World’s biggest sustainability film fest screening films of peace and hope.
Category: Press release | Date: October 18, 2023 | By: Big Syn Institute, London. UK.
The 2023 (5th ed.) Big Syn International Film Festival is screening on bigsyn.org from 15th to 25th of October. It is the world’s biggest sustainability film festival, reaching over 45 million in 120 countries, led by a Grand Jury of OSCAR, BAFTA and EMMY award-winners and leaders from sustainability, policy and media. An extraordinary array of films, especially from UK’s marginalised filmmakers, over 40 charities, and films from Ukraine are highlighting the need for ‘humanity’ amidst all our differences. A selection of over 150 films is screening online on bigsyn.org, and is free to watch for everyone.
Dr Sourav Roy, the festival’s co-founder and chair indicated, “The films screening at the festival range from 2023 OSCAR winners, to 2024 OSCAR and BAFTA qualifiers, to ones with well known names such as Peter Capaldi and Richard Gere- it’s an extraordinary selection.”
The Stupid Boy (OSCAR® & BAFTA qualifier), depicts an autistic teenager’s intense encounter with a white supremacist; Typical? is a bold call from UK’s disabled to have their opinions to be included in THEIR policies – 90% of all cast disabled and 50% crew disabled/neurodivergent; Ghanimah is about a British-Muslim family’s utter disbelief at their son’s decision to join the Army. The films represent a kaleidoscope of major issues faced by us all and the need for socio-economic evolution.
Seconding the mission of the festival, 2023 Grand Jury member and green investor Deborah Meaden commented, “Films have a powerful role in showing us the big-picture of sustainability through relatable stories from across the world. This is how Big Syn Film Fest is spreading awareness about sustainability and the UN’s Global Goals to inspire positive action.”
The documentaries screening at the festival, showcases climate struggles, adaptation and innovations; Riverwoods shows the perilous state of Scotland’s salmon (narrated by Peter Capaldi); Feedback loops tells the story of how human-caused emissions are triggering nature’s own warming loops (narrated by Richard Gere); while Listen; the land was torn shows us how a historic alliance between three indigenous tribes of the Amazon is fighting illegal mining in the region.
BAFTA, EMMY and CANNES award-winner and 2023 Grand Jury member Waad Al Kateab judged a wide range of films and said, “Big Syn film fest welcomes new talents who paint fresh perspectives with a diverse palette of ideas, and these filmmakers wield a multitude of tools to craft narratives that inspire our hearts and broaden our horizons.”
While UK’s OSCAR-winning animation Mum’s Spaghetti underscores the importance of inclusion, The Sprayer, a touching 3D animation from Iran, shows a dystopian world that is symbolic of the oppressive life in the country.
The festival opened screenings with announcements lighting up London’s BT tower and the iconic Piccadilly Lights earlier this week.
The festival will declare the winners on 10th Nov in London – with an opening performance by Magpie Dance, UK’s leading dance charity for people with learning disability. All winners will be featured on London’s iconic Piccadilly Lights. Winners of a micro shorts category, Piccadilly Lights Spotlight Prize, will also screen in full on Piccadilly Lights. A leading contender for this prize is a moving film from Child Poverty Action Group showing the appalling plight of children living in food poverty in the UK.
Big Syn Film Festival is inviting everyone to watch these films on bigsyn.org for free, learn about the big-picture of sustainability, and be inspired to #actnow, to create positive changes all around them.
About the Big Syn International Film Festival.
Big Syn International Film Festival is organised by Big Syn Institute, a part of Centre for Big Synergy, a Civil Society Organisation of the Department of Social and Economic Affairs.
Since 2019, the festival has reached over 45 million in 120 countries to create public awareness about sustainability and the United Nations Global Goals or Sustainable Development Goals, using the power of meaningful cinema.
The festival has been led by celebrated sustainability leaders and OSCAR, BAFTA and EMMY winning celebrities such as Gurinder Chadha, OBE (Bend It Like Beckham), Amma Asante, MBE (Belle), OSCAR winner Kevin Willmott (Blackkklansman), Anna Smith (BBC, SKY), Jemima Khan, Baroness Prashar (House of Lords), President Obama’s US Ambassador (Rtd) Howard Gutman, BBC Dragons’ Den green investor Deborah Meaden, BT Group’s Head of environmental sustainability, Gabrielle Giner; Founder of Freegle, Cat Fletcher; Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility guru from London Business School, Prof. Ioannis Ioannou; OSCAR winner Chris Tashima; BAFTA and Cannes award winning filmmaker, Waad Alkateab, and Tom Szaky (Founder Terracycle), to name a few.
Through the films and dialogue, millions of viewers are getting inspired to do more in their own lives because they see the big-picture and how all our lives are interconnected in this modern world. All films touch upon or cover one or more major issues faced by the planet and the people; around social, economic or environmental sustainability such as climate change, climate action, gender inequality, hunger and poverty, discrimination, education, mental health, disability, LGBTQIA+ and many more. The festival screens features, shorts, animations, documentaries, public service announcement, charity films, social media and music videos from independent filmmakers and established production houses, across the globe. Winners are screened in London and worldwide. OSCAR and BAFTA winning films have screened at the festival and vice-versa.