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The Oil Machine – The North Sea Oil Documentary gets a premiere date

The Oil Machine

Sonja Henrici Creates has announced that its new documentary THE OIL MACHINE, directed by Emma Davie (Becoming Animal, I Am Breathing) and produced by Sonja Henrici (Becoming Animal, Time Trial, Donkeyote, I Am Breathing) will have its World Premiere at Sheffield DocFest on 25th June.  THE OIL MACHINE explores our economic, historical and emotional entanglement with oil by looking at the conflicting imperatives around North Sea oil. This invisible machine at the core of our economy and society is now up for question as activists and investors demand change. Is this the end of oil?

THE OIL MACHINE reveals the hidden infrastructure of oil from the offshore rigs and the buried pipelines to its flow through the stock markets of London. As the North Sea industry struggles to meet the need to cut carbon emissions, oil workers see their livelihoods under threat, and investors seek to protect their assets. Meanwhile a younger generation of climate activists are catalysed by the signs of impending chaos, and the very real threat of global sea level rises. THE OIL MACHINE explores the complexities of transitioning away from oil and gas as a society and considers how quickly can we do it? We have five to ten years to control our oil addiction, and yet the licensing of new oil fields continues in direct contradiction with the Paris Climate Agreement. This documentary looks at how the drama of global climate action is playing out in the fight over North Sea oil.

By highlighting the complexities of how oil is embedded in our society – from high finance to cheap consumer goods – THE OIL MACHINE brings together a wide range of voices from oil company executives, economists, young activists, pension fund managers and considers how this machine can be tamed, dismantled, or repurposed.    The film features a fascinating array of voices, including: Holly Gillibrand (dubbed “Scotland’s Greta”), Kevin Anderson (Professor of Energy & Climate Change, Manchester University), Emeka Emembolu (Senior VP of BP North Sea), Jake Molloy (Regional Organiser, RMT Union), James Marriott (co-author of Crude Britannia), Mikaela Loach (Edinburgh medical student), Sir David King (former UK Govt. Chief Scientific Advisor), Deirdre Michie (CEO of Oil & Gas UK), Steve Waygood (Chief Responsible Investor at Aviva Investors), Tessa Khan (climate lawyer from Uplift), Ann Pettifor (economist & author), and others. Director Emma Davie said “This documentary was initiated by a sense of the urgency of addressing the issue of the oil in our own backyard. I feel that the huge “elephant in the room” in terms of the UK’s aspiration to be climate change leaders is North Sea Oil. There seemed to be a need to understand how interwoven and embedded oil is in so many fundamental aspects of our lives so we wanted to bring together disparate voices involved in the interlinking worlds of oil, finance, activism who would normally never dialogue together. We wanted to express an emotional as well as analytical look at where we are at with North Sea Oil. Global oil production was barely mentioned in the COP agreement but it is responsible for 60% of emissions. Sir David King points out that we only have 5 years to make big changes – how can we address the crucial question of oil in our own backyard? Producer Sonja Henrici said “Since COP26 the global context of oil has totally changed with more pressure for local production and energy security, but there is still an imperative to shift things to avoid climate disaster. We were not seeking easy answers, but felt that the problems needed to be clearly named and explored for us to move forward. By hearing very different opinions about the future of North Sea Oil, we hope to look at the real complexities of transitioning from oil as a society.“ A Sonja Henrici Creates Production for BBC Scotland and supported by The National Lottery through Screen Scotland.   THE OIL MACHINE has its World Premiere at Sheffield DocFest on 25th June 

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