It’s the 11th Hour to See the 11th Hour! L.A./N.Y. Premiere Today

img_11thhourturtle.jpgTwo big premieres lit up the town tonight in Los Angeles, but with tween in tow, I’ll bet you can guess which one got ‘first viewing’ here.

I’ll post about High School Musical2’s integration of the audience via digital engagement later, but immediately want to put out an ‘opening weekend’ plea for all of our N.Y./L.A. readers to go see Leonardo DiCaprio’s film, The 11th Hour!

Our Next Now collaboratory which helped sponsor Digital Earth is also heavily supporting The 11th Hour, a documentary to further raise awareness and action steps for solutions to the challenge of global warming by building critical mass, and mobilizing youth. The tag? “Turn mankind’s darkest hour into its finest.” I also like the turtle evite template (visual at left) that says, “The Hope is You.” Here’s more on DiCaprio’s work and the real environmental superstars from an excellent review on the Treehugger site.

Knowing the importance of opening box office numbers and how much these issues matter for future distribution I’m asking all of Shaping Youth’s readers in Los Angeles or New York to please try to attend this weekend and support the ongoing action campaign being framed around the film. (I’ll never forget hearing this directly from Kira Davis, Exec. Producer of Sisterhood of the Travelin’ Pants who urged us all to see the movie the EXACT weekend it opened in order to fully support the film) In San Francisco, the opening is August 24th, and nationwide, check for your city’s release date on the Warner Bros. indie site here.

It’s NOT a rehash of Inconvenient Truth, Live Earth, climate control or even our piece on marketing hope, it paints the earth canvas with a larger brush for an all encompassing view. (Here are some ways to inspire kids to go green and take the message from the film into your parenting life, too)

One of our co-founders of the NextNow collaboratory, Claudia Welss, had the privilege of screening the movie last weekend, and mentioned that while DiCaprio fans might mope at how little he’s in it, (he’s producer and narrator) the importance of the film will supersede any power pouts. Here’s more from the directors themselves, Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen:

“We made The 11th Hour with Leonardo DiCaprio to raise awareness another degree so that we all begin to act. It opens this weekend August 17th in New York and Los Angeles (Warner Bros. Studio Environmental Initiatives) and in the following weeks, it will open in cities across the United States. We now need your help! We have worked with Evite to create a service that allows you to invite your friends, family, and co-workers to any specific show.

Please check it out. Just as importantly, Evite has a carpool tool, so you can all pile into one car and begin the change we need on the way to see The 11th Hour. If you have 25 people or more contact group sales here, and they will help arrange things for you. We are the generation that gets to change the world, it’s an exciting time!

Please see the movie and please join us!” –Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen

Here are the first reviews just in…

New York Times: Helpful Hints for Saving the Planet

Published: August 17, 2007

“Yeah, yeah, yeah, the environment, blah, blah, blah, melting ice caps. To judge from all the gas-guzzlers still fouling the air and the plastic bottles clogging the dumps, it appears that the news that we are killing ourselves and the world with our greed and garbage hasn’t sunk in. That’s one reason “The 11th Hour,” an unnerving, surprisingly affecting documentary about our environmental calamity, is such essential viewing. It may not change your life, but it may inspire you to recycle that old slogan-button your folks pinned on their dashikis back in the day: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem…” etc.

Los Angeles Times: The 11th Hour by Kevin Crust

“It would be a mistake to dismiss the valuable environmental documentary “The 11th Hour” as a mere redux of “An Inconvenient Truth.” Whereas the 2006 Al Gore-starring film, which won an Academy Award for best documentary, focused intensely on global warming, “The 11th Hour” takes a broader approach in examining Earth’s ills.

