Friday, September 19, 2014

Can the Cli Fi Movie Awards ''reframe'' the climate discussion?


More than 10 years ago, in an issue of Granta, a British literary
magazine, American environmentalist Bill McKibben lamented the fact
climate change has not been able to capture Hollywood's imagination in
the same way as the nuclear and political pathologies of the last
century: Think war movies, war movies, war movies. And remember the
popular movie version of Nevil Shute's "On The Beach" starring Gregory
Peck, Ava Gardner, Fred Astaire and Anthony Perkins. It was remade as
an Australian television film in 2000, too.

Yet global warming has still to in film any equivalent of ''On the
Beach'' or ''Doctor Strangelove.''

The need for a narrative form in movies that can communicate the
seriousness of climate change to a broad public is more urgent than
ever, but one impediment has been been in its way: Hollywood as looked
the other way. But the is situation is changing, with the current rise
of cli-fi, a new genre of cinema -- and one that Time magazine took
note of in its May 19, 2014 issue.

And to analyse this new movie genre, I interviewed Dan Bloom who
coined the cli fi term and helped push it into the pages of Time and
the New York Times and is now preparing the inaugural Cli Fi Movie
Awards, an annual awards event to honor and recognize and draw public
attention to the current crop of cli fi movies each year.

Dan is an irrepressible ambassador for movie directors and
screenwriters as well as for authors and readers of this literary and
cinematic form. He was the first to use the term "cli-fi" in 2008,
which last year was honourably mentioned by the Macquarie Dictionary
as an important new word.


QUESTION: The Cli Fi Movie Awards, which you are setting up now, to
occur in early 2015, has been dubbed The Cliffies. What's the purpose
of the awards ceremony and do you have any backing in Hollywood?

DAN BLOOM: The Cliffies are a public relations exercise to help raise
awareness of the cli fi genre and also to boost Hollywood;s interest
in making more cli fi movies in the future. There are no backers, no
sponsors, it's just me and my PR team, working behind the scenes to
make this happen. After the TIME magazine story appeared in May, I
felt it was time to take the cli fi genre to a higher level in
Hollywood. Thus the cli fi movie awards event, dubbed, yes, the

QUESTION: Which movies are in the running for The Cliffies for 2014?
Can you tell us a few names and titles?

DAN BLOOM: Stay tuned.

QUESTION: Where will The Cliffies take place and when? And  who can
make nominations and how to send them in? And who will judge the list
of nominations to come up with the winners each year?

DAN BLOOM: The Cliffies will take place online. There will be a
website and an email address. Nominations are being accepted at and the jury will be moviegoers worldwide.

QUESTION: Do you think cli fi movies can change the attitudes of
politicians and goverment policy makers?

DAN BLOOM: Yes, yes, yes. Watch! That's the purpose and mission of the event.

QUESTION: How will The Cliffies be broadcast or aired worldwide, if
that is your plan?

DAN BLOOM: Stay tuned. The awards will be announced worldwide the week
before the Oscars in 2015, around February 15

Can Cli Fi Save the World?

TIME magazine on CLI FI

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"To Honor the Earth: Reflections on Living in Harmony with Nature," by Dorothy Maclean and Kathleen T. Carr

"To Honor the Earth: Reflections on Living in Harmony with Nature," by Dorothy Maclean and Kathleen T. Carr in 1991

David Mitchell's new cli fi novel THE BONE CLOCKS packs a punch and Mitchell fans are eating it up

David Mitchell's new cli fi novel THE BONE CLOCKS packs a punch and Mitchell fans are eating it up. It's a multi-genred novel, part fantasy, part paranormal, part cli fi. Yes, David Mitchell has heard of cli fi and he knows what the genre term represents. And he agrees that his new cli fi novel THE BONE CLOCKS is his first cli fi novel, with more to come.

Australian movie in running for climate-themed awards event

An Australian movie -- "The Rover", directed by David Michod -- is in the running for a film award in Hollywood dubbed "the Cliffies". The awards program's official name is "The Cli Fi Movie Awards Program" and it will annually recognize and honor the best climate-themed novels of the year. For the 2014 list of nominations, "The Rover" is competing with "Snowpiercer" from South Korea and several Hollywood films, including "Noah" and "Into the Storm," Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar", set for a November 7 release in the USA, will also be in the running once it is launched. =========================================================================The man behind the ''Cliffies'' is an American public relations planner named Dan Bloom, 65, and a native of Boston, Massachusetts. He now lives and works in Taiwan, and has been in Asia since 1991. ====================================================================="The Cli Fi Movie Awards is an event I am setting up to honor those movies that make us think about climate issues, both pro and con global warming and pro and con climate change," Bloom says. "From Michael Chricton's 2004 novel "State of Fear" to many other climate-themed novels and movies, including "The Day After Tomorrow," many writers and directors take varying views about the reality or non-reality of climate change and global warming, and our film awards event will be open to all points of view, not just green viewpoints but also the views of climate skeptics and climate scientists, not all of who agree that global warming is happening." "The Rover" is set in a near future Australia, where climate change has turned the country into something that would not be recognized today, says Bloom. "Michod did a very good with his script and his actors in bringing this movie to wide distribution and acclaim." ===========================================================Cli fi, Bloom explains, is a term modelled after the sci fi term, and it stands for climate fiction. In others words, novels and movies about climate change, but presented from many different points of view. ============================================================"Although I am personally concerned and worried about how climate change and global warming might impact fugure generations, as a PR planner I am also open to all points of view, and I include Chricton's 2004 novel "State of Fear" in the cli fi canon. So every writer or movie director is welcome to add their ideas to the mix." ================================================Among ''cli fi'' novels recently published in Australia is Mark Mann's novel titled ''The Stone Gate''. ================================================="It's a young adult (YA) fantasy featuring a cast of Australian characters who live in a small seaside town that explores global warming in a unique and exciting way." says Bloom. ========================================================While politicians and internet opinion leaders bicker about who's right and who's wrong about the pros and cons of facing climate change and global warming, Bloom says he is using the cli fi genre term, which he created and coined in 2008, as a way to help bridge the divide between climate activists and climate denialists. ==========================================================="I think and hope there is a place for art and literature and cinema to help us all understand the various complexities of these climate issues, from every point of view," Bloom says.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Doomsday climate lit and ''d-fi'' (pronounced as "DEFY")

