A new documentary Subject to Change, a collection of interviews and personal stories from across the Pacific, explores the impact of climate change. Video: MFAT
Pacific Media Watch Newsdesk
Two young women students are the driving force who created a new documentary titled Subject to Change which highlights the climate change challenges faced by Pacific people in the region.
Among the most vulnerable to climate change impacts, Pacific voices are at the heart of the film which has been premiered at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) in Katowice, Poland, at the Pacific and Koronivia Pavilion.
Producer Amiria Ranfurly, who is of Niuean-New Zealand descent, and Polish director Wiktoria Ojrzyńska, are students of Massey University of New Zealand.
“We wanted to explore the impacts that climate change is having on our world, and Subject to Change is a documentary film that presents a collection of interviews and personal stories from across the Pacific,” says Ranfurly.
“With passion and determination, we have created a film that shares insight to New Zealand’s response to the global objectives set by the Paris Agreement, alongside intimate stories from the frontline in a truthful and evocative way.”
Director Ojrzyńska says: “Directing Subject to Change was an amazing storytelling experience, during which I worked with many inspirational people and gained experience across different aspects of filmmaking.”
Subject to Change is a collaboration between Massey University and NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).
Present to launch the film at the premiere was the Ambassador and Climate Change Special Adviser of the Government of New Zealand, with special guest speaker Inia Seruiratu, COP23 High Level Climate Champion of Global Climate Action, and Minister for Defence and National Security of Fiji who introduced the Director and the Producer of the film.
“Climate change remains the single greatest threat to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific,” said Ambassador Stephanie Lee. “Our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, has described the climate change challenge as the Nuclear-Free Movement of our generation.”
“We have heard about the IPCC 1.5 degrees report and we already knew that it really underlines this challenge as an urgent one. The documentary you are about to see embodies that sense of challenge, but it also embodies a sense of hope,” said Ambassador Lee.
The documentary featured and drew strongly on the perspective of the Fijian people, particularly of those of the small island of Batiki with a population of around 300 people that was hit hardest by Cyclone Winston in February, 2017.
Inia Seruiratu thanked the NZ government and Massey University for supporting the documentary, as well as New Zealand’s support and partnership on the Pacific and Koronivia Pavilion where the premiere was being held.
Speaking about his experience as a Pacific islander, Seruiratu thanked the producer, director and the team behind the documentary for producing a powerful medium with which the voices of the vulnerable could be heard.
“People need to see and experience visually the realities others such as those in the Pacific are facing in order to better understand. And this is why this documentary is so important and serves as a great tool,” said Seruiratu.