Though it has its own hands-on celebrity producer-narrator, Leonardo DiCaprio, who acts more as a guide, posing questions and introducing segments, the film forges an authoritative voice through a collective of experts representing relevant fields. And although climate change gets attention (seven minutes by the filmmakers’ estimate), “The 11th Hour” primarily attempts to describe a critical time in the Earth’s evolution, the last moment we as a species can theoretically make a difference. Through social, economic and political lenses, the film presents a harrowing account of the planet’s current condition, an exploration of the causes and, finally, a look at what can be done in the near future to heal the damage…”etc. User/Reviewer Daniel Bell (excellent commentary pulled from the Treehugger site…)

“I recently saw this film at an advanced screening in San Francisco. I was able to speak with the directors of this film in a Q + A and in person. First off, I’ve worked with Paul Hawken on the project. So I was personally excited to see him in the film. This film is not a film about global warming. It is about the sustainability of human culture.

As anyone who has read Ishmael, the story of B, or listened to Kenny’s comments in the film, they understand that when human culture’s move beyond their ecological limits, the cultures go extinct. This is a large concept, and the most important one we as a culture have ever contemplated.

If this film is able to bring this level of thinking into the popular imagination, then it would be, as Paul said, “What an exciting time to be alive.” The film did lack a bit of momentum for the first third, at least it seemed to me. My thinking may have been skewed because, as I watched it without foreknowledge of the eventual outcome, I thought they were taking the subject too broadly and would never be able to fill the breadth with any depth. And I also thought that the inter-splicing of so many different people would not allow a coherent narrative. Well I was extremely surprised, I admit, when I was totally wrong about this.

The film somehow silently gains momentum about a third of way through, and never once loses it for the rest of the film. The soundtrack is wonderful, but I was usually to busy thinking to hear it. The reason I thought it was too broad in the beginning was because I thought this movie was about global warming, just another inconvenient truth.

The film addresses our intention as a human species, it addresses sustainability, it frames the discussion in the true parameters in which global warming resides. If this film gains popular exposure and acceptance, the impetuous to change our society will never be stronger. I’ve been in the streets on this fundamental issue for many years, this may be the thing that brings the soccer moms and senior citizens out there with the 20-somethings too.

Speaking with Nadia, she philosophized that real change may not happen until this is seen as a human rights movement, comparing this movement with the civil rights movement, and the amount of social unrest and cohesion which propelled that through the laggard politicians of the day.

“Make the connection” as Leonardo said.

This film challenges the viewer to realize the connections between the actions of humanity and the myriad environmental impacts. Are droughts in Africa, melting ice sheets in the Antarctic, and large hurricanes in the US simply isolated incidents? David Suzuki notes in the film that there is not humanity and nature, we are nature.

Paul Hawken’s latest book, Blessed Unrest, speaks to the interconnection of the social justice and environmental sustainability movements, saying there is no such thing as a difference between them for that same reason. The book also claims that all of the disparate groups and people in the NPO and NGO sector are all part of one movement, an “immune response” the collective organism of humanity to the pathogens of power, corruption, and degradation.

This film’s highest value is that it shows us the truth of interconnectedness.

A note about the leaders in this film. For one, if you can look at Stephen Hawking and still think that global warming proponents are uninformed, you’ve drank the Kool-aid and may never come back. Also, many of these leaders have been saying these things for more than twenty years, but only now is the public starting to listen to what they are saying. Bill

McKibben wrote The End of Nature in 1989, and his conclusions are still the same today. One thing many conservatives don’t want to admit, their worldview took us to Iraq on bald faced lies, while the worldview of the barefoot granola hitting the streets on Feb 15 was 100% accurate. Now should we ask, which worldview was more attenuated with the truth?

This movie is transideological, caring about the quality of life for the future of humanity should never be wrapped up transient and petty politics, religion, or business. When sustainability is not built into these institutions, they do not exist for long on this earth.

As Paul Hawken said, “Life creates the conditions for life.”

Well, perhaps your reading of this review shows someone a little over-enthused on the subject. I contend that watching this movie will give you exactly this empowered sense. As Bill McDonough says we get to image what it means to “re-design design itself.”

