It all started roughly three years ago when Mila Aung-Thwin and Van Royko joined us at our annual ITER media event. In a crowd of 40 delegates from international media, the two stood out partly because of the omnipresent cameras they carried along but mainly because of their insatiable curiosity about fusion – this new source of energy that could change everything. What were two filmmakers from Canada, with a proven track record and various awards in documentaries, doing on the ITER site? The answer is simple: a new film on the energy crisis and the potential of fusion power.
Against the tide of nationalism and the go it alone syndrome, “Let there be light” is a wakeup call of internationalism and the need to collaborate in order to solve global issues like energy. How much will it take to bring the power of the sun to Earth? To portray the complexity of the project and the lives of those involved in it, the filmmakers conducted interviews with many engineers, followed technical reviews, were given access to senior policy meetings and travelled to many locations to witness the manufacturing of different components. They flew to different continents, drove hundreds of miles from one industrial facility to another and crossed the sea to witness the loading and delivery of some major equipment.
Their “behind the scenes” approach has captured in a magnificent way the tension and enthusiasm that underpin this one-of-a kind project. The questions they pose are extremely relevant and promise to generate a lively debate: how can we address the energy crisis? Can we afford not to explore alternatives? Can fusion be part of the solution or are we taking a big gamble?
“Let there be light” has already received its first award for Artistic Vision at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and will be screened at the Copenhagen CHP:DOX.
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