HOW WE STARTED
For years hundreds of surfers, paddle-boarders, swimmers, fisherman and kayakers across Australia have been paddling out into the ocean as a part of the Great Australian Bight Alliance movement in a peaceful protest against BP's, at first, then Chevron's, and finally a Norwegian energy giant Equinor's plans to drill for oil and gas in the virgin waters of the Great Australian Bight.
In March 2019 Sasha, a recent graduate who grew up without a particular interest in politics or environment, found herself in the middle of the movement while travelling to Australia and could not remain indifferent. Despite her reluctance to be critical without having all the facts about the issue, she was so moved by the passion of local people for their nature that she organised one of the protests and filmed it in hope to spread awareness.
Yet, when the excitement of the protest and the sense of unity for change did not translate into any media or political response, she became frustrated with what it takes to create real change. Determined to find out what one has to do to be successful in their endeavours, she set out to make Crude Expectations and find answers to what actual effect any of us can have and how.
ABOUT THE ISSUE
The Great Australian Bight © Greenpeace
Known to be the home to over 85% of unique marine species (Greenpeace) The Great Australian Bight harbours thousands of whales migrating in its waters for summer and winter, and attracts tourists from across the world. Proceeding to drill in the area will create a risk of oil spill and harm the area. So far no safety measures listed by the company have seemed enough to the community to take the risk.
Of all the companies Equinor is likely to be one of the most technologically advance organisations to venture towards such an extreme location and task. At least as far as we know. Nevertheless, people are asked to trust the company who are acting abroad under the regulations that would never pass approval inside Norway.
Today, as the public opposition continued to grow, I couldn’t help but wonder – is there a future without human dependence on oil and gas? What can we really demand from our industries, the governments and ourselves?
Natural resources such as oil and gas are deeply integrated into our daily life – planes, cars, rubber, plastic, roads, etc. We can’t underestimate the amount political and economic power oil and gas give to producing countries, as well the historical flaw of the industry to chase extra profits. Even transitioning to renewable energy sources like wind turbines we need resins, diesel, minerals. The demand for energy grows and the existing natural resources are depleted by the minute.
Why did a Equinor look for drilling in Australia while promoting green initiatives? Why did it take legal action to make Australian community’s voices heard? Why do companies like Equinor, Chevron and BP leave and why will they come back? What can we do about it?
With this film, we want to contribute to the in-depth understanding of the operations of the international energy law and its effects on the environmental protection, and equip people with knowledge on how to create change effectively.
DO YOU WANT TO HELP?
If you know someone who is an expert in the relevant field and think we should speak to them, do let us know! We love meeting new people and hearing their opinion.
We will also soon be launching a campaign. Any contribution at all can help more than you know.
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Born in Moscow, Russia, Sasha began working in film during the last two years of her Bachelors Degree at University of the Arts London. Even prior to graduating in 2018 she had already interned with and worked at some of UK’s most reputable production and distribution housed in filmmaking industry. After working for half a year, she chose to take some time to travel to somewhere new and explore more of the world. That is when, in December 2018 she came to discover the issue of oil drilling in the Great Australian Bight, and has been developing and working on the project since. At the moment she is receiving her MA degree in Creative Industries and Media at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
Associate Producer, Researcher
A filmmaker, writer and editor based in London, Sara has been an activist since the age of 16 and still living at home, participating in NGOs. She’s worked with refugees, children’s organisations and environmentalists. Her whole life. Sara and Alexandra met at university and have since formed a creative partnership for short independent projects, which Sara devotes most of my time to outside of working in TV post production. She has started in environmentally aware filmmaking from her first days of education, centring her project around sustainable fashion and the impact of the fashion industry on the planet. “With this project I am inspired by my friend’s passion for the cause and joined the project initially as a researcher. Learning more about the issue has made me want to spread the word to as many people as possible and help stop the drilling in the Great Australian Bight.”
Andreas is a Danish-born videographer and sound specialist, joining the project during his exchange program for his MA Degree in Australia in the second half of 2019.
Will was born in grew up in the UK. Right after college, he was taken as a mentee by one of the advertising moguls and went on to work as an assistant videographer with brands like Nike, Stylist Magazine and London Coffee Festival. In the past year, he has transitioned to short documentary work and has just joined our team after finishing a project on sustainable prop making for the film industry.
Segment Producer, Europe
Antonia is a starting producer and interviewer. She has most recently completed the sustainability props short film with Will and has joined looking to expand her interview portfolio.