‘Rebuilding Paradise’ Director Ron Howard About Why He’s Spoken Up About Climate Change (Exclusive Video)

Sundance 2020: “As a citizen, you recognize the challenges out there and you can’t just leave it to others to engage,” director says

Last Updated: January 26, 2020 @ 6:36 AM

Ron Howard said that making his new documentary “Rebuilding Paradise,” about the aftermath of the devastating 2018 Camp Fire in northern California, had emboldened him to speak out about climate change — even at the risk of severe blowback like he experienced on Twitter earlier this month.

“As a citizen, you recognize the challenges out there and you can’t just leave it to others to engage,” Howard told TheWrap founder Sharon Waxman in Sundance on Friday.

For one year, Howard and his film crews followed the residents of Paradise, California, in the Sierra Nevada foothills as they sought to recover from a wildfire that killed 86 people and destroyed 95% of the town.

“One of the things I learned was that old adage — showing up is first and foremost in reinforcing the possibility of home,” he said. “People did take action from around their community. I’m not talk about protesting, I’m talking about trying to solve problems. It’s a lesson in getting things done, making things happen, making your voice heard.”

He added, “There’s something very powerful about seeing the way the community came together.”

The NatGeo production was produced by Howard, Brian Grazer, Xan Parker, Sara Bernstein and Justin Wilkes.

Watch the video above.

For the record: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the location of Paradise, Calif.

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