Jeff Skoll: Storytellers are very brave as the documentary world is tough (I Am Eco Warrior)

Storytellers are very brave. They get out there and they’re trying to tell something from their point of view and change the mind, the hearts and minds of people that are seeing their films. The documentary world in particular is really tough because the system is effectively broken, there’s no money in it. And people aren’t really going to the theaters to see documentaries
very much anymore. So it’s a double risk for a storyteller to take on a subject, to create a documentary and try to reach people in the first place. Financially it’s a tough spot to be in. But at the same time if you’re successful, if you can actually reach people with your story, you can make a difference. You can change the way people see and feel about an issue. We had a film called The Cove, which was about dolphin hunting in Japan. It was one of those things where people saw the film and they were so touched by the fact that this was going on, people volunteered and went out to Taiji Japan to try to stop the hunt. And they did. The ship stayed in port because there were too many volunteers watching them. There is some dolphin hunting going on again; but it’s nowhere near the levels where it could be. But for the storytellers, they have to be willing to take risks, they have to be willing to do – I do this with no much money – and no guarantee that anybody’s actually going to see their film in the first place. And then finally, even if all those things do take place, there are going to be entrenched interests that are against the message of the film will do all they can to try to stop the filmmakers from making progress.
directed by Roger Moenks

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