We had a wonderful evening in Glasgow at the 'Laudato Si' – Faithful Action' event hosted by the New York Times Climate Hub which featured a mixture of discussion and excerpts from the highly anticipated Laudato Si’ film due to be released next year.
The film is a feature-length documentary from the BAFTA and Oscar-winning production company Off The Fence, (My Octopus Teacher).
FaithInvest's CEO Martin Palmer and Director of Movement Building Lorna Gold were on the panel which included Fr Joshtrom Isaac Kureethadam, Ecology Sector Coordinator for the Vatican's Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, filmmaker Nicolas Brown and teenage climate activist Ridhima Panday, who joined via Zoom from India.
Martin, Lorna and Ridhima all appear in the documentary, which documents Pope Francis’s encyclical environment manifesto, Laudato Si', sharing an urgent call to arms to protect our planet and one another.
The film is due to debut as a YouTube Original in Spring 2022. The excerpts shown on the night – many of which involved Ridhima preparing to go to Rome to meet Pope Francis and talking to her beloved cat – were truly delightful and inspiring and clearly enjoyed by the packed audience.
Film maker Nicolas Brown said making the film had changed him: 'The big story in Laudato Si' is the idea that people will be moved to take action. The question is how do we reach further? I think with faith communities, we might have a chance to do that.'
And then, as if to prove his point, we heard from someone in the audience – a young woman who said she was a Jehovah's Witness from Guyana – who was so moved by reading Laudato Si' in 2015 that she now taught it to others. Next to her was a Muslim friend, also from Guyana, who also taught Laudato Si'.
Afterwards, one onlooker said: 'Having spoken to multiple partners, guests and the team at New York Times, I'm happy to share that it was one of the most attended events in the Forum space over the course of the 10 days. The 10 days have been peppered with big corporate panels trying to land key messages – and this was one of the most organic and authentic discussions I've had the pleasure of listening to.'