The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and albert welcomed creatives from the film and television industry to 194 Piccadilly on April 3rd to see the launch of Planet Placement.
Planet Placement is a new resource from BAFTA albert which was created by albert in partnership with change agency Futerra. It will look at how film and television content can help to raise awareness about climate change by introducing sustainability messages into the content we see on our screens. Its purpose is to challenge the creative community and inspire them to create world – changing content.
Aaron Matthews, albert’s Head of Industry Sustainability welcomed over 350 attendees by laying out the challenge and creative opportunity succinctly: ‘In the face of a climate catastrophe, we are here to put our planet in the spotlight and celebrate our resolve to protect it’. Despite grave warnings from leading scientists on the devastating effects of climate change, the tone of the evening was very much one of optimism with the theme for the event being a celebration of the planet’s 4.5 billionth birthday.
Following Aaron’s welcome, Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Convention and founder of Global Optimism laid out the challenge to attendees reminding them how they can help: “The members of BAFTA use the power of human stories to create a world worth living in. It is time to use that power to help address the most daunting challenge of our times: climate change. We must get out of the story that we cannot address it, and replace that mindset with determination, creativity and innovation. BAFTA can help us do that.”
Prior to the event, BAFTA and albert worked with Deloitte to analyse how climate change has already been represented on our screens between September 2017 and 2018. Taking subtitling data from BBC, Sky, ITV and Channel 4, a benchmark was created to show the current coverage of key environmental sustainability themes in UK broadcasting.
George Johnston, data analytics partner at Deloitte was interviewed on stage by BBC News presenter Reeta Chakrabarti to reveal the results with George commenting, “Through the use of advanced data analytics technology and natural language processing, it is now possible to analyse hundreds of thousands of lines of subtitles and, for the first time, capture society’s exposure to key environment sustainability issues when watching TV. This data can be used to inform broadcasters’ strategies for communicating sustainability and climate change goals to the general public.”
BAFTA and albert are excited for what these results will mean for change in the industry and look forward to releasing a more detailed report later in the year.
To officially launch the Planet Placement website, co-founder of Futerra and co-author of Planet Placement, Solitaire Townsend was joined in conversation with BAFTA award winning director and chair of Directors UK Steve Smith to introduce the purpose of Planet Placement for the film and television industry and highlight how the site is there to inspire and help. She remarked: “Conversations about sustainability and climate change are at the forefront of our culture, from making sustainable lifestyle choices to the global climate strikes, but we’re not seeing these stories on our favourite TV shows. There is a huge opportunity for the screen industries to tell the stories of this generation, help make positive environmental behaviours mainstream, and reach audiences in meaningful new ways.”
The evening was wrapped up by BBC’s Director of Content Charlotte Moore who said, “We know there is a real hunger amongst audiences, of all ages, to find out more about environmental issues and arm themselves with the facts. So in the years ahead we will commission programmes which challenge and inform audiences, and over the next decade we will build up a collection of online resources and archive about our planet and the environment in which we live.”
As guests left, they were each handed a personally addressed letter that talked to each individual about the creative challenge that the evening had posed and how they could personally make a difference.
The event was generously supported by albert’s partners, Sargent Disc, the UK entertainment industry’s award-winning, leading supplier of integrated payroll, residual, accounting and software services, Good Energy the 100% renewable energy partner helping albert members reduce carbon emissions by switching to clean green energy through a creative energy project and Green Tomato Cars, London’s first and largest hybrid car service who double offset unavoidable emissions.