Feeling Down About the State of the World? These Docos At Transitions Film Festival Will Inspire Hope and Action

Celebrating all those who continue to fight for an intersectional, sustainable future, Transitions Film Festival returns in 2022, continuing to inspire hope for a better world. The festival will feature a selection of shorts, features and documentaries about the social, environmental and technological challenges facing us all – and the stories of those fighting for change and solutions.

Running from 18 February until 13 March, Transitions Film Festival includes a series of free screenings in the Melbourne CBD as well as an online, on-demand program available Australia-wide. With a program covering everything from artificial intelligence to forest defenders and tiny houses, along with shining a light on the changemakers who are putting in the work to make change happen, here are five films we’ll be queuing on our laptops when the festival opens next month.

Food For The Rest Of Us

Official Presenting Partner 

We all know food is so much more than just nutrition – shaping identities, building communities and nourishing our souls. Presenting four inspirational stories of those using new ways to grow, cook, sell and serve food, Food for the Rest of Us, explores the relationship between Black Lives Matter, Idle No More, Times Up and grassroots food movements. This documentary – directed by award-winning filmmaker Caroline Cox – highlights an Indigenous-owned, youth-run organic farm in Hawaii, a Black urban grower in Kansas City who runs a land-farm at East High School, a female Kosher butcher in Colorado working with the queer community and an Inuit group on the Arctic Coast who are adapting to climate change with a community garden in a small geodesic dome: all using food to build a better world, from the ground up. 

One Word

So often when we talk about climate change, we forget about the real-world implications of those living in the most vulnerable places. One Word – directed by Viviana and Mark Uriona – uses the example of the sprawling chain of Marshall Islands in the central Pacific Ocean to shine a light on the heartbreaking human impact of global warming and rising sea levels. It’s an important and universal reminder that what we do in our everyday lives creates heartbreaking ripples across the earth – often affecting those who are the least to blame, the most catastrophically. 

Youth vs Gov

This multi-award winning documentary tells the story of the empowered American youth taking on a nonchalant government – finding their voices to protect their rights and collective future. Since 2015, 21 young people (now aged 13 to 24) have been suing the US government for violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty, personal safety and property through willful actions that have created the climate crisis they will inherit. Inspiring a revolution designed to hold those in power accountable, in Youth vs Gov, directors Christi Cooper and Olivia Anhemann set out to prove the kids are all right. 

Mountains of Plastic 

Based on the first-ever study on microplastic contamination in glaciers, Italian documentary Mountains of Plastic – or Montagne di Plastica – focuses on the University of Milan research team’s scientific journey to some of the most remote ecosystems on Earth. Directed by Manuel Camia, the doco traverses through nights spent in the great outdoors, field research and laboratory analysis to show, using the power of scientific process, the complex connection between our behaviours and the parts of the world we always considered to be “uncontaminated”. 

Australian Shorts

If your attention span isn’t what it used to be, feast your eyes on this diverse selection of inspiring Australian shorts spotlighting bushfire resilience, ocean health, sustainable food systems and climate change. 

The first of the series, I Am Ocean, showcases the inspirational story of PT Hirschfield, who’s successful 11-year battle with endometrial cancer has been fuelled by a passion for scuba diving and her mission to save the heavily persecuted wildlife at her local dive sites. 

Next up, Ngatawanwaar – meaning ‘welcome’ in Peek Whurrong – serves to encourage non-Indigenous Australians to learn more about the lands on which they live, proactively talking about our true history to embrace First Nations culture.

A Community Under Fire then highlights the small country town of Braidwood as it faced devastating bushfires and the story of a community rising from the ashes. Similarly, Stories from the Smoke explores one Blue Mountains family’s feelings of stress, frustration and powerlessness as they prepare for the devastating arrival of the bushfires.

Lastly, Peppermint faves Dr Anika Molesworth and Joost Baker respectively share secrets on combating climate change and how our homes should be used to not only provide shelter but produce food and their own energy.

Transitions Film Festival will run from 18 February through to 13 March. Head to the link here for the full program and more information about the festival. Thanks to our friends at Transitions Film Festival, we’re also giving away 10 tickets to Food for the Rest of Us! For your chance to win, just head to the link here and use the code FOODFORPEPPERMINT!