During the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21), the colossal façade of the French National Library has been transformed into a projection screen for a live video feed of penguins that French filmmaker Luc Jacquet transmits daily from Antarctica. “We are screening it at the Bibliothèque Francois Mitterrand in Paris to raise awareness on both penguins and the emergency situation in Antarctica”, says Academy Award-winning Writer/Director Luc Jacquet who returned to Antarctica where he already shot March of the Penguins, and most recently, Ice and the Sky.
„This is a political film“, states the French filmmaker.“ I am fed up with seeing the planet deteriorate while people do nothing. The older I get, the louder I want to shout it out. We have all the means to solve the problem. We have the energy, the power, all the gadgets and machines, but we are still unable to solve the problem. I think this is the greatest challenge our generation faces.“
Luc Jacquet is convinced that films can have an impact. „Everyone is aware of what is happening around us, so now the problem is to connect people to this issue. I think it’s better to connect people to the issue emotionally. A well photographed story about an extraordinary man is better than repeating the fact that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are rising. I’m trying to find a new way to connect people emotionally.“
His non-profit organization Wild Touch is conducting a lot of educational programs. As part of a network of scientists, teachers, artists and filmmakers, we are able to find a common language to help young people and educators understand what we’re talking about when we talk about global warming. Marion Cotillard did the voice-over for the Ice and the Sky educational program because it was important for her and because she wanted to do something for the planet“, says Jacquet.
„We also produced educational programs on forests. The next topic will be biodiversity.“
During COP21, he is shooting a film with a crew of ten people in Antarctica. Among them are two highly regarded French photographers: Laurent Ballesta who is diving deep underwater with the penguins; and Vincent Murnier, who takes the high ground. „Emotion and the power of the image will raise awareness“, concludes Jacquet.