Film for Change

Late September sees the return of the Take One Action Film Festival, now in its 14th edition. The UK’s leading global change film festival, it arrives just as Scotland prepares to host the UN Climate Conference (aka COP26) in November. Screenings begin in Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as online, with tickets available on a pay-what-you-can basis. In October, the films will also play in cinemas in Aberdeen and Inverness.

The festival opens with the World Premiere of Living Proof: A Climate Story – a brand new feature-length exploration of Scotland’s complex relationship to the global climate crisis, told through archive footage from the National Library of Scotland. Curator and director Emily Munro searches for the roots of the climate crisis in an evocative portrayal of a country shaped by demands for energy and economic growth.

Moving further afield, other films programmed include Writing with Fire, the story of India’s only news agency run by Dalit women, and Zinder, a documentary filmed on the streets of Niger’s second-largest city. Meanwhile, The Last Forest takes audiences to the Brazillian rainforest. Davi Kopenawa, a shaman and leader of the indigenous Yanomami community, as well as the film’s co-writer, fights to save the land from the threat of gold prospectors.

Also included in the festival is Bodies of Resistance, a collection of short films that celebrate bodies as sites of reclamation and dissent, exploring how performance, movement and art can be used to resist injustice and find power in community. Other online exclusives include a poetry performance by multilingual, Scotland-based poets, a conversation with Innu poet and Storyteller Joséphine Bacon and a podcast exploring Palestinian resistance and international solidarity.

For those who feel the need to get physical, there will also be in-person live events including a free poetry workshop with artist and poet Tanatsei Gambura and a new collaboration with ÚNA Festival, exploring ancestral tradition, climate justice and environmental balance, featuring Colombian artist Liliana Romero (Lilophila), Mexican sound performer Ruben Vucubcame, and Zimbabwean-Scottish artist and curator Sekai Machache.

Closing the festival will be the Scottish premiere of The New Corporation. Subtitled ‘The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel’, it’s the follow-up to the 2003 documentary The Corporation by Jennifer Abbott and Mark Achbar, which was co-scripted by Joel Bakran. Directed by Bakran and Abbott, The New Corporation investigates how the corporate takeover of society is being justified by the sly rebranding of corporations as socially conscious entities. In an excellent selection, this ranks as a genuine don’t miss.


Take One Action Film Festival runs from September 22 to September 26. Click here for more details.

James Mottram


Still: The New Corporation