers into 250 million activists.

One little problem - the film doesn't have U.S. or other release dates or distribution...yet. So perhaps Armstrong's just a bit optimistic. Even so, it's great to see someone valiantly trying to remind us there are a number of climate clocks ticking.

Read more on green films, climate change and Copenhagen on TreeHugger
::Earthwatching: Seen Any Good Green Movies Lately?
::Three Green-Themed Films Worth Seeing for Yourself
::Carbon Nation Pumps Up CO2 Reduction Solutions
::5 Environmentally-Themed Blockbusters of 2008 and How They Rate
::It"s a Long Road to Copenhagen: Here's What Obama Needs to Do
::EU Environment Ministers Hash Out Post-2012 Climate Plan
::Will China and the US Go Big on Climate Cooperation?