Academy Award-winner and U.N. Messenger for Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, along with executives from the National Geographic Channel, welcomed U.N. diplomats, top Hollywood talent, and more to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on October 20 for a red carpet screening of Before the Flood, DiCaprio’s forthcoming documentary about the worsening effects of climate change on global communities and ecosystems. The film, which follows DiCaprio as he travels the world interviewing individuals from every facet of society about the climate, will premiere on 21st Century Fox’s National Geographic Channel on Sunday, October 30, at 9/8c in 171 countries and 45 languages.
“I’d like to salute Leo for a powerful piece of art, a real call to arms, and also an offering of hope for the future,” said Piers Sellers, Director of Earth Sciences, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, during a post-screening panel discussion with DiCaprio, Before the Flood director Fisher Stevens, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. “We need to get more people out of this feeling of ‘Oh, it’s just too late…’ I want to see political action, and I think what you have done here is going to be a major pull for that.”
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon addressed the audience, as well, publicly thanking DiCaprio and his team for their work on the film. Also in attendance were actors Mark Ruffalo, Edward Norton, Shailene Woodley, Bridget Moynahan, Josh Charles, and more. The event fell on the eve of the October 21 theatrical release of Before the Flood, which will screen in theaters in New York and Los Angeles before the global broadcast premiere.
DiCaprio and Stevens, along with the leadership at National Geographic, have also spoken about their desire to release the film in the weeks leading up to the U.S. Presidential Election and to bring climate change to the forefront of the political conversation. To accomplish this, National Geographic Channel partnered with Rock the Vote and theSkimm to host voter registration events and screenings of Before the Flood at 50 college campuses this fall, with a goal to register 50,000 new voters. Nat Geo also plans to make the film available for free during the week leading up to the election, streaming on platforms such as iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and NatGeoTV.com.
“Climate change is the most critical and urgent problem facing our world today, and it must be a top issue for voters this Election Day,” DiCaprio said. “Fisher and I set out to make a film that not only educates people about the challenges we face if we fail to act, but one which also shows the solutions we can implement if we find the political will to do so… Bringing this film to college campuses is a key component to engaging young voters to hold our leaders accountable.”
The global broadcast premiere of Before the Flood on October 30 will also kick off Nat Geo’s first ever Earth Week, six straight days of primetime programming dedicated to climate change. Earth Week includes the second season premiere of the climate change documentary series Years of Living Dangerously, which features Hollywood correspondents such as David Letterman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Cecily Strong. Years premieres on October 30, as well, and the week will continue with nature documentaries, encore presentations, and more.
Learn more about Before the Flood, and check out the full panel discussion with President Barack Obama, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, and DiCaprio from the film screening at the White House earlier this month.