FINITE: The Climate of Change

Award-winning climate activism documentary “FINITE: The Climate of Change”, released online worldwide on Vimeo On Demand

FINITE tells the inside story of concerned citizens in Germany who step forward to save an ancient forest from one of Europe’s biggest coal mines, whilst they form an unlikely alliance with a frustrated community in rural North East England who are forced into action to protect their homes from a new opencast coal mine.

Following a successful theatrical release in the UK and Germany, with multiple sold out screenings, and broadcasts in Japan (NHK), Belgium (RTBF), Estonia (ERR) and Greece (ERT), award-winning feature documentary FINITE will be released online worldwide* on Vimeo On Demand on 30 November, through distributor Espresso Media International.

A directorial debut from activist-turned-filmmaker Rich Felgate, FINITE is a cinematic and timely insider’s view of the world of direct action and climate activism; a raw, shocking, intimate and emotional insight into the David and Goliath battle between ordinary people and fossil fuel corporations.

Director, Rich Felgate, says "At a time when politicians speak of climate action, yet drill for more oil, and scientists warn that we have entered ‘unchartered territory’ yet business as usual continues, FINITE shows that these powerful polluting industries are not invincible when the people resist.

Climate breakdown is a crisis of communications, as much as a crisis of pollution. Last week, former Sky News boss, John Ryley said his own efforts to deliver sufficient climate coverage had ‘failed’ and that the way media outlets are ‘not doing their job’. FINITE is a timely intervention revealing the lengths that fossil fuel companies will go to in maintaining business as usual, and the humanity in how far concerned citizens will go to stop them.”

FINITE had its UK premiere at BAFTA-qualifying Leeds International Film Festival and has won a string of awards at festivals around the world, including the FIPADOC Impact Grand Prix. The film was also longlisted in two categories at the British Independent Film Awards.

Whilst making the film, director/cinematographer/producer, Rich, spent a year and half living in protest camps with the communities featured in the film in the Pont Valley, County Durham and the Hambach Forest in Germany. FINITE follows their efforts to thwart companies, RWE and Banks Group, from destroying valuable habitats to extract coal. They build treehouses, dig tunnels and even become DIY ecologists by proving the existence of endangered great crested newts in the hope of halting work through legislation to protect endangered species.

The on the ground, in-the-thick-of-it approach, lends itself to the film’s authentic and intimate feel, following activists on high stakes direct actions, like occupying and sabotaging machinery. Felgate also points out that as a first-time filmmaker “living rent free in treehouses with the activists was also a financial necessity and the only way to get the film made”.

The campaign in the Pont Valley marked a turning point which led to the end of opencast coal in the UK. At the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, the UK government suggested an end to domestic coal extraction. Then the same government approved the new West Cumbria underground coal mine and are expanding North Sea oil and gas production against warnings from the UN, IEA, IPCC. Two COP summits on, today marks the start of COP28 in the UAE, under the controversial presidency of Sultan Al Jaber, who is also chief executive of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc).

Coal Action Network, featured in the film, vow to stop proposals for the West Cumbria Coal Mine and are also battling an underground mine expanding in south Wales, as direct action protests seen in FINITE remain a possibility, amid growing climate protests around the world.

FINITE is a precursor to the crackdown on protest unfolding in the UK today, with many of the tactics in the film like “locking-on” now carrying long potential prison sentences. Director, Rich Felgate, was twice arrested whilst filming protests in FINITE and has since made news for being on the wrong end of police overreach and media repression following the new Public Order Act 2023 and Police, Crime and Sentencing Act 2022. In the last year he has been unlawfully arrested three times whilst documenting Just Stop Oil protests for an upcoming follow up film.

FINITE is available to buy or rent now: