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Last night  at the NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts, Academy-Award winning filmmaker (and DOC NYC advisory boardmember) Michael Moore, whose films ‘Fahrenheit 9/11,’ ‘Capitalism: A Love Story,’ ‘Bowling for Columbine’ and ‘SiCKO’ are among the top ten grossing documentaries of all-time, moderated a casual but thought provoking discussion with filmmaker Jon Shenk (Lost Boys of Sudan) after the screening of Shenk’s new film, The Island President.

With stunning cinematography and an emotional soundtrack by Radiohead, the film tells the story of globe-trotting President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced– the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. 

The archipelago nation of the Maldives, off India’s coast, looks like a Waterworld paradise. But the country risks becoming submerged underwater before the end of the century, unless climate change is reversed. That sets a clear mission for the charismatic, passionate, unfettered and sometimes scrappy President Nasheed, who fought a dictatorship for twenty years to be elected at age 41.  Nasheed is still fighting, only now, to bring climate change awareness to the World in more imaginative and creative ways – Nasheed made World headlines in 2009, holding the world’s first subaqueous cabinet meeting. Jon Shenk follows Nasheed in his first year in office as he strategizes to keep his threatened homeland at breathing level, while lobbying other countries to help.

The Island President is a well deserved, recent recipient of the Toronto International Film Festival’s People’s Choice Documentary Award.

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