Screened as part of NZIFF 2019

2040 2019

Directed by Damon Gameau

In this inspiring vision of the future, That Sugar Film director Damon Gameau travels the world in search of technologies and practices that will reduce our dependence on carbon, pull people out of poverty and help create a better 2040.

92 minutes CinemaScope/DCP




Nick Batzias
Anna Kaplan
Virginia Whitwell
Damon Gameau


Hugh Miller


Jane Usher

Production designers

Luke Bubb
Carrie Kennedy

Costume designer

Chloe Greaves


Bryony Marks


Damon Gameau
Eva Lazzaro
Zoë Gameau


Berlin 2019


What’s your 2040? Global warming, sea level rise, civil unrest, marine degradation – or a world that’s healthier and fairer than the one we live in today? As reprieve from the usual doom and gloom stories about the future of our planet, Australian filmmaker Damon Gameau (That Sugar Film) jumps on a plane (offset with certified carbon credits) to travel the world in search of a better 2040. His daughter Velvet, whom we meet in the opening scene – they’re planting a tree – will be 27 in 2040 and Gameau’s narration – “So, Velvet …” – is addressed to her.

In this exercise in ‘fact-based dreaming’ Gameau explores only technologies and practices that currently exist and examines what the future would look like if we embrace these solutions today. His journey takes us from regenerative farming practices in rural Australia to a Bangladeshi village powered by distributed solar home systems; from marine permaculture experiments in Woods Hole, United States, to an on-demand autonomous electric vehicle in New York City. Guided by expert commentary from the likes of Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics, and Paul Hawken, founder of Project Drawdown, he zooms forward to 2040 to see how these technologies and practices could improve energy, transport, food production and more to create a better 2040 for Velvet and her friends.  

Along with some cheesy humour, mostly at Gameau’s expense, the film delivers surprises, revelations, and an inspiring vision of the future. As Gameau says, “we have everything we need right now to make it happen.” So let’s get started. — Rebecca Priestley