Climate Story Lab



Greta starts a school strike for the climate. With determination she wants to show the adult world that if they don’t care about her future on earth, why should she care about her future in school? In just a few months her strike evolves into a global movement and Greta goes from being a quiet Swedish girl with Asperger's syndrome to a world famous activist.

Cecilia Nessen


Nathan Grossman


Frederik Heinig



Cecilia Nessen is a Swedish producer of documentary films tied to BR•F. Nessen is the producer behind ”Bergman - A Year in a Life” that premiered in Cannes 2018 and won the European Film Award for Best European Documentary, the essay documentary “The Hotel” (competition at CPH:DOX 2017) as well as the short doc ”Vox Lipoma” (competition at Sundance Film Festival 2018).

Nessen is currently producing “Greta vs Climate” on climate activist Greta Thunberg, “Maddy”, a portrait of Madeline Stuart - the first professional model with Down Syndrome - and Fanny Ovesen’s “Laura”. She has a master’s degree in finance from Stockholm School of Economics.

A member of the Senate is on average 61 years old, meaning that by 2050, most of today’s politicians will either be dead or live in retirement homes. This makes them lucky, because by 2050 climate scientists believe that our planet will be an entirely different place if we don’t do something about climate change now.

Someone who will live most of her life in that future is Greta Thunberg. 15 years old, in her final year of high school, she decided to start a school strike, becoming one of the world’s most famous activists in 2018.

With a thin plywood-poster, a raincoat and a bunch of flyers, Greta began sitting outside the Swedish parliament. Alone and determined she wants to show the adults that if they don’t care about her future on earth, why would she care about her future in school?

Even before the strike, Greta was deeply immersed in the science of climate change. She transformed her family into climate activists (her mother is the famous Swedish opera singer Malena Ernman) and won an environmental writers award. Climate was the only thing on her mind.

What makes a teenager so determined to raise awareness about climate change? What makes a 15- year old even care about these political issues, and then go on to read up on all the complex information that surrounds it? All of this at an age when many do not even manage to read Harry Potter in school.

The answer lies in a diagnosis.

A few years ago, Greta went through a personal crisis. By the age of 12, she hardly had any friends and got bullied in school. She couldn’t stand the harassment anymore, so one morning she decided to stop going to school.

A chaotic period followed until a doctor finally confirmed that Greta suffers from Asperger syndrome.

”If you have Asperger's, you will probably recognize yourself in some of these symptoms:

• Certain interests will have a huge impact on you, and take up much of your time. You are easily engaged with subjects that interest you, and you can learn a lot without getting tired”

The subject that Greta became interested in was climate change and she went on to learn everything she could about it - reading books and whatever reports she could get her hands on. However, something felt wrong. A major aspect of Asperger syndrome is that you tend to interpret what people say literally. So when Greta was correctly told that we are facing a climate catastrophe and that we only have a few years left to save our planet, she could not understand why the adults that told her this didn’t act upon that information. Why did they continue flying to Thailand?

“If the climate issue is the biggest and most devastating catastrophe of our time, why doesn’t anyone act like we are in the middle of a crisis? Why aren’t we informed by the media about this downfall everyday? Why don’t people worry about this all the time?”

In this documentary we will follow one of the world’s most attentive activists - from her first steps towards creating a protest movement, to becoming a leading figure within a movement that has been endorsed by world leaders and celebrities such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Gore, Leonardo Di Caprio, Emmanuel Macron and Antonio Guterres.

A child who despises the spotlight if it’s not for the sake of the cause. A sufferer of Asperger's who doesn’t like talking to people but enjoys holding speeches in front of thousands to discuss her climate-anxieties.

What drives her? Will her strike develop into a global movement? Will she manage to hold the faith of humanity on her tiny shoulders?

From a small pounding heart to the earths atmosphere, a story about climate-anxiety in an era of consumerism. About taking things in your own hands when nobody’s listening. A David against Goliath story with the future of humanity at stake.

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