The film is produced by stars Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCaprio, with Academy Award-winning director Fisher Stevens; producers Trevor Davidoski, Jennifer Davisson, Brett Ratner and James Packer; and executive producer Martin Scorsese.
It presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society need to take to prevent catastrophic disruption of life on our planet.
The news comes a year after the Paris Climate Accord was reached at COP 21, and one day after the film was screened at COP 22 in Marrakech, Morocco.
In written remarks to introduce the film at the screening in Marrakech, director Fisher Stevens said, “Those of you in this room already know the urgency of this issue. You are here because you understand the problems and challenges we face as the human race moves into the future. By 2050, there may be almost 10 billion of us living on this planet. How can we sustain it at the rate we are going? How can we feed, clothe and have fresh water for that many people. We know something has got to give and we need a shift in the way we power the world.”
Need to screen for Trump
Last week’s election in the US underscores the urgency of the issue and this film. “Our new administration could dismantle all the good and forward momentum that has occurred over the past few years if campaign promises are actually kept. However, let us do everything in our power to make president-elect Trump understand that man-made climate change is not only real, but is happening at an alarming rate. We are currently trying to get him to watch the film and to get Leo and other leaders in the climate movement an audience with the president-elect,” continues Stevens.
Critics called the film “a rousing call to action” and “the climate change documentary Americans need to see”. National Geographic took this call to heart, and the film received a rollout never before seen for a documentary film, first with a limited theatrical release in New York, Los Angeles and London, then making its global television debut on Sunday 30 October, on National Geographic Channel in 171 countries and 45 languages.
It was also available free for 10 days through 8 November on a record number of digital and streaming platforms across the globe, including NatGeoTV.com and Nat Geo Apps, VOD, iTunes, Hulu, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and more. The film marks National Geographic’s continued push into premium programming, cementing the network’s position as a leader in science, adventure and exploration.
“For 128 years, National Geographic has been committed to preserving our planet,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks. “We are thrilled that we were able to reach so many people with the film and will continue to use every resource in our arsenal to educate the world on the global climate threats we face, and arm people with the resources and knowledge to take action.”
The record-setting numbers included more than 60 million unique viewers globally across linear, digital and social platforms, including 30 million viewers on National Geographic Channel in the US, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America (US: 8.5 M; Asia and Australia: 6.9 M; Europe and Africa: 10.6 M; Latin America: 3.0 M) as well as 13.4 million views on YouTube. On average, across linear TV viewing and YouTube, viewers watched at least 22 minutes of the film. In total, across all platforms, more than one billion minutes of the documentary have been viewed.
In addition, the film was also made available free to more than 50,000 college students with campus screenings across the US, and more than 1,500 requests have been fulfilled from universities, religious institutions and other organisations for private screening events around the world. The film trended on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook during its entire release.
In Before the Flood
, DiCaprio interviews individuals from every facet of society in both developing and developed nations who provide unique, impassioned and pragmatic views on what must be done today and in the future to transition our economic and political systems into environmentally friendly institutions.
The feature documentary was an official selection at the Toronto Film Festival, London Film Festival and Hamptons International Film Festival. Recently, it was screened at the White House as part of the South By South Lawn event and at the United Nations, hosted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon with US Secretary of State John Kerry participating in a Q&A session.