This is really the context of the movie, the path that humanity must walk if our culture is to survive. What a worldview based in truth will not obfuscate. —Daniel Bell;” (Earth Forum) Review by Joseph Teng

“…Without giving away too much, I’ll just say that this film takes a different approach that what I expected. About 2/3 of the way through, I was beginning to get very irritated because there was little talk about concrete SOLUTIONS. Yet when the end credits started rolling, I felt immensely empowered and satisfied with what I had hoped to get out of the film.

The directors took a different approach and did not focus on a few scientific or technological solutions (although the ones highlighted are quite fascinating) or policy recommendations. Instead their message is clear — our current environmental crisis is due to the failure of our government, our corporations, and our entire culture of consumerism.

For the solution, we must look inward and not just change the way we act, but the very way in which we think about our relationship with nature and our planet. The movie instilled a strong sense of hope within the audience. It is not technological advances that hold us back (or will redeem us), but the lack of individual willpower to live more sustainably. There is still a lot of hope for our planet, but turning that hope into tangible, positive change relies on the actions of the individual.

After leaving the theater very inspired and full of hope, the question I pose to the forum is this:

How do we make sure that the average American doesn’t just walk out of the theatre and “change the channel” once they get home? How do we make the connection between individual actions and the global environment clearer to elicit stronger action?” —Joseph Teng

Can’t wait until 11th Hour opens in San Francisco August 24th! I’ll definitely ‘do my part’ by trying to kick those box office premiere numbers into high gear for the weekend, and bring Shaping Youth advisors galore.

Leo’s “starfuel” of celebrity may help energize box office and build awareness like Live Earth’s mass media momentum, but please don’t underestimate the firepower of your own individual actions…even buying a movie ticket.

In this age of Affluenza and consumption it’ s ironic that ‘eco-speak’ is becoming commonplace among the very kids that are fully wired with media/marketing/materialism…so it’s important that we ALL take a stand however we can, even if it means going to see the movie on opening weekend and making small lifestyle commitments and choice shifts.

As the producers and directors will assure you, your media purchasing decisions really DO matter. So grab a green group, go see the film, and “recycle” the message to your friends!



  1. Video Gamer says

    I hate to sound like I dont want to help the planet, but these campaigns really rub me the wrong way. First with Al Gore now its Leo. Leo has made it clear that traveling on a commercial airliner is an unacceptable sacrifice for him (he only flys in a private jet.) I like it when celebs try to help, but the whole “green” thing and celebs are like oil and water(pun intended,) they dont mix. If they really cared they would sell their private jets, luxury boats, multi-million dollar homes and SUVs and live in a normal sized house and dirve a prius or something. Some of these people live in houses the size of a Wal-Mart, I cant imagine what it must cost to heat and power a home of that size.

    They can talk about it all they want, but untill their carbon footprint is lower than mine I refuse to listen to a word of it. Actions speak louder than words.

  2. Yep. Point well taken. And trust me, you are NOT alone in your thoughts…

    Everyday I’m conflicted about our nonprofit’s mission to ‘use the power of media for positive change’ because I’ve had offers from corporate coffers that run contrary to my own convictions and have to turn them down for sponsorship based on sheer principle.

    There’s a fine line between using celebrity/media to further a cause for a greater good and using it for a PR stunt…greenwashing or otherwise…so I hear what you’re saying about ‘walk the walk’ and such. But sometimes as in the case of our documentary friends, they KNOW that media needs to ‘mainstream’ to masses to reach critical tipping points, and thus, they try to use the ‘star power’ to draw in others who can see the bigger picture so to speak.

    This particular film has multiple voices from afar contributing to the energy, far beyond “global warming” and more about the sustainability of human culture. If we have to leverage Leo’s eco-convictions to get the buzz goin’ so be it.

