Bjørn Lomborg: Cool It!

Today the audiovisual trade magazine Realscreen brings an article that informs about a new documentary coming out about Danish environmentalist Bjørn Lomborg, a controversial character in Denmark – though one of former prime minister Anders Fogh’s experts – but a man, who seems to be taken seriously outside his own country. The film, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, is directed by Ondi Timoner (photo), who in the article constantly refers to “An inconvenient Truth” with and by Al Gore.

Lomborg: This is not about the idea of the world being doomed; we can actually fix global warming,” says Lomborg. “Global warming is a real problem but we can fix it and that’s the main difference, if you will, between the Gore version of global warming and what we’re trying to present with Cool It.

Timoner:  Initially, Lomborg was hesitant to open up, but eventually trusted the director’s instincts. Cool It begins with a short bio, delving into the media controversy surrounding his first book The Skeptical Environmentalist, his trial before a Danish panel on scientific dishonesty and his eventual exoneration, as well as a few personal tidbits, such as his relationship with his mother who suffers for Alzheimers.

“I have very poor taste,” says Lomborg. “I can see if I like stuff but I’m not able to put on clothes and see if they look well or buy a sofa and see whether it’ll fit into my apartment. I happily leave that to other people – people that I trust. So in that sense, I [thought], ‘Yeah, OK, if Ondi and everybody else is saying we need to hear about [me], we need to hear about me.”

…Timoner admits she probably would’ve used a similar approach if she had helmed An Inconvenient Truth, but says that now it’s time for the public attention to move on from that film and on to more realistic solutions. “We’re like the follow-up more than the anti-Inconvenient Truth,” she says. “It’s time for the next step.”

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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