17 November 2010

Harmony, A New Way of Looking at Our World, narrated by Prince Charles

By Mary Vincent - Follow on Twitter @MaryVincent
Three decades of work by HRH The Prince of Wales to combat 
climate change and find innovative solutions to the global environmental crisis, culminate in the documentary *Harmony*, an urgent, accessible and practical call to action. 
It offers the audience a rare glimpse of The Prince of Wales, and a new and inspiring perspective on how the world can meet the challenges of climate change globally, locally and personally.

*Harmony* is a chance to see how The Prince of Wales’ values are expressed
through the people and programs that he has supported for nearly thirty
years – a surprising and dynamic array of business leaders and environmental
activists, farmers, doctors, artists, architects, builders, indigenous
people and government officials. They are challenging conventional wisdom,
creating new sustainable technologies, and forging a deeper and more
spiritual relationship with the natural world.

Harmony is narrated by Prince Charles, and has its broadcast premiere at 10pmET on Friday, November 19th on NBC. Prior to its premiere, “Dateline” will air an exclusive interview of Prince Charles speaking with Brian Williams at 9pmET.

I was grateful to be on a conference call with the Executive Producers Julie Bergman Sender and Stuart Sender. Here are some of the thoughts they shared:

Per Stuart Sender:
"You know, when we started working on this project on Harmony people would understandably want to ask us about the Prince, you know, what is he like and what is it like to work with him? But, you know, what we really want to say from the outset is as the Prince of Wales has always insisted, this has never really been about the Prince but much more about what we’ve come to see as the principles. That said, I do want to take a minute to just say a few words about the Prince of Wales for people who may not know that much about his history.

Because this film grows out of 30 years plus of his work around combating climate change, 25 years of work as an organic farmer working on issues on sustainability, corporate social responsibility and being that is kind of lead up to his being named one of Time Magazine’s leaders and visionaries as a hero of the environment.

And so we really had a kind of, you know, extraordinary experience working with all of this material and creating a film that we hope will give people a kind of a different perspective, not just on the global environmental crisis that we hear about, but also about the way that that’s connected to real solutions that we can look at in terms of the environment and the economy are connected about how we grow and distributed our food, about how we can create new technologies that are inspired by really interesting entrepreneurs who are looking at nature and figuring out how to make - how to create solutions to some of the problems that we’re facing.

The Prince has an initiative called Dutchy Originals which acts a lot the way Newman’s Own does where natural and organic products are sold and proceeds are given to charities. And that was how we connected.

The Prince had made his own film called the Earth in Balance. All the way back in 1990 he made a film that dealt with environmental issues and climate change.

And I think he felt pretty passionately that a lot of these issues were not just still happening but that these were things that needed to be addressed with even more urgency.

You know, as he said, you know, we’re now dealing with a planet that has dwindling resources and real crisis that we’re facing. And a lot of this stuff that we continue to do we do with the awareness that we’re facing these challenges and that this was a time to issue what he calls in the movie a call to action."

Per Julie Sender:
"...I think, you know, the fact that he’s the Prince of Wales is in a way secondary to his passion about this issue, that he views his position in the world as a way to bring awareness and to bring support to people from all different economic, social religious, you know, environmental and sustainable workers and people who are suffering from climate change as much as people who are working towards making it less of a threat. He really does believe that this is his calling as a person"

Per Stuart Sender:
"The Prince has an organic farm that’s about 1200 acres. It’s quite an extraordinary place. And when you watch the movie you’ll get a little bit of a taste -- no pun intended -- of what that farm is like and why he decided to convert to organic as a kind of way of expressing his values in the world.

And..so we look at that as a kind of an example of what Harmony might be."