We can see the effects of climate change. The increase of natural disasters and changes in weather patterns across the globe is evident. I had an opportunity to speak with Director Jawad Mir about his documentary Only 78. Check it out below.
Thank you for granting the interview, Jawad! Only 78 is a powerful film. With several destructive hurricanes only weeks apart, this film may be the answer to making those who oppose climate change take notice. Was this the intent of the film?
It wasn’t initially but as the production on the film progressed, that element plays a strong role in the film. We interviewed a professor from the University of Toronto from the Earth Sciences department and that added an integral part to the climate change. That being said, climate change is a very big issue and it speaks volumes when we see people and community affected by it. This is what ONLY 78 does. It is about people, community stuck between mother nature and the federal government denying ownership of the seawall which protected them from hurricanes and storm surges. It is sad however that people may respond to climate change more after seeing what’s going on in States and Caribbean. We shouldn’t have to wait for something like this to happen to tackle the issue.
What is your view on climate change?
I think it’s a serious concern and each of us can do something, small or big to make a difference. I also believe that there will be always people who will not believe in something, in this case, climate change. But instead of us worrying about why people are not buying it, we should have people who are for making things better take action. That will in short and long-term convince deniers into believers.
For many, Nova Scotia is an idyllic place to live and visit. Many would be surprised that it’s experiencing so many challenges. What inspired you to make the film?
It was an article in a national newspaper that just attracted me to the story in the first place. And it was really about helping this community fight out the struggle against the government and then the film itself became a struggle to make. It was completely self-funded over the course of 4 years and seeing this little community fight out inspired me to keep going.
Why the title Only 78? What’s the meaning?
There are 78 people in the community and the conclusion was that the government didn’t care much because it was ONLY 78 people
How important is it to maintain and preserving heritage in an ever-changing climate?
It is very important. It does and always will remind us where we came from. And we not only have to save people from climate change but our history and heritage. Because if heritage is no more, what we will tell our future generation. The film’s tagline is Every Life Matters. So not only we need to save lives but also save heritage, building, history, and culture.
You’re about to make the festival circuit rounds. What are your expectations for the film?
At first, I want the film to be seen by as many people as possible. So people are aware of small coastal communities around the world that are suffering similar issue but also show people how people are affected by climate change.
What are your thoughts on the recent hurricanes in America and the mass flooding around the globe?
It is absolutely scary. We have hurricanes after hurricanes coming and what’s scary is that they seem to be heading to the same areas which mean that already affected cities are going to get hammered again and again. US and others really need to get on board so we can save our cities, countries, and planet. The result won’t happen overnight but if we start now, things will get better in years to come.
What can the audience expect when they watch your film?
It doesn’t matter how small you are but if you keep trying and never give up, things can happen. Of course, they may not happen all the time but partial or full change can take place if you keep going. That could be about saving a community or saving the planet and working towards keeping our planet habitable before it’s too late.
Where can your film be viewed?
Visit Only 78 website for additional information on release dates and viewing locations.
Is there anything you would like to add that we haven’t asked?
I am currently writing a feature film script, developing a series/doc as well as producing and editing sequel to 2015 film BARISTA.
Featured Image Photo Credit: ZMolu Photography.
Connect with Jawad:
Just a nerd girl living a geek lifestyle of writing, filmmaking, photographing, and designing. Managing Editor of Your Film Review™. Believer in God/Jesus. 안녕 I'm also a Director under @DVDNetflix, where I write reviews, talk film, and more. Follow me on Twitter.