Sun, Oct 05, 2014 - Page 8 News List


‘The Cli-Fi Movie Awards’

With all the news about climate change and global warming over the past few years filling the news pages of the Taipei Times, from international news to local news stories, the subject has taken on a wider profile worldwide. I recently started a global project based in Taiwan, but with a global outreach, to spotlight nominees and winners of a new movie-awards event that I have dubbed “The Cli-Fi Movie Awards,” or “The Cliffies.”

The platform I have created is set to announce the winners for the best cli-fi movies of this year on Feb. 15 next year, one week before the Oscars are announced in Hollywood. While it might seem strange at first for a Hollywood event to emanate from a small office in Taiwan, we now live in an interconnected world where climate change issues impact us all.

Cli-fi is a new genre of movies that was coined a few years ago, and the term has caught on with English-language media in the US, the UK and Australia, with news articles about “cli-fi” appearing in the New York Times, the Guardian and Time magazine, among a dozen other publications in North America and Europe.

The Cliffies came out of the media discussion of the genre and it is my hope that The Cliffies become an annual movie-awards event, eventually broadcast on US television and hosted by Hollywood actors. For now, it is a mom-and-pop affair, low-key and with no sponsors.

In a recent article by Shane Harris in Foreign Policy magazine headlined Water Wars, the cli-fi meme took on a new urgency.

“Public anxiety — and fascination — has given rise to a new genre of films, ‘cli-fi,’ with apocalyptic climate-change scenarios at the heart of their stories,” the report said.

As I see it and as I am planning it, the purpose of The Cliffies is to raise awareness of climate-related issues through movies.

The independent awards program is not about glamor or movie stars, but about the future of our planet. Hollywood can do a lot to help raise awareness about climate change and global warming.

With that in mind, nominations are coming in for this year’s best cli-fi movies and the winners are to be announced in mid-February from a Web platform based in Taiwan.

Among the best picture nominees are Into the Storm and Interstellar from Hollywood, Snowpiercer from South Korea, and The Rover by Australian director David Michod, with best actor nods going to Ed Harris, Tilda Swinton and Robert Pattinson, among others.

A small, but important, awards category is for best children’s cli-fi movie of the year, and among the nominees is a local cartoon series titled Weather Boy! (觀測站少年), produced by Tainan-based animation director Chiu Li-wei (邱立偉).

While climate change is a big issue with global repercussions, a small Taiwanese cartoon series is also in the running for a Cliffie next year, and I for one hope Chiu’s work wins in the kids category. Weather Boy! has already been shown on PTS TV here in Taiwan, and overseas rights are being negotiated for screenings in several other nations.

Nominations for The Cliffies are still being accepted until the end of December. Just e-mail your selections

Dan Bloom

Chiayi City

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