As the United Nations Association – (UNAFF) celebrates its 25th year, much of the program line up for the annual film festival focuses on the troubles and issues facing our world today, through the theme of ‘Reflections.’
One of the oldest documentary film festivals in the United States, this year’s UNAFF will spotlight current events from across the globe, including Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, El Salvador, France, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Japan, Mongolia, Nepal, Netherlands, North Korea, Norway, Palestine, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, UK, Ukraine and the U.S.
The festival will be held from October 20 to October 30, 2022 in Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, San Francisco and at Stanford University.
During the festival’s 11- day run, UNAFF will show 60 documentaries. 60 percent of the films featured this year are by filmmakers of color from all over the world. And of the all the submissions, 56 percent of this year’s films are directed/produced by women filmmakers; among them is Susan Kucera.
Kucera has been working in film since her youth, first as a camera assistant studying the Athabasca Glacier creating educational short films with her father, Glaciologist, Dr.Richard Kucera, for Encyclopedia Britannica Film Corporation and then as a screenwriter and director of documentaries.
Her documentaries have received accolades over the years. Kucera’s work has been featured in the U.S, Canada, and the UK on National Geographic, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Shaw, NHK, KCET, LINK TV, Time Warner, and schools and universities as well as translated for and featured on platforms in Italy, Germany, and Argentina.
Kucera and “The 12th Hour” producer Jim Swift graciously took time to answer a few questions this reporter had about the film. And, so I asked:
How has the subject of climate changed since you first began documenting this topic?
“We have released 4 films looking at climate change through various prisms for over 10 years and the subject is more in the public discourse than it was previously,” Swift said.
Pointing out the need for people to simply accept the reality of climate change, Swift said. “The climate change resisters aren’t resisting as much anymore and while some still don’t agree that climate change is human caused, for the most part people are focusing on armoring – how do we protect ourselves from the ravages of climate change going forward.”
“The shift is now to an acceptance of climate change and one of resilience. However, he noted, there is still not the wartime mobilization that is needed to have the effect we need.”
From your work on this topic, what are the specific “hopeful delusions?”
Another crucial element Swift points out is… “The remedial effects won’t show up in the atmosphere for hundreds of years and we also will run out of money to fix things soon as our infrastructure continues to collapse.” Looking towards the not too distant future, Swift said. “The youth of the world have a clear vested interest in changing the system if at all possible.”