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A Night Against Nukes

Dogwoof and Global Zero hosted an impressive crowd for the UK premiere of Countdown To Zero.

So much for Screen’s typical idle film chatter over wine and canapés, there was a higher level of dialogue going on Tuesday night at BAFTA for a screening of Lucy Walker’s nuclear weapons elimination documentary Countdown To Zero.

Well-heeled political movers and shakers (and…err…Vanessa Feltz) weren’t exactly talking rocket science – but they were talking nuclear science in honour of Demand Zero Day.

UK distributor Dogwoof hosted the UK premiere of the film alongside advocacy group Global Zero.

The film’s producer Lawrence Bender (also famed for working with Tarantino and on An Inconvenient Truth) was on hand to introduce the film (sadly director Lucy Walker wasn’t in attendance) and also to lead a panel discussion following the screening. The esteemed panelists included Queen Noor, ex-CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, Global Zero’s Bruce Blair and Labour Party politician Margaret Beckett.

Beckett got the toughest questions from the audience about the UK’s nuclear programme Trident and public non-support for the Iraq War.

Plame, also known to filmgoers because she was recently portrayed by Naomi Watts in Fair Game, said she now called for total obliteration of nuclear weapons – “you have to drain the swamp,” she said. Queen Noor added that it wasn’t just politicians who can make a difference: “Everyone of us has a role to play,” she said.

The screening was also held in 70 cinemas across the UK and Ireland and audiences dispersed around those dozens of cinemas were invited to Tweet and text their own questions live to the panel – one of Bender’s most endearing moments on stage was attempting the pronunciation of “Aberystwyth.”

Global Zero co-founder Matt Brown noted that the group had seen Tweets earlier that day from disparate supporters Al Gore and Ashton Kutcher. Global Zero is also hosting a two-day conference in London for international leaders on Wednesday and Thursday.

Dogwoof opens Countdown To Zero across the UK starting Friday.

Photos by Yves Salmon.

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