    That’s my view…but you’re absolutely right…he should ‘walk the walk’ if he’s going to talk carbon footprints…same with the Live Earth crew, as we discussed earlier in our post here:

  3. p.s. Also, wanted to reveal the very active dialog debating the starpower vs. jetpower issue of Leo, found on sites like where he’s nailed with snarky comments and branded as “The Convenient Environmentalist” —again…points well taken on all sides of the awareness issue here…Sure would be nice to get someone that aligns universally, but where does one draw the line? After all, eating/raising animals for consumption is a huge draw on the planet as well, ergo, does that mean every well-meaning environmentalist must be vegan? I strongly feel we need to raise AWARENESS and start somewhere…and the role reversals will follow…Even with Leo…Enough public pressure and he’s bound to see the inconsistency of his jet set methodology. Or not. 😉 –a.

  4. Here’s another article/POV that speaks to the ‘celebrity draw’ issue universally which I found of merit:,,2147139,00.html

    “Leonardo DiCaprio connects with millions and millions of people every year, and his core audience are not necessarily the people who are engaged with the climate change debate. The fact that he is in The 11th Hour might persuade them to go along – they’ll be emotionally bothered by it and they’ll learn something. Celebs do have carbon-intensive lifestyles, but they have such an incredible power at their fingertips that, in my view, it would be irresponsible of them NOT to use it.”

    It also goes on to mention the Grist list and imposter/poseur factor…echoing that for the most part these celebs are at least doing SOMEthing:

    “Diaz was recently ranked second behind DiCaprio on a list of ’15 green actors’ compiled by Grist, the online environmental magazine, earning praise for driving a hybrid car and her involvement in Gore’s Live Earth concerts. The chart also included Robert Redford, a veteran campaigner; Cate Blanchett, who has converted her home to solar power; George Clooney, who launched Oil Change, a campaign to wean America off oil; and Brad Pitt, who advocates eco-friendly buildings.”

  5. Video Gamer says

    I’ll just wait untill one of them truly walks the walk………

    …This could take awhile

  6. And what good does “waiting” do for our future generations of youth??? Change needs to happen NOW in “lead by example” form…

    Mind you, I know you’ve written via earlier comments about some of your lifestyle choices in other postings, but not knowing you personally to see how YOU walk the walk, I’d just keep reinforcing that we ALL need to do what we can, how we can…and WAITING is NOT the answer on any front.

    Especially when it comes to teaching kids early on.

    Shaping Youth is stepping into schools with early ‘one world’ eco-intervention at the K-5 level to reinforce the notion that we’re ALL crewmembers of Spaceship Earth…

    You can see more about our work with trashless lunches and global outreach for a planet in every classroom at the site. The team pictured from San Mateo, CA is ours…

  7. 8-21 update: Wanted to add this excellent post about our NextNow collaboratory event yesterday with Jim Sphorer of IBM’s Almaden Research Center and MediaX at Stanford for a discussion on Service Science. (I missed it due to the CCFC gig with Susan Linn.)

    Service science is an emerging field that recognizes the migration of so much of the world’s activity to the service sector; bringing awareness that could revolutionize economic underpinnings of global causes, (like ours!) 🙂 Fascinating.

    Here’s the post:

  8. 8-27 update: This just in from an alliance org via my god-daughter Lara’s e-mail (she’s 10) linking kids up with the Conservation Int’l programs and e-cards:

    Here’s the link and the post “from Leonardo” 😉

    “I’m writing to tell you about my new environmental film,
    The 11th Hour. The film documents the environmental crises we face and the solutions we must begin to implement.Please click here to take a look at the trailer.

    With help from over fifty of the world’s most prominent thinkers and activists, including reformer Mikhail Gorbachev, physicist Stephen Hawking, and Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai, The 11th Hour documents the grave problems facing the planet’s life systems. Global warming, deforestation, mass species extinction, and depletion of the oceans’ habitats are all addressed. However, the most powerful element of The 11th Hour is not that it portrays a planet in crisis, but that it offers hope and solutions. The film ends with a call
    for restorative action through reshaping human activity.”

    Check out the website for more information on the film.

    Nice job on the integration of nonprofit outreach and partner orgs…Web 2.0 is shifting the conversation into more of a mass scale for sure! –Amy

  9. Interesting article, i have bookmarked your site for future referrence 🙂

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