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Gustavsson, Sara, 2021. Filmmakers’ interpretation of environmental science fiction : an exploration of how movies can be used for change making. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



We are now living within the reality of the worst environmental crisis mankind has ever seen and some modes within environmental communication are struggling to help us create change. In recent decade, there has been a growing interest in using storytelling for sustainable change. Science fiction is seen as a genre of great possibility, and filmmakers and writers within this field have long known of the possibilities provided within this medium because of its ability to travel in time and space. Some scholars and writers argue that storytelling is a powerful way of communicating but the stories are not living up to its promise as they keep telling the same old stories. In this thesis I turn to the filmmakers themselves to ask them about the possibilities and limitations of science fiction storytelling that can lead to behavioral changes and attitudes about the environmental future by researching the following questions:

- How do filmmakers understand the influence of (their) Sci-fi movies on the audience’s expectations of the future?
- What stories about our socio environmental future do filmmakers see being told, along with the limitations or obstacles - and why?

To better understand why certain stories are told and others not, the results of this thesis are based on a qualitative research approach by conducted interviews with six filmmakers working within the field of environmental and/or science fiction movies. The thesis departs from Artur Banduras ‘Social Cognitive theory of Mass Communication, to investigate filmmakers view on the possibilities and limitations of Sci-fi storytelling for our environmental future. Doing so, contributes to the understanding of how science fiction movies can be used for change making.

The results indicate that the filmmakers see a need for new stories and that the filmmakers are interested in exploring new ways of telling them. However, when wanting to do so they struggle with norms, dramaturgical obstacles, prejudices and funding which often leads into either compromising their story and telling it with limitations or simply not telling it at all. In conclusion, one can say that if cinematic storytelling is to be used for change making there are some things that needs to be considered. It is important to understand what it means to tell certain stories and how they can affect the audience as well as understanding what discourse lies behind the stories – why they are portrayed in certain ways. This thesis presents the insights of the filmmakers interviewed, which is a start of understanding the context of storytelling as a way of environmental communication to enable more successful communication for environmental change.

Main title:Filmmakers’ interpretation of environmental science fiction
Subtitle:an exploration of how movies can be used for change making
Authors:Gustavsson, Sara
Supervisor:Joosse, Sofie
Examiner:Grubbström, Ann
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2021
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:environmental communication, science fiction, cinematic storytelling, storytelling, futuristic science fiction, environmental science fiction, social cognitive theory of mass communication, Albert Bandura
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Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Rural sociology and social security
Nature conservation and land resources
Social sciences, humanities and education
Deposited On:24 Jan 2022 09:25
Metadata Last Modified:25 Jan 2022 02:00

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