Vail film fest documentary puts human face on climate change |

Vail film fest documentary puts human face on climate change

Debbie Peek
Special to the Daily
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyVail Film Festival: This film still from the documentary "Climate Refugees," shows people fleeing their village after massive flooding in Dhaka, Bangledesh.

VAIL – At the Vail Film Festival, Michael Nash, writer and director of “Climate Refugees” will discuss with the audience the issues his film spotlights during a question and answer session immediately after the film screens.

“Climate Refugees” has been shown at Sundance 2010, the World Economic Forum and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. He has just returned from Berlin. Nash won a 2007 Global Innovation Award for his film “Fuel” and directed, wrote, produced and edited “Climate Refugees”.

While at Sundance, the film caught the eye of Robert Redford, who created the Sundance Institute in 1981. He has recently returned to being the director of the festival after many years.

“I felt the festival was flat-lining and that too much attention was being paid to Hollywood hoopla and not enough to small independent films being made outside of the studio,” Redford said.

He did not discuss specifically any movies that he liked but made an exception to mention three documentaries, including “Climate Refugees,” which is about the impacts of global warming will have on global population centers.

“That film can be an agent of social change, that’s really exciting to me,” he said.

The human face of climate change is an untold story, and the very reason Michael Nash felt the need to investigate. When he started this journey three years ago, there was literally no data on climatic migration, just a vast amount of spin on both sides of the climate change issue. He wanted to move beyond the politics and try to determine whether our climate was changing and how it was affecting humans.

Nash said civilization is at an intersection, an intersection that has over-population, lack of resources, over-consumption and a changing climate all colliding with each other, for the first time, creating over 25 million climate refugees. The experts Nash spoke to around the globe predict 50 million climate refugees in the next couple of years to numbers that range from 150 million to a billion in the next four decades.

See the film

Movie: “Climate Refugees.”

When: 3 p.m., Friday at Vilar Performing Arts Center in Beaver Creek (includes Q and A with filmmaker); 3 p.m. Sunday at Ford Hall in Beaver Creek.

More information: or

Support Local Journalism