Doomsday climate lit and ''d-fi'' (pronounced as "DEFY") A new genre has been emerging on the edges of ''sci fi'' and ''cli fi'' and it is being dubbed ''d-fi'' -- a genre that defies expectations, defies settled convictions, defies climate denialsts and defies gatekeeping literary critics. D-fi pulls no punches and tells as it may very well be: we are doomed, not now, but in 500 to 1000 years, 30 to 50 generations from now and what writers and movies need to do now is help prepare future generations -- our descendants -- for the dire and unspeakable fate that awaits them: the mass die offs of humans in those distant days due to major climate change and global warming impact events, and d-fi novels and movies will prepare readers in future times to prepare to die spiritually, mentally and physically, perhaps with designated mass suicides at certain meaningful times of year, such as Christmas, Easter, Passover, Summer Solstice, July 4th, Boxing Day, Thanksgiving.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

''Cli Fi Guys'' movie production firm getting funding from China, Nigeria investors for future cli fi movievs

from APF and agemcies

NEW YORK -- Climate activist annd PR consultant Danny Bloom is working on a plan to set up his own movie production
company in Asia, he tells APF, with US$50 million in funding from
Nigerian energy tycoon Christian Nwadike  and an anonymous
 Chinese investor in Beijing, he says.

The production company,
to be called ''Cli Fi Guys'', will make only cli fi movies for worldwide
distribution, and will aim for films with signifcant box office
prospects, according to Bloom, sometimes in partnership with Hollywood
and Chinese studios.

"The goal is to develop cli fi material that the studios are not
necessarily thinking of, or greenlighting," Bloom, 65, says. "The projects
will all involve cli fi themes, but I myself won't be involved in the
producing, directing or writing asspects other than as a PR consultant
on the side. China will be a particular focus. Cli fi is getting big
in China, for some reason. But good of them, as China is one of the
biggest emitters of carbon dioxide on the planet."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Academia taking to emerging "cli fi" genre in a, well, academic way

The average person might not know what the initials CFP mean, but in
the world of university professors and independent scholars, a CFP is a
"call for papers" -- academic essays (with copious footnotes) about
sometimes arcane or sometimes pop culture subjects. You need a PhD to
write one.

As the new genre of cli fi -- novels and movies about climate change
and global warming, usually written with a moral imperative rather
than as mere entertainment -- continues to emerge in the global media
world, from NPR to TIME magazine to The New York Times, more and more
academic journals are getting into the act, too, calling for papers
about cli fi as a literary genre, cli fi as a literary meme, cli fi as
a literary motif, cli fi as just about anything pop culture observers
and  university professors want to talk about.

Already, there are journals about cli fi published in Australia, the
UK and North America.

Here's one example:

"Nature strikes back! Genres of revenge in the anthropocene, " a
special issue of the "Australian Humanities Review". It was
by Catherine Simpson and Nicole Matthews and is due out in the fall.

In their CFP the editors asked for 300 word abstracts with full papers be
submitted before March 15, 2014.

The editors explained their mission this way:

''Cli-fi (or climate fiction) has recently emerged as a new subgenre
'describing tales of imminent disaster as a consequence of anthropogenic
'climate change.  If Rachel Carson's Silent Spring invoked nature
'extinguished, passive or defeated, these narratives of environmental change
'present an unexpectedly feral, unpredictable world where an aggressive
'nature runs rampant. In this special issue we hope to excavate the resources
'of popular genres for talking about risk, causality and the unintended
 consequences of human action."

Simpson and Matthews added: "This issue will interrogate the ways we
narrate non-human agency.  How do
these stories revisit the spectacle and power of the sublime? Can popular
culture help us re-imagine environments, objects and non-human animals in a
time of rapid ecological change? What is the affective potentiality of
narratives of hubris, revenge and fear?  And how are whiteness, colonial
politics of 'natives' and 'non-natives', and border policing restaged across
these diverse and composite bodies?  We invite theoretically, empirically
and/or textually grounded articles and welcome articles that locate
Australia in comparative or international contexts."

This was just one academic journal worldwide looking into the cli fi genre in
professorial  ways. The meme is being repeated in other academic
journals in Britain, Canada, the U.S. and Denmark.

Academics such as Stepanie LeMenager at the University of Oregon and
Jon Christensen at UCLA are looking into the genre, too. Arizona State
University has recently invited novelist Margaret Atwood to give a
keynote speech on cli fi novels at a November 5 event, with Atwood
flying in from her home in Toronto for the evening speech.

Cli fi is no longer just a pop phenomenon, talked about on radio shows
and in newspaper forums. The "mushrooming" new genre, as New York
Times higher education reporter Richard Perez-Pena called it in his
news story on April 1, 2014 -- yes, April's Fools Day; go figure! --
is now mushrooming in the halls of academe as well, from Oxford to
Harvard, from Princeton to UCLA.

There are calls for papers. There are calls for action, too. Climate
change issues are just too important to ignore in the national discussions
taking place in political capitals around the world now. The Earth is
on fire. Our descents down the road need our help. Now. Time is
running out. And academics are answering the call - the calls for
papers and the calls for action.

It's about time.