DIFF 2010: Interview with Climate Refugees Producer Justin Hogan

9 04 2010


“The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences…”

Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)

Going into any interview, it’s usually pretty easy to figure out the line of questioning you want to provide.  You have at least an outline in your mind of how you hope the responses will come out.  Research can really help create a fluid blueprint of what questions you decide on asking.  Usually you can at least go to a generic or “standard” film question.  I mean there are usually ways to cover yourself.  With my recent interview with Climate Refugees‘ producer Justin Hogan I found myself scared.

It was hard not to push my own views, emotions and concerns directly on to Justin.  I didn’t want to sound like I was preaching back to Justin.  That is the power of the documentary film.  Its an art that is based on the facts around us and those facts are used to provide a clear view of a general point or thesis.  You want to inform someone of something intriguing and gripping.  After watching Climate Refugees, I felt it necessary to want to do something.  I wanted to stand up and do something more.  I felt moved after watching this film.  That is why I was scared to not live up to Justin’s premise by asking weak “standard” questions.  Instead I decided to just let Justin, do what the film does so well, educate me and by extension hopefully you.

Director Michael Nash and Producer Justin Hogan wanted to take the lessons learned from films like an Inconvient Truth and give us “The Human Face Of Climate Change”.  Justin really eloquently explains what that means.

The film starts by giving us a place to see the immediate impact of the Climate’s changes.  That first place is Bangladash and we are introduced to just some of the climate refugees.  As an Israeli-American my homeland’s current history is a tale of Refugees being relocated and we’ve all seen the conflicts from that deal.  The film explains how Climate Refugees give the world a group of people that we will need to figure out where they can live.

Young Bangldesh Children ( Southern Bangladesh)

The film does an amazing job of showing us Justin and Director Michael Nash’s journey across the world.  But the story of how Michael and Justin first started the project is just as globe trotting and interesting.

Producer Justin Hogan and Director Michael Nash.

These two gentlemen had a vision.

The difficulty is knowing that we’ve only just started to witness the horrors.  Things are going to be a lot tougher in the upcoming decades.

Climate Refugees
As we lose land masses because of floods and other natural events we’re going to see mass migration.

(Not real people – just statues!!! It freaked me out in the film too!! – but don’t worry you can keep going!!)

The leading nations are going to have to make a stand and figure the next steps.


One of the best reasons to see the film is that its not trying to give a political angle.  Michael and Justin don’t want you to believe what they believe.  They aren’t asking you to change who you are.  I’ll let Justin explain further.

Now the great thing the film touches on in the end is what can we do to help out our future environment.
The one thing that did intrigue me was just how Justin and Michael were able to meet these people.  How did they get to these places?
Justin hasn’t spent his whole career flying around the world trying to enlighten us all about Climate issues.  But obviously his friendship and working relationship with Michael Nash has impacted him to do a certain type of film.
Some big name people have put there names and reputations behind this film.  But Justin points out that America isn’t the only country that is trying to figure out what to do.  All around the world people are out there helping.  Justin pointed out though a way to look at this issue with a more financial eye.  Lets be honest money still makes the world go round.  Justin touches on this and really puts the ball in our hands to gain from being the humanitarians we should be…or else.
This is why Justin and Michael are out at the festivals trying to open our eyes.  They want us to be the difference makers.
This film is at times tough to keep watching, but it ends making you want to do something.  Justin has high hopes of whats going to happen next.  Things are already starting to happen.
Climate Refugees has two screenings this weekend.
Saturday April 10th @ 5:15pm in theater 7 @ the Angelika Theater.
Sunday April 11th @ 5:15pm in theater 7 @ the Angelika Theater.
Justin and fellow producer Steven Nemeth will be in town and at the screenings to answer our questions.
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
– Albert Einstein



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