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documentary called Indian Relay. But she never took her eyes off of what was unfolding with the youth climate change litigation. Cooper eventually took a job with Our Children’s Trust, the organization that has helped the 21 youth plaintiffs file their cases. During the few years she worked with the nonprofit, Cooper had the opportunity to travel with Martinez to the 2012 United Nations climate summit in Rio de Janeiro, and to the 2014 People’s Climate March in New York. Meanwhile, other young folks working with Our Children’s Trust continued to press litigation at the state and federal level. “I had it in my mind that I wanted to tell a longform story about this litigation,” Cooper says. “But I had other projects going on in my life at the time. When [Our Children’s Trust] filed a new federal lawsuit in August 2015, I was watching it very closely. … When [Judge Aiken] ruled in favor, and I knew it was at least going to appeal and the kids had won the first standing in the courts, I decided I wanted to tell this story. I put everything else on hold and kind of closed down my other projects and began to focus solely on this.” That was three years ago and the story continues to unfold. The federal government continues to find new ways to hold the case at the district level. And the young plaintiffs continue to fight for a better world. • • • • When Sean Weiner, director of the Creative Culture Initiative at the Jacob Burns Film Center, was looking to fill the brand new Focus on Nature residency at the film center, Christi Cooper’s name cropped up. “In the documentary film world you’ll see 10 grants behind one project,” Weiner says. “We asked [other filmmakers] what are the two or three projects that haven’t gotten that kind of attention. That’s where we prefer to support. We have leverage to put support behind that. Our only goals are filmmaker and artist development. We seek no financial gain from this.” Cooper’s doc fit the bill. “The subject matter of the film is really compelling on all levels for us,” Weiner says. “And with this project we have a golden opportunity for our resident to engage with local students in middle and high schools around the area.” Weiner says he plans to build one or two events where students from the area will come in to see some or all of Cooper’s movie and talk with her about filmmaking and activism. BOULDER COUNTY’S INDEPENDENT VOICE

“A lot of our student programs focus on young protagonists,” Weiner says. “That’s exactly the case with Christi’s film. Seeing someone their age engage in activism is important to show.” While Cooper can’t say what will happen with Juliana v. United States, she knows this is only the beginning. “I see these kids looking at their future in a much different way than I did,” she says. “I didn’t think, ‘Are species going to be extinct?’ every day as a child. I didn’t think, ‘Are we still going to

have an Arctic shelf? Will I be able to live where I want to live?’ I was planning my whole life and I see kids questioning whether they should have children, whether their family members are going to be harmed, whether they will be safe having a house near the woods. I feel compelled to provide a platform for them. They have as much to say about the future as adults, and these kids often know more about the science and policies and impacts than adults do.” As for taking the scenic path, maybe

that’s the only way to really get where you need to go. And Cooper’s not the first. Kurt Vonnegut studied chemistry at Cornell. Samuel Morse studied at London’s Royal Academy of Arts before co-founding the National Academy of Design in Manhattan. Da Vinci, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, John James Audubon, all artists and scientists who took their own meandering paths to greatness. Like Einstein — who played piano and violin — said: “The greatest scientists are artists as well.”


Saturday, June 1 - 8pm - 11pm - Por Wine Bar - Louisville Wednesday, June 26 - 5pm - 8pm - Vista Ridge Community Center’s “Yappy Hour” - Erie Saturday, June 29 - 7pm - 9pm - Liquid Mechanics Brewing - Lafayette I

MAY 9, 2019



Profile for Boulder Weekly

5.9.19 Boulder Weekly  

5.9.19 Boulder Weekly