2020-09-02 12:39Press release

Greta Thunberg documentary to premiere this Friday at Venice Film Festival

Greta Thuberg. Photo: BR•F Greta Thuberg. Photo: BR•F

I Am Greta follows the unlikely story of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg with compelling, never-before-seen footage. Director Nathan Grossman offers an intimate view into Greta’s life as she becomes the global face of the climate change movement, while dealing with mounting pressure and hate from right wing pundits and even some world leaders. The film will premiere at the Venice International Film Festival tomorrow.

In I Am Greta, director Nathan Grossman has had unparalleled access to capture Greta Thunberg’s meetings with world leaders, headline-making speeches and mass protests. Outside these public moments, the film also features rarely shown scenes of Greta at home with her family and her dogs, writing her speeches, and trying to handle the mounting stress of nonstop travel, public scrutiny, and becoming the face of the climate change cause. 

At the beginning of the film, we meet Greta Thunberg as a shy student with Asperger’s, protesting alone outside the Swedish Parliament in a “school strike”. After more people start joining the strikes, they gradually spread to other countries and soon school strikes for the climate have become a global phenomenon with millions of people taking to the streets. Fast forward just one year from the start, and the film culminates with Greta’s astonishing voyage across the Atlantic Ocean to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City.

The film highlights the growing frustration felt by Greta and many others about political leaders' inaction on climate change, despite stark warnings from climate scientists and ever deadlier climate-fuelled natural disasters. Young activists are asking that leaders listen to the science and take action for a safe future – instead they are met with only empty words from politicians, and ridicule or even death threats from some individuals. 

Director Nathan Grossman started filming Greta on the very first day of her school strike after hearing about Greta’s plans from a friend. Back then, Grossman had no idea Greta’s strike would develop into a global movement, or that he would end up filming Greta across Europe, on the Atlantic and in New York for a feature-length documentary.

Nathan Grossman:
“At the start I thought I would film this shy but fascinating girl for a couple days for a short film. As I got to know her better and saw the massive impact she was having it evolved to a film about her crazy year and rise to fame. Of course I couldn’t have imagined that she would cross the Atlantic and speak to world leaders – or that I would follow her on the boat! My hope is that this film will give people a deeper understanding of who Greta is by bringing them closer than ever to her journey, showing that fighting the climate crisis shouldn’t be the responsibility of her and other children, but our collective utmost priority.”

Greta Thunberg: 
“I really like the film and I think it gives a realistic image of myself and my daily life. I hope anyone who watches the film can finally understand that we young people aren’t school striking just for fun. We are protesting because we don’t have a choice. A lot has of course happened since I started school striking, but sadly we are still stuck on square one. The changes and the level of awareness needed are nowhere to be seen today. All that we ask for is for our society to treat the climate crisis as a crisis, and give us a safe future. I think the film shows just how far that is from happening right now. It shows that the urgency of the scientific message isn't getting through.” 

I Am Greta is a BR•F (B-Reel Films) production supported by The Swedish Film Institute, commissioner Jenny Gilbertsson. BR•F will dedicate half of the film's revenues to the foundation that Greta Thunberg has initiated with the aim of supporting organizations and projects that are fighting for a sustainable world, defending nature and supporting people already facing the worst impacts of the climate- and ecological crisis. 

International Press: Claudia Tomassini + Associates
Claudia Tomassini | claudia@claudiatomassini.com

US Press: Cinetic Marketing
Layla Hancock-Piper | layla@cineticmedia.com
Julie Chappell | julie@cineticmedia.com

Notes to editors
Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, 17, was selected as Time Person of the Year 2019 and has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Her school strike movement has inspired millions of people to take to the streets to protest against government inaction in tackling climate change. 

I Am Greta (97 minutes) will premiere this Friday, 4 September, at the Venice International Film Festival and will feature at the Toronto International Film Festival later this month. It releases in the US on Hulu on the 13 November.

The press conference of the film will be live streamed on Friday, September 4th at 12:00pm on the biennale official website (https://www.labiennale.org/en/cinema/2020) and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Labiennaledivenez

About The Swedish Film Institute

The Swedish Film Institute is a collective voice for film in Sweden, and a meeting-place for experiences and insights that elevate film on all levels. We preserve and make available Sweden’s film heritage, work to educate children and young people in film and moving images, support the production, distribution and screening of valuable film, and represent Swedish film internationally. A broad diversity of narratives establishes discussions and insights that strengthen the individual and our democracy. Together, we enable more people to create, experience and be enriched by film.


Jan Göransson
Head of Press
Jan Göransson
Per Perstrand
Communications Officer – Press
Per Perstrand