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February 9-11 at HOTA Home of the Arts
Curated by Gold Coast Film Festival

These thought-provoking and engaging documentaries shine a light on the realities of climate change and human’s relationship with the planet.

From a mission to save a rare species in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, to a touching relationship between a mother polar bear and a Norwegian filmmaker, an insightful look into the transportation of bees, and a deep dive into the Anthropocene, these documentaries will leave you inspired and hopeful for our future.

The international films are paired with three locally made short films that highlight stories of Gold Coast people and environmental projects. Inspired by the Think Global, Act Local message, these short films showcase a small selection of projects on the Gold Coast that are helping drive change locally.

Nature lovers, environmentalists, film fans, activists and documentary lovers are invited to explore the different communities and species that have been affected by climate change and how we can rally together to educate, understand and effect necessary change for ourselves and our planet. 


Sunday 9 February:

10.30am – Anthropocene: The Human Epoch + Short film: Ediblescapes
4.30pm – The Pollinators + Short film: Finn’s Honey
6.45pm – Into The Jungle

Monday 10 February:

5.15pm – Queen Without Land
6.45pm – Anthropocene: The Human Epoch + Short film: Ediblescapes

Tuesday 11 February:

6.30pm – WeRiseUp + Short film: Yarn 2048



A cinematic meditation on humanity’s massive reengineering of the planet, ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch is a four years in the making feature documentary film from the multiple-award winning team of Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky.

Third in a trilogy that includes Manufactured Landscapes (2006) and Watermark (2013), the film follows the research of an international body of scientists, the Anthropocene Working Group who, after nearly 10 years of research, are arguing that the Holocene Epoch gave way to the Anthropocene Epoch in the mid-twentieth century, because of profound and lasting human changes to the Earth.

From concrete seawalls in China that now cover 60% of the mainland coast, to the biggest terrestrial machines ever built in Germany, to psychedelic potash mines in Russia’s Ural Mountains, to metal festivals in the closed city of Norilsk, to the devastated Great Barrier Reef in Australia and surreal lithium evaporation ponds in the Atacama desert, the filmmakers have traversed the globe using high end production values and state of the art camera techniques to document evidence and experience of human planetary domination.

At the intersection of art and science, ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch witnesses in an experiential and non-didactic sense a critical moment in geological history — bringing a provocative and unforgettable experience of our species’ breadth and impact.

Includes a screening of local short film ‘Ediblescapes’ b
y Salvador Cantellano

A visually stunning documentary by Gold Coaster Salvador Cantellano that highlights the urban landcare project, Ediblescapes Gardens, at the Country Paradise Parklands.


Thousands of semi-trailers crisscross the country in the dead of night delivering goods through the darkness to stores, warehouses and factories nationwide. But some of them carry an unsuspected and highly unusual cargo. Honey bees. Tens of billions of them are transported back and forth from one end of the United States to the other in a unique annual migration that’s indispensable to the feeding of America. One out of every three bites we eat, the growth of almost all our fruits, nuts and vegetables, would be impossible without pollination from bees. A new documentary feature, The Pollinators, directed by Peter Nelson and produced by Sally Roy, Nelson and Michael Reuter, presents the fascinating and untold story. And warns that the bees are in serious danger.

Screening includes local short film ‘Finn’s Honey’ by Finn and Wes Tolhurst

Meet 10-year-old Gold Coaster Finn, a budding beekeeper who for his 10th birthday, saved up his pocket money to get a Flow Hive and a swarm of bees. Finn is now running a pretty sweet business making honey. Finn is changing the world, one jar of honey at a time by donating 10% of his profits to support an ADRA project in Malawi, helping other beekeepers.


Newlywed zookeepers Jim and Jean Thomas packed up their safe suburban life in Australia and braved the steamy jungle of Papua New Guinea to attempt an almost impossible task: they travelled to one of the most remote places on earth to convince the local people not to hunt an animal that had been on their staple diet for centuries.

The endangered animal was called a Tenkile, a species of kangaroo that lives high in the trees of tropical rainforests. The Tenkile’s plight was desperate, there was only around one hundred left in the world.

Jim and Jean endured cultural clashes, attacks and frustrations as many people resisted changing their traditional ways. In the midst of all the conflict, Jean gave birth to a little baby boy who grew up with the local kids and called the jungle his home.

With insights from Sir David Attenborough, Jane Goodall and Australia’s own Professor Tim Flannery.

The directional debut from Australian filmmaker Mark Hanlin, ‘Into The Jungle’ is a rare true story of dedicated people who are prepared to put their lives on the line for a chance to make difference in the world.


‘Queen without Land’ is an epic story about the meeting between the beautiful polar bear mother, Frost, and a Norwegian wildlife filmmaker. During a four-year journey, since their first encounter in 2013 at her Arctic home on Svalbard, Asgeir Helgestad follows her as she struggles to survive and to raise her cubs.

Rising temperatures are responsible for unforeseen changes in Frost’s ecosystem as the ice is melting at record speeds. This makes it difficult for Frost to hunt, as well as for Asgeir to find her again. But the dramatic reduction of sea ice, which used to cover large areas, affects all life at the Arctic. Together with the ice disappears the rich field of ice algae that forms under it and feeds small fatty crustaceans, fish, seabirds, enormous blue whales, seals and bears. Yet, the dazzling beauty of the Arctic is still enchanting with vast landscapes, unforgettable light, and impressive glaciers. With feelings alternating continually between hope and despair for Frost and her small cubs, the film explores the question “this planet is home to all of us, can we afford to ignore it?”


The world is in the midst of a tremendous period of transition and our current models aren’t adequate to support the future that is quickly emerging. At this critical inflection point, WeRiseUP asks a fundamental question: What is success?

Through an intimate inquiry with leading business, entertainment, and thought leaders, along with the voices of global citizens from all walks of life, the film explores new personal, systemic and collective models of success, prosperity, contribution and what it will take for humanity to create a thriving future.

Transitioning between intimate dialogue to cinematically stunning visuals and music driven interstitials, this film is a radical departure from the expert-driven documentary, into a profound personal journal of inquiry, reflection and action.

Screening includes local short film ‘Yarn 2058’, directed by Salvador Cantellano

This beautiful film spotlights artist Melissa Spratt and Relative Creative as they collaborate on this textile piece of protest art. The artwork is contemporary in nature while the film is nostalgic in style. The aim was to compliment the nostalgia that yarn invokes while emphasis on the process and philosophy of this exciting piece of artwork that is described as futures map.


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