Producer Joe Gantz Discusses Fund-Raising for Climate Change Documentary


(This is an excerpt of an article that originally appeared on Planet Experts.)

For the past year, the Gantzes have followed scientists, journalists and activists in their individual struggles against climate change. Their documentary, The Race to Save the World, has proceeded in fits and starts as they have endured their own struggle to secure funding.

“It hasn’t been optimal,” said Joe, “but we’ve been able to get what we need and we’re going to continue until we get the story.”

Joe believes it’s crucial to get that story out now, not only for the planet’s sake but for the sake of the people who have yet to decide on the science.

“I feel like there is a brief window and then it’s going to be too late to have any real impact on climate change,” said Joe. “It’s really a time for all hands on deck. If you know what’s going on and you decide you’re not going to devote some large portion of your time to this, then kind of shame on you – when 10, 15, 20 years from now we find out maybe it’s too late to have an impact anymore.”


For Joe, a former Physics major, the facts couldn’t be any clearer. But in trying to make a non-polarizing documentary that reaches across the aisle, he says he’s painfully aware of the skeptics’ point of view.

“The knowledge about what’s going on with climate change is in the ether,” he said. “It’s out there. People are either taking it in or they find it so frightening and overwhelming that they’re tuning it out and building a barrier around themselves. I don’t blame people who are doing that, because I think it is unbelievably overwhelming.”

By focusing on the individual crusades of his subjects (Joe affectionately refers to them as his “Don Quixotes”), he hopes the film will inspire before it politicizes. That’s why its frenetic filming schedule, dependent on sporadic funding, has presented such a challenge.

“That’s really difficult in the type of filmmaking we do,” said Joe, “because we’re following people’s lives, and when we stop their lives go on and we miss important moments in their story arc. And that kills me.”

Read the rest on Planet Experts.

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