5 quick questions with Angus Ware

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Every feature film screening at EFFA this year is preluded by an Australian short. 

We sat down (virtually, at our computers) for five quick questions with Australian filmmaker Angus Ware. Angus' short film Junk Food will be screening alongside Simon Amstell's Carnage at our opening night. Book now

Tell us a little bit about your short film screening at EFFA this year, and the process of making it?

Junk Food is a short 'visual feast' parody of food advertising where all the food is made from pieces of disposed plastic. Small pieces of plastic like cups, straws and takeaway packaging are used for just minutes but have a lasting impact on the environment - particularly the ocean and marine life. The sick irony is that the plastic we use to pack our takeaway is now polluting the food chain and being ingested by humans. It's literally 'junk' food. 

Inspired by this idea, I gathered disposed plastic and packaging over a few weeks and then combined them to create delicious looking dishes. The shoot itself took two days. 

How do you know when you’ve got a good idea for a film?

I think a good film is one that resonates with an audience and reflects a value or fragment of truth. Often it takes time for that to develop, and the key is to keep pushing, keep exploring where that initial idea can take you. Junk Food started with a discussion about fish-shaped plastic containers of soy sauce. It's strange that we have designed this rubbish in the shape of the thing it will kill! There was something dark and funny about these little fish bobbing around the oceans causing destruction. That discussion set the tone. 

What do you think is the power of film to change people’s minds about environmental, social or political issues?

Film is an amazing way to share a perspective and it has great power to make change.  I think the best social and activist films are narratives, not documentaries. The key is taking the audience into a different viewpoint and letting the consequences of our actions unfold naturally. Often social or political films slip into didacticism or proselytising which can turn the audience away.

What’s your favourite environmental film, doco or otherwise? 

This is a bit out of left field, but I think the Pixar feature 'Wall-e' is a very important environmental film. It demonstrates how essential our planet is to being human. It's also a warning about where we could end up if we lose track of what earth means to us: will we be mindless pleasure machines with no regard for our impact? Or will we be ethical communities playing a positive role in a vast, interconnected ecosystem?

In the tradition of Al Gore or Leonardo DiCaprio, what public figure would you choose to narrate a 'blockbuster' environmental documentary? 

Rick Sanchez, the foul-mouthed, alcoholic scientist-genius-adventurer from the cartoon Rick and Morty, voiced by Justin Roiland.

Thanks for your time, Angus!