Giant decommissioned oil rigs, displaced polar bears and footage of a 1960s shopping centre being built will be projected onto buildings around Renfrewshire this week.

A series of stunning short films which show the effects of climate change will be shown at pop up outdoor cinemas at Johnstone Masonic Hall, Paisley Gilmore Street and Erskine Sports Centre.

The screenings, from 10th to 12th November, have been organised by Renfrewshire Leisure, as a response to COP26, in conjunction with outdoor screening experts Cinescapes and Double Take Projections.

Muriel Ann Macleod of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The films have been chosen to reflect environmental change and the impact this can have on human and animal life.

“Often people think films about climate will be like lectures – but these are artistic responses to what is happening and are also very beautiful to watch.

“We have films from America, Norway and Germany and I’m also delighted we have two Scottish films in the collection. These things are happening on our doorstep and we all have to think about how to act.”

Muriel Ann Macleod is the creative producer for Place Partnership – which is a Creative Scotland and Renfrewshire Council initiative which aims to find creative uses for vacant space in town centres.

Ali Whitty, Chief Executive of Erskine Arts, which has a new base in Erskine Sports Centre said he hoped the event would be the first of many to take place in the town.
“We’re hoping this will put us on the map. At the moment people from Erskine have to travel to take part in cultural events but this COP26 screening can show people they can stay in place and stay in their community and still enjoy the arts.”

Among the films on show will be archive footage of the building of the Paisley Piazza between 1967 and 1971 which was rediscovered by Renfrewshire archivist Richard Weeks.

In ‘Cold Stack’ director Frank Martin charts the melancholy decline of the oil industry in Scotland – showing both the environmental dereliction and the workers left behind by the decline of heavy industry.

Film maker Frank Martin said: “I’m thrilled to be chosen for this event. I originally wanted to make a film about the oil rigs themselves but ended up meeting some people who worked on them. There is a real feeling of lost identity – the human cost of climate change.”

‘I am fragile’ by Norwegian Florian Ledoux focuses on the wildlife of the arctic, while ‘The Beauty’, German filmaker by Pascal Shelbli, imagines an animated world where plastic is part of the landscape. In ‘Coastal Requiem’ American film maker Diane Tuft visits communities displaced by rising sea levels.”

The films will be shown on a 40 minute loop between 5.30 and 9pm.

Amanda Rogers of Cinescapes said: “This is a wonderful selection of films from around the world which show the real impact of environmental change.

“This is the first time Cinescapes has collaborated with Renfrewshire Leisure and we hope people will come out, enjoy the films and contribute to the debate around environmental issues which affect us all.”

Cinescapes specialises in outdoor screenings in which films are projected onto the landscape or onto iconic builldings and has just been nominated for a Creative Edinburgh award.

Muriel Ann Macleod said: “It has been great to work with Cinescapes. I love the idea of outdoor screenings. It is a safe way for people to get together and I hope people will venture outdoors and be inspired.”

The event is free but ticketed. Each film lasts between four and ten minutes and will run on a 40 minute loop. People without tickets will be welcome to turn up on the night.

The Paisley Gilmour Street screenings on 11th Nov will tie in with the Paisley Windows on COP 26 project between November 5 and 12 in collaboration with Paisley First.

Dates and Locations:

  • Screenings run from 5.30pm – 9pm, with films on a 40 minute loop
  • Wednesday November 10, The Masonic Hall, 11 Collier Str, Johnstone PA5 8AR
  • Thursday November 11, Gilmour Street, (CEX Gable wall) Paisley PA1 1BY
  • Friday November 12, Erskine Sports Centre, Kilpatrick Drive Erskine PA8 7AF

Main image credit: Still from Cold Stack short film by Frank Martin