Have you seen The Age of Stupid yet?

Annabel McAleer
Good, New Zealand’s guide to sustainable living
5 October 2009

If not, never fear. From today anyone anywhere can buy a license to screen The Age of Stupid in their school/pub/ church/multinational oil corporation.

If you want to run your own movie night, whether its for friends, family, at a school or for a community group, you can license The Age of Stupid from today.

The double-disc DVD has 31 language options and  more than six hours of extras. You can order it here, but you're not meant to screen it until October 24th, the International Day of Climate Action.

It's not free to license, although it is cheap, depending on where you show it and how many people you show it to. Here are five good reasons why the film's not free (and a link to a very interesting Idealog article on why it, or films like it, probably should be):

Some people have said that if we “really cared about the planet”, we would give our film away. Here’s why we’re not going to. Firstly, the £450,000 budget was raised by our “crowd–funding” scheme: 228 people invested between £500 and £35,000 of their own money. (Which is incidentally the largest amount any project has ever raised using similar schemes.) We want to repay our investors’ belief by returning at least some of their money. (We would have to take £10 million pounds to pay everyone back completely, so that’s never going to happen – it’s not a profit making exercise.)

Secondly, if we can prove that this alternative funding system works, we might persuade other filmmakers (or writers or artists or whatever) to step outside the mainstream media and start making independent films, without advertising execs or corporate suits watering down their content.

Thirdly, the film was made by 104 people – including top animators, editors, composers and everything in between – working at minimum wage or just above, some of them for five years. If we can take their wages up from almost nothing to ridiculously low, then they are more likely to give their skills to future low–budget projects.

Fourthly, we can only make more films if we make our business viable – clearly we have to pay rent and eat. And if we had to get day jobs, we wouldn’t be able to concentrate on our films – or our new distribution models – or the Not Stupid action campaign.

And finally, we have put our hearts and souls into the film and feel that it has value: the fact that you’d like to hold a screening kind of means that you agree. So in the same way that car manufacturers don’t give away their cars, publishers don’t give away their books and hot dog sellers don’t give away their hot dogs, we’re not going to give away our film.

Having said all that, you can of course find a pirate copy of the film and screen it illegally without a license and we’ll probably never find out. And you can steal from charity shops, evade your tax and change your granny’s will when she loses her eyesight, too.

If you're not sure it's for you, head on over to watch The Making of The Age of Stupid documentary. 'Team Stupid' reveal the lengths they went to—from kidnap threats in Nigeria to 'crowd-funding' in London—to make this year's most talked-about climate change film starring Pete Postlethwaite.