The evening finished with a panel discussion from Helen Blakeman, Lisa Holdsworth and Guy Hibbert who started by saying how enormously encouraging the focus on positive stories had been, particularly the focus on communities. The panel agreed that writers and the screen industries need to take responsibility; there’s a reason that we don’t see people without seatbelts or smoking on screen anymore and we need to apply these editorial policies to climate change as well. One of the most memorable lines from a film is I am Spartacus – what that means is we need to come together and overcome ‘the baddies’. Kate and Guy agreed with Mark’s initial point that we need to push ourselves, it’s easy to represent someone who cares about the environment as some swampy hippy, we should be showing the real stories of the grandmother who goes to protests because she’s worried about her grandkids or the guy who quietly eats his vegan salad for lunch at his office desk. We need to stop writing linear stories of creating evil and defeating it and look for ways of telling exciting stories without conflict. People don’t want lectures so we need to reflect what is actually happening in society around us, as Guy pointed out you won’t find these stories at your desk, you need to go out and find them.
The overarching message of the evening, touched on by every one of the panellists was one of community and collaboration. The evening was enormously positive and in the words of Kate “If you don’t leave inspired to rush home and scribble down notes then you’re a bad writer!”