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U.K. Stars Turn Out for Richard Curtis and Rankin’s Extinction Rebellion Short Film

Variety logo Variety 11/3/2019 Stewart Clarke
Stephen Frears, Ellie Goulding, Imelda Staunton posing for the camera © Rankin/Extinction Rebellion

“Where is your plan” on climate change? That is the question posed by a host of British film, TV, and music stars in “One Lifetime,” a short film from Richard Curtis and Rankin for high-profile environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion.

“The End of the F***ing World” actor Alex Lawther, “Downton Abbey” star Jim Carter, “Harry Potter” actress Imelda Staunton, singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding and director Stephen Frears all appear.

“Four Weddings and a Funeral” filmmaker Curtis developed the concept for the film and iconic British photographer Rankin shot and produced it. Jordan Rossi directed.

The logo of Extinction Rebellion flashes on screen at the start of the film, which splices black and white and color segments and features on-screen graphics underscoring their demands.

British kids exhorting the authorities to tackle a climate emergency open and close the short. One holds a picture of an animal skull bearing the words “Tell the Truth.”

Frears, who recently directed “A Very English Scandal,” looks down the barrel of the camera. “We have a simple choice to make,” he says. “Either our governments make hard decisions now or we all face tragic consequences later.”

Extinction Rebellion has launched waves of high-profile peaceful protests in London, closing roads and occupying major parts of the city in an attempt to force action on climate change. In the short, stars call for action, including reducing carbon emissions to zero in 10 years and investing in the green economy.

“We demand that we are involved in the decision-making. It’s our futures too,” says Goulding.

“We demand a fair and just plan that addresses global inequality,” adds Staunton.

Carter, a star of the “Downton Abbey” series and movie, demands “training for the young and retraining for the old to help us all make a new start.”

Talent including Benedict Cumberbatch have publicly backed Extinction Rebellion. Emma Thompson top-lined “Extinction,” a satirical short film showing the group confronting government officials.

Actor Jaime Winstone said that the “film must reach governments and ring the alarm bell to act now on the climate crisis we are all living in.”

“If the British government were to cut carbon emissions within the so-called carbon budget we have, we would need to go from 1.5% annual cut to about 24%,” said Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion. “That needs a serious plan. Our children, our future and our wildlife need our government to step up and face reality.”

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