NRDC Launches Project to Help Filmmakers Address Climate Change at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival

Launch Includes Panel Series on Impactful Storytelling with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ron Howard; Art by Studio Number One and their creative director, Shepard Fairey

NEW YORK – NRDC will introduce Rewrite the Future, a climate storytelling partnership with creative professionals in the film industry, at the Sundance Film Festival later this week. This new initiative seeks to elevate the climate crisis with mainstream audiences by increasing the number of climate change stories on-screen.

“Storytellers move people--they can reach out, grab hearts and compel them to act,” said Gina McCarthy, President and CEO of NRDC. “For too long the environmental community has relied on scientists to communicate the facts about climate change--but facts don’t ignite emotions the way that good films and TV can. With the help of Hollywood’s finest storytellers, we can change the climate narrative and grow the movement that will solve this crisis once and for all.”

Rewrite the Future aims to break the silence about climate on-screen and to reflect the challenges, solutions, anxieties and conversations that real people are having daily. The crisis and its solutions are big and complex and touch on many aspects of our lives. That means there are endless ways to get it on-screen: comedy or drama, political show or crime show, family sitcom or sci-fi adventure. NRDC is committed to helping Hollywood get more climate stories on screen through climate storytelling panels and workshops, writer’s room presentations, science and policy expertise, and more.

“Climate change impacts everyone, everywhere,” said Robert Redford, founder of the Sundance Institute and member of NRDC's Board of Trustees. “As storytellers, we can use the power of film to help people understand the global crisis we are facing and hopefully, inspire them to act with urgency.”

As an Institute Associate of the Sundance Institute, NRDC will host an official venue at the Festival with special programming including “EW x NRDC Sundance Film Festival Panel Series,” in partnership with Entertainment Weekly, which will feature a conversation with Julia Louis-Dreyfus and NRDC’s President and CEO Gina McCarthy, as well as a discussion of National Geographic’s “Rebuilding Paradise,” featuring director Ron Howard, among other conversations.  These discussions will be presented in the NRDC IMPACT LOUNGE during the opening weekend and seek to highlight the power of storytelling to shift cultural narratives, build social movements, and create a lasting impact. NRDC also partnered with the The Atlantic to feature a film talk with “Boys State” co-directors.

“Climate change is the most significant threat to our way of life, and I believe that NRDC is the best organization to drive solutions,” said Julia Louis-Dreyfus, actor and member of NRDC's Board of Trustees.

NRDC’s lounge will also feature a gallery of curated activist artwork focused on the environment by Studio Number One and their creative director, artist Shepard Fairey. NowThis will collaborate with NRDC to encourage visitors to make commitments to take one small step in their own lives to tackle waste and sustainability. Guests will write their commitments on seed paper, and add them up on our wall of collective actions and participate in a NowThis PSA about individual commitments that can have a profound impact on the future of our planet.

“Entertainment Weekly has always supported new generations of storytellers,” said JD Heyman, the brand’s editor-in-chief.  “We’re so excited to partner with NRDC at Sundance to lead a conversation about exciting new films— and how we can all make the world a better place.”

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​

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