The Cinema as "Time-Capsule": Using Film to Capture Vanishing Worlds

Research project

At the beginning of the twentieth century, filmmakers and scientists saw in cinema the potential to permanently capture the natural world. Today, global concern for disappearing habitats, landscapes and species owes much to high-profile documentaries. Young people, moreover, often experience their first encounters with climate change or environmentalism through documentaries, on the news, or on social media. 'The Cinema as Time Capsule' is a project designed to enable a group of teenagers to write, film and produce a short film about climate change, coinciding with the COP-26 Climate Summit. It is based on Max Long's PhD research into the history of nature films and documentaries in inter-war Britain, collaborating with Dr. Amy Cutler, Cambridge University Botanic Garden and Cambridge University Widening Participation. This project is funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council Development Grant.