Lockdown screening: 8 of the best film recommendations for sustainability and energy professionals

With many edie readers searching for something to watch in the safety of their own home, we've pulled together a list of the top films and documentaries to get lost in during lockdown – as recommended by sustainability and energy professionals across the country.  

Lockdown screening: 8 of the best film recommendations for sustainability and energy professionals

From animated films to hard-hitting documentaries

As we approach a four-day weekend for the Easter Holiday, many sustainability and energy professionals will inevitibly be looking for ways to spend their downtime on the topics that matter to them most.

And while many of us are grappling with how to communicate during the Covid-19 lockdown and continue to plan and implement long-term strategies during the working week, the at-home evenings and weeknights present an opportunity to catch up on some of the films and documentaries and that are sitting in the “must watch” pile.

With that in mind, edie surveyed sustainability professionals on how they are working through coronavirus, and based on their suggestions, we’ve put together this list that will broaden the mindset of any sustainability or energy professional. Have your own recommendation? Add it in the comments section below.

PLUS: edie has also published a list of must-read books for sustainability professionals too.

“The Game Changers”

The Game Changers is a documentary you’ve either watched or have been told by other people to watch. While its primary focus is on the myths of protein and strength and the role of plant-based eating in helping elite athletes, it can act as a gateway to discussing the climate impact of meat, dairy and livestock in much more detail.


Cowspiracy is like the “Godfather” of environmental documentaries. Since its launch in 2014, many have appreciated its expose on the agricultural sector in a time where climate awareness was low, unlike today. With animal agriculture, a leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, and being responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, this documentary asks why more people aren’t focused on the sector as a major barrier to overcoming the climate crisis.

“Blue Planet 2”

What better way to spend your downtime in lockdown than reminding yourself of the transformative impact of television. Just 90 seconds of the Blue Planet 2 series was required to ignite a ripple effect across the globe that saw citizens and governments finally wake up to the threats of plastics waste. This is a great watch for those struggling to get their sustainability messages across, as its a reminder that in the right medium, you can create lightning rod moments.

“Our Planet”

When and if you’re done with Blue Planet, why not broaden your ecological horizons with David Attenborough once more, this time with Our Planet. The documentary series is an examination of how climate change is causing havoc for all living creatures and gives Attenborough much more of a critical voice that his previous BBC docuseries.


This one is mainly for the parents who are having to entertain their children during this period of social distancing. Moana features all the charm and annoyingly catchy musicals you’d expect in a Disney film while subtly pointing to an underlying message.

Island nations are the ones most at risk from climate change, and that is no different in Moana’s home of Motunui. Dry fisheries and failing crops provide the backdrop for the protagonist to go on a journey to appease nature. As a film, Moana highlights how dependent some communities are on the immediate environment around them, and how global warming can drastically impact their everyday lives. This could be a great way to get your children more interested in the natural environment.

“Before the Flood”

Better known for being in front of the camera rather than behind it, Leonardo DiCaprio has not only been vocal about his concerns for climate change, he’s been an innovator. The Before the Flood documentary of 2016 was produced by none other than Leonardo DiCaprio. It captures the actor’s travels across some of the most vulnerable parts of the world including Greenland, the Pacific islands, Sumatra and China to examine the impact of climate change, as he comes to the realisation that this may, in fact, be the last generation that can limit the damage.

It features exclusive interviews with the likes of Al Gore, Elon Musk and Barack Obama to highlight the humanitarian and business opportunities that come with limiting global warming.

“The Energy Internet”

Nicholas Dunlop, secretary-general of the Climate Department has travelled the world spreading the idea of an “energy internet”, a series of long-distance transmission lines linking us all to the areas where renewable energy is most abundant. This 25-minute documentary explores whether this is achievable and whether “a new generation of green activists can bring the world online” to focus on energy-based climate solution.

“An Inconvenient Truth/An Inconvenient Sequel”

Former US Vice President Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth won Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature and Best Original Song in 2007 and placed a high-ranking politician at the heart of its agenda. Al Gore then returned in 2017 with the sequel to Inconvenient Truth, as the cameras follow him around the world to showcase first-hand the impacts of climate change.

The two documentaries work well together as they showcase the contrast in the global climate debate before and during the signing of the Paris Agreement. The sequel, “Truth to Power” follows Gore’s efforts to mobilise investments into renewable energy up to and beyond the signing of the historic agreement.

Matt Mace

Comments (2)

  1. Annie Gibbons says:

    It would be helpful if you included where to stream these films, not just the youtube trailer!

  2. fraser millar says:

    Surprised not see Ponyo here (studio Ghibli) – family viewing that highlights the pervasive problem of ocean littering and effects of climate change on our oceans.

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