How humans created an ‘artificial’ planet Earth highlighted in major documentary

Posted by ap507 at Nov 09, 2015 11:04 AM |
University of Leicester geologist features in ‘Anthropocene’ which premiered at Copenhagen Film Festival

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 9 November 2015

The trailer for Anthropocene can be viewed here:  

The impact humans have had on planet Earth and how we have created an ‘artificial planet’ will be explored in a new documentary by an award-winning journalist featuring a University of Leicester geologist.

Anthropocene, which saw its world premiere at the Copenhagen International Documentary Festival on 7 November 2015, features Professor Jan Zalasiewicz from the University of Leicester’s Department of Geology, who discusses how humanity has created a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene - and how it could threaten the very existence of mankind.

The film is directed by Emmy award-winning British journalist Steve Bradshaw and is the first documentary film to cover the Anthropocene, exploring how humans are driving the emerging geology of planet Earth.

The story of the Anthropocene is told through the words of scientists involved in analysing the new concept and is illustrated with a large range of historical film material documenting the changes in the last century.

Jan Zalasiewicz, Professor of Palaeobiology from the University of Leicester’s Department of Geology, said: “For me, the film is an important historical document as well as a fast-moving narrative, as it very effectively captures the thoughts and impressions of some of the major figures involved in the study of this new interval of Earth time, just at the point when detailed geological study of this new concept was beginning.  The sense of awe at the speed and scale of human-driven change to Earth is palpable.”

Steve Bradshaw, the director of Anthropocene, said: “Our film is rather like a Science Fiction story whose narrators are debating whether it's a tragedy, a comedy, or something more surreal. At a time of increasing fundamentalisms, Anthropocene offers a different way of looking at the human narrative. As one contributor says, it's a story that can make you laugh or cry. All that's certain is we're now all writing the next and - maybe even the last - chapter.”

Anthropocene had its world premiere at the Copenhagen International Documentary Festival in early November, with further screenings on 10 and 14 November.

The film will also be showing in the University of Leicester’s Bennett Building on Thursday 3 December between 6pm – 8pm.

For more information about the film please visit the website here:

The trailer for Anthropocene can be viewed here: 


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Professor Jan Zalasiewicz on or contact film director Steve Bradshaw on

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