Published in today’s Independent.
Emily James abandoned a successful career in prime-time TV to direct a film about climate-change protesters. She takes Phil England behind the scenes of an unlikely action movie. (Image by Amelia Gregory).
In a tiny office in East London, Emily James waves her papers from Kent Police. The award-winning documentary maker is one of a number of people who have recently won compensation claims after the force admitted their policing operation for the 2008 Camp for Climate Action, next to Kingsnorth power station, was both “disproportionate” and “unlawful”.
After making a string of acclaimed films for Channel 4, James has now committed herself to a project which her former commissioning editors won’t touch with a bargepole. Her film Just Do It – Get off your arse and change the world! follows the frequently criminal exploits of people taking direct action on climate change, shadowing three organisations – Climate Rush, Climate Camp and Plane Stupid – as they strive to bring attention to their causes. Due for release early next year, it promises to be an unashamedly sympathetic portrait of the activist community by someone who has been given unprecedented levels of access…