What About Our Future?

Filmmaker Q&A with Directors Cláudio Cruz & Jaime Leigh Gianopoulos

Is there a particular documentary film or filmmaker that had a major influence on your career?

Gianfranco Rosi, Agnus Varda, The Act of Killing


What motivated you to make this film?

I was involved in the Indigenous sovereignty ‘Idle No More’ movement back in 2012. It was a very important moment in my life when many dots connected regarding climate change and the colonial hidden history of Canada and the intersections between them. After that, I spent many years of my life concerned about the climate crisis, distressed and stuck in a state of dissonance living business as usual yet aware of the degrading natural world. This caused a lot of grief in my heart. When the youth climate movement sparked up in 2018 it lit a new fire of possibility within me. Cláudio and I attended one of the first youth climate strikes in our hometown of Vancouver and noticed an incredible group of youth organizers. We immediately felt called to follow them and create a documentary about their story.


Please tell us what camera(s) you shot with primarily – and any other special equipment that you used and why you used it.

Canon C 200


Please tell us about any special styles or techniques that you used during the production of your film to help tell your story.

We began by spending time without cameras and taking notes, eventually, we introduced the cameras and shot the majority verite and the rest informal interviews.


How did your story evolve from day one, to the very last day in post? Is your story what you thought it would be?

It began by attending the climate strikes and noticing some of the lead organizers. We were moved by their sense of enlivening leadership. We spent the year attending all of their group meetings, core meetings, climate strikes, school training, home time, meetings with politicians, etc. During the production, we noticed some major themes that emerged and felt compelled to touch in on them in the film. Eco-anxiety, climate justice, incrementalism being a new form of denialism, colonialism and the connection to the climate crisis, indigenous sovereignty moment and the intersectionality between the youth movement. We were originally planning to shoot the whole film verite so it ended up different than we had originally planned.


Please describe the most rewarding experience you had while making this film.

Getting to know the youth, being embedded in their universe and receiving the trust and access to witness and document this historical moment in time.


What advice can you give to other impact filmmakers?

Often times our wounds, our frustrations, our grievances with the world are a guide that will point you in the direction towards what you are meant to be a part of healing, innovating, or changing. Don’t give up. Keep going. Everyone will tell you this and I will say it again because it’s true. There are so many no’s in this industry but you have to keep going and trusting your gut. Follow your intuition. I read a quote from Valarie Kaur’s “See No Stranger” that inspired me, which read: “chase after your project and people will come running after you.” Don’t get stuck trying to convince or prove anything. Just keep going and eventually you will receive the funding, create your project, and inspire impact and change because of that story.


What’s your favorite part about the filmmaking process and why?

We love getting to know the subjects of our film. Each project we develop deep connections with our subjects and that is an incredible part of the process. We also love working as a team and allowing our creativity to fuse with the moment. When the shot lines up, when the moment that you never expected appears in-front of the lens, when the light hits just right.


What’s the one item you always take with you when working out in the field and why? 

The easy rig.


Please share a personal story about your experience making this film.

We applied for a grant to make this film and by chance, the announcement of the grant happened to fall on the night of Cláudio and I’s wedding back in my homelands of Greece. With the time difference, the announcement was set for 10 pm which was in the middle of our wedding party. I privately went to a corner of the party overlooking the beautiful Aegean sea. Before I looked I said to myself “I am not going to let this ruin my night. Whatever happens, happens.” I looked down at my phone and we had received the grant. I ran through the party straight into Cláudio’s arms and yelled “We won! We won!” The entire party erupted into cheers and laughter. It was an incredible moment to be surrounded by friends and family knowing that we were about to be supported to create a meaningful project. It was the best wedding gift we could have received. Supposedly my hands were on my belly and people starting yelling “she’s pregnant!” But I yelled back “pregnant with a film.”


Can you describe any obstacles you encountered in making your film and/or in your distribution/exhibition efforts?

The editing process was very challenging. We had a large quantity of complex footage and the challenge became how to create an entertaining film while still diving into the important themes and layers of the movement.


What do you want audiences to take away from your film?

One of the final quotes in the film from Rebecca Hamilton encapsulates what we would love the audience to take away from the film “I have realized that fear is not a sustainable resource of motivation, but what is, is love, and a compelling vision of a more just and sustainable world. I am reframing my story of this movement of instead of trying to avoid this catastrophe that is barreling full speed towards us, instead focusing on what it is that we are building on the other side of this catastrophe.”


Please list key points that should be covered in a post-screening discussion:

Climate justice and the intersection between all other gender, race, and justice movements. Indigenous sovereignty and the white washing of climate justice. What are the visions of the world we want to build after a just transition. What does a just transition look like? What are action steps we can take to implement a green new deal? How can art and creativity play a role in building a new way forward? Guiding youth to the sustainability trainings and leadership building.


Please provide information on any recent developments regarding the issue or subjects of the film. How have things changed or not changed?

The youth continues to organize and build a network of youth activists across Vancouver. They are expanding Nationally and will be running online workshops. and training.


What opportunities are available for those interested in getting further involved?

Getting involved with the sustainabilities, we are currently putting together a page of impact action steps that our audiences can partake in. This information will be available soon on our website.


Please provide any additional resources (websites, links to additional videos, forms, articles, etc.):








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