Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution, directed by filmmaker James “Jamie” Redford and the Redford Center, premiered Monday night at the HBO Theater in Midtown.
The night began with a performance by Sean Hayes and Jason Carr, who sang their song “This is Happening.” The song is now available for streaming.
Raised by parents who also found environmental awareness imperative, Redford insisted that it was the crew working on the documentary that made it possible, and that made him “truly grateful.”
“You can explore the problems, and if you can help people see the light, then why not?” said Redford of the work done with the Redford Center.
The documentary follows Redford as he attempts to understand for himself where exactly his power comes from. This turns into a multi-state journey in which he develops relationships he never thought possible. He becomes emotionally involved in the legislature of Las Vegas, which, until this year, treated energy as a monopoly. A 2015 ruling upheld a law that would virtually shut down solar energy plants, putting thousands out of jobs, and take money away from households with solar panels.
A question-and-answer segment after the documentary featured some of the film’s “stars”, like Georgetown, Texas Mayor Dale Ross, Nevada Senator Patricia Spearman, Energy Start-up Investor Matthew Nordan, and others. Redford moderated the discussion.
Mayor Ross, an unlikely hero, spoke gladly of the change that is shifting in his conservative Republican party, citing that now 52% of Republicans believe in climate change.
“It’s a start,” he said. And, to much audience laughter: “We don’t care how they do it in Washington. We only care how we do it in Texas.”
“The time that we’ve wasted arguing about whether climate change is real or not…we’ve lost so much ground as a leader in innovation and technology, and the implementation thereof,” Senator Spearman said. “We are saying to our policy-makers, get off your you-know-whats, and do something. Lead. Lead, follow, or get out of my way.”
Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution premieres Dec 11 and will be available on all HBO sites and platforms.