General
03 Mar 2009

Climate change film takes prize in international competition

The team behind the award winning film

The team behind the award winning film

An Open University short film on the social impacts of climate change has won international recognition in a major new film competition run by the World Bank. Taking second place in a global field of 80 entries, the film ‘Climate Change in Bangladesh – Who Will Pay?’ by The Open University gives voice to the people of the Khulna district in southern Bangladesh, whose way of life is under threat because of storms and floods.

Collecting the award at The World Bank

Collecting the award at The World Bank

At the award ceremony in Washington DC, Dr Jessica Budds from The Open University’s Geography Department and Joanna Mack, the Executive Producer, collected the award. Dr David Humphreys, also from the Geography Department, was The Open University’s lead academic for the film, and said of the achievement: “We are delighted to have our film recognised internationally. It illustrates that we are producing compelling educational material that is relevant to the wider world”.

Villagers featured in the film had asked the film-makers from The Open University to show the impact of climate change on their environments and rural livelihoods to the wider world. Umme Kulsum, from the Bangladeshi organisation Prodipan, who communicated the news of the award to the villagers, said: “I was with the people of Paikgacha in a session on climate change and they are very happy after knowing about the film and the award. They show their gratitude to all of you for raising awareness of the issues affecting them before an international audience.”

Dr David Humphreys and Dr Jessica Budds travelled to Bangladesh in May 2008 to advise on the production of the film. The film documents the challenges arising from the effects of climate change in Bangladesh. It interweaves interviews from national policymakers with evidence of how villagers in Khulna are adapting to change on the ground. In this region, land that used to be productive for crops and drinking water ponds has become saline. Now unable to grow traditional crops, local farmers have been forced to adapt by changing their livelihoods by turning to shrimp or pig farming, while local women have to walk ever further to fetch fresh water.

The Open University’s film forms part of a DVD on climate change for the new third level course, Earth in Crisis: Environmental Policy in an International Context, which focuses on international environment policy as well as climate change. It was produced by Angel Eye Media in association with The Open University.

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