#030 2040 Vision

On climate change, fear & loathing, with Damon Gameau, maker of ‘That Sugar Film’


Paul Hawken describes Damon Gameau as an ‘extraordinary artist, visionary, storyteller, and craftsman of the future.’ Damon is the creator of That Sugar Film - the record-breaking, award-winning documentary that, through its extraordinary success, became That Sugar Movement. Damon’s now turned his attention to climate change, with his next film '2040' coming out next year. He met up with Anthony a few weeks ago just after 2040 had been completed.

Anthony James and Damon Gameau. Pic: Olivia Cheng.

Anthony James and Damon Gameau. Pic: Olivia Cheng.

A big reason I made the film was that I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t connecting with this subject. And I would often get half way through an article and just shut down. I’ve since learned that any time you get information that comes charged with fear or guilt, this limbic system gets activated, which shuts down ... the area which allows you to think creatively and to problem solve.
— Damon Gameau

2040 is described as an aspirational film about the possibility to make changes that will shift the course for future generations. It is a positive vision for the future, structured as an open letter to his young daughter, and again it is gearing up to be so much more than just a film. 

As with ‘Sugar’, this was a very personal journey - as someone who himself was shutting down on news about climate change. And also like ‘Sugar’, Damon found the appetite for this film was enormous. The money was raised for 2040 in just days. And millions more was raised for the outreach program, in mere minutes.

Damon talks with Anthony about the film, how he’s found story-telling can reach people with these sorts of issues, and what that means for the possibility of positive change. He also talks about how his own life has changed, and what he’s learned in the process of creating these documentaries, and subsequently trying to keep up with the response. 

Tellingly, in creating what was nominally to be a film about climate change, he found that emissions reductions are ‘just the bonus, the icing on the cake’. Through years of research and consultation with some of the leading figures and communities grappling with these issues, he found a much richer, promising and universal focus. 

Get more:

2040 the film.

That Sugar Film & Movement. 

The Mai Wiru Sugar Challenge Foundation.

Listen to podcast #038, featuring Q&A with Damon & special guest after the Perth premiere of the film.



Ship of Fools, by World Party.

Where It's At, by Beck.

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