Emery, in south Utah, is the county with the least belief in climate change in the USA, according to the most detailed study ever conducted on the subject (Yale, 2019). Only 27% of the 10,000 Emery residents believe that scientists have a consensus about climate change, and only 3 out of 10 believe that human action has any effect on the environment at all. Emery County is also absolutely breathtaking, with world famous rock formations, mountains and forests, and underneath, it is rich with coal, oil and natural gas. People here are friendly, loving and happy to talk. They are also predominantly white, conservative, religious and skeptical of government oversight. They love nature. They’re proud of their state. They’re funny. They care about their children. They just happen to not think climate change is a thing.
This documentary takes an unfiltered look at this vast county. Over the course of a long, (perhaps hot?) summer, the film will have conversations about belief, science, business and the future, presenting a non-judgemental look at climate politics at large. This is not the story of ignorant rural-folk, or of a particular climate catastrophe in the making… This is the story of people being people: charming, selfish, frustrating, and kind.
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BEN STILLERMAN, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER
BEN STILLERMAN is a South African filmmaker who has been working in Los Angeles since 2011. He completed his Masters degree at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, graduating at the end of 2014 with a thesis documentary, which has been expanded into a first feature, TAKING STOCK. His work focuses on personal stories, driven by character and narrative, and concern themselves with questions of social justice, psychology and community. He teaches film with Ghetto Film School and runs Tank Brain Productions – a production company focused on environmental outreach media.
JESSE RYAN, PRODUCER
JESSE RYAN is a journalist and filmmaker who is passionate about deepening understanding and engagement around environmental challenges. Previously, Jesse worked as a producer for USA Today where she helped create videos focused on a range of themes including wildlife and adventure. She was a 2017 participant in The Smithsonian Emerging Filmmakers Lab and her work has been published in The Washington Post and on PBS39. Jesse is a graduate of Lafayette College and the University of Southern California.
BRENNAN FULL, CINEMATOGRAPHER
BRENNAN FULL is a Los Angeles based Director of Photography. She studied film at SUNY Purchase and after graduation began working in unscripted television production. After years of eyeing the camera department, Brennan took a staff position at Refinery29 that allowed her to develop and shoot her own work. In 2016 she left Refinery29 to pursue cinematography full time, shooting music videos, short films, and commercials. This will be her first feature documentary.