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22/09/2021

Derry filmmaker McMonagle capturing Ireland's climate activism on screen

Derry filmmaker McMonagle capturing Ireland's climate activism on screen

Derry filmmaker, Rebecca-Jane McMonagle will be filming at the Climate Craic festival at Stormont this weekend as part of her upcoming documentary on climate action in Ireland

Derry filmmaker, Rebecca-Jane McMonagle, will take her camera to Stormont this weekend to capture scenes of Northern Ireland's first-ever climate festival.

McMonagle, 25, is an engineering graduate currently working on a documentary on climate activism across Ireland.

As part of this, Rebecca-Jane and her team will head to Belfast this Sunday where 'Climate Craic' is being held.

The free-to-attend festival is being held on the grounds of Stormont and will be a celebration of climate activism aligned with a programme of entertainment for families.

Rebecca-Jane's project came about after participating in workshops organised by the British Council's 'Active Citizen Programme' that in turn led to the development of Climate Action on Film.

“I came up with the idea of Climate Action on Film after realising that there’s so much happening in Ireland right now around climate action that people should know about,” said Rebecca-Jane.

“Not only is there Climate Craic, but there’s also great work happening in grassroots organisations such as Fridays For Future in the North and Zero Waste in the North West, alongside big events like Science Week Ireland in Dublin.

“These moments need to be capitalised on and showcased – especially creative action being undertaken by young people. It’s important to highlight the great work these groups are doing, while also letting young people know there’s various ways to get involved.”

The film will also include footage from the Stendhal Music Festival, Extinction Rebellion protests, and green living at Cloughjordan Ecovillage in Tipperary, with an aim of creating a 40-minute film ready to be showcased by summer 2022.

She added: “I’ve been lucky enough to work with two amazingly talented Northern Ireland filmmakers on this project – Emmet Thornton from Belfast and Gaigai Xie in Carrickfergus – and we aim to have this documentary showcased at festivals such as Foyle Film Festival, with filming wrapped up by February next year, giving us a few months to edit.

“This has been a fantastic experience for me having never done something like this before. The Active Citizens training has helped me get out and meet new people after lockdown, learn how to manage a big project, and most importantly, get back into activism.”

Speaking about Rebecca Jane’s social action project, Jonathan Stewart, Director, British Council Northern Ireland. said: “We’re delighted to see this amazing project come out of the Active Citizens training with Co-operation Ireland – which aimed to challenge young people to stretch their thinking and take action on the biggest issue facing our planet.

“What Rebecca-Jane has been able to achieve in such a short time is incredible, and we wish her all the best with the filming in the months ahead.

“This training is part of the British Council’s Climate Connection, which draws on our expertise in education, the arts, cultural exchange, and the English language to help young people find innovative solutions to tackle the climate crisis.”

Peter Sheridan, Co-operation Ireland CEO, added, “The challenge of climate change is a global issue so we were delighted to get involved with the British Council’s Active Citizens programme to bring young people together from across the island of Ireland to help raise awareness.

“Through the Co-operation Ireland Future Leaders Programme we were able to provide social action training for three young leaders who have now gone on to train a further 19 people. I look forward to this great work continuing.”

Northern Ireland’s first-ever Climate Craic festival is free to attend. It will feature an array of activities including live entertainment, eco-friendly workshops, guest speakers and displays from local artists – all in the name of helping more people learn about and celebrate climate activism.

The Active Citizens project is part of the British Council’s global programme, The Climate Connection, which brings young people around the world together in 2021. 

The project was delivered as part of Co-operation Ireland’s Future Leaders Programme, which aims to empower the next generation of young leaders and peacebuilders across the island of Ireland to make a positive contribution to the future development of their communities, and across communities.

Active Citizens continues the British Council’s work, building connection, understanding and trust between people in the UK and overseas through arts, education and English language teaching. To find out more about their work in Northern Ireland visit: nireland.britishcouncil.org.

To find out more about Climate Action on Film, you can follow them on Twitter: https://twitter.com/climateonfilm

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