“Shell: Own up, pay up, clean up". SALT.TV Director Nick Collett has just finished the latest campaign film for Amnesty International. The piece, starring Oscar-nominated actor Sophie Okonedo, aims to drive awareness to the devastation that oil pollution is having in the Niger Delta.
Kate Allen, UK Director, Amnesty International says: "The Niger Delta was once a beautiful wetland that supported a population of nearly 40 million people. But decades of pollution and neglect have devastated the environment. Over the last 50 years, an estimated 9 - 13 million barrels of oil have been spilt in the Niger Delta - It’s left a devastating legacy that has destroyed the livelihoods of nearly everyone living there." ” I wanted to create a film that inspired viewers to imagine the consequences of oil pollution on their own lives and then get involved with the issue” comments Collett.
Cleverly placing the story in a Western context and imagining different professions having their livelihoods destroyed by oil pollution, Nick observes: “I wanted to give the film a very stylised graphic feel, which I hope creates intrigue, whilst accentuating the menacing presence of the oil. For me, shooting black and white helped create a subtle confusion as to what exactly the liquid is…I liked the idea that at first the viewer might mistake it for blood. For the shoot, we actually substituted the oil with black treacle... The shop-assistant in M&S got pretty confused as to why I had shopping baskets full of the stuff at the checkout but was still asking if they had any more out the back".
The campaign has already garnered thousands of signatures as it continues to gain momentum. The film is exceeding expectations for Amnesty International and is currently being translated into 18 languages for use around the world.
Have a look for yourself and get involved: http://www.salt.tv/nick-collett/