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About the Film

With Carbon in the news every day, you might think you know everything about her. But you’d be wrong. This spectacular and surprisingly unorthodox documentary reveals the paradoxical story of the element that builds all life, and yet may end it all. Narrated in first person by Sarah Snook (Succession), Carbon tells of her birth in the violent core of an exploding star and of turbulent sagas through the fabric of our evolving Earth. Accompanied by celebrated scientists, unique animations and a stunning orchestral score, Carbon reminds us of our humble participation in the most extraordinary story in the universe.  

Meet The Talent

‘At its heart, this is a film about our urgent need to address a rapidly changing climate. As Carbon herself says, if we are to survive her, we must understand her.’

Sarah Snook

The Voice of Carbon

Meet The Team

Daniella Ortega

“My approach is to build an intimate, emotional and personal documentary biography of this wondrous element Carbon as if she were human.  By blurring the line between living and non-living, the invisible and the visible, for the first time we give Carbon a voice: she needs to be heard.”

Writer and Co-Director


Niobe Thompson

‘We hear the cliché “everything is connected”, but with Carbon, here was the opportunity to actually explore the fascinating chemical reality of that idea.  Carbon’s journeys through our world really are the tendrils of matter and energy that connect us with all things.’

Co-Director, Co-Producer and Executive Producer


Sonya Pemberton

‘Carbon – the unauthorised biography’ is no dystopian vision of doom and gloom, nor a utopian dream of a world made right, but rather it is an inspired and illuminating exploration of the profound connections that bind our world.’

Producer and Executive Producer

Meet The Experts


Astrophysicist, Neil Degrasse Tyson

“People are saying we have a carbon problem… what is your carbon footprint? What is your carbon tax? And I’m thinking… Don’t blame Carbon! It’s not carbon’s fault!’


Astrophysicist, Tamara Davis

‘Carbon’s our ancestor. She gave birth to us, but she’s also going to outlive us.’


Geologist, Bob Hazen

‘Every one of us lives in a carbon world. We have to learn to get along with carbon. And she's very happy to get along with us if we treat her right. 


Climate Scientist, 

Katharine Hayhoe

‘Nothing is more urgent to the survival of human civilization as we know it, than understanding carbon and where she likes to hide.’


Genepool Productions specialises in creating powerful and illuminating science documentaries for international audiences. Sonya Pemberton, Emmy award winner and record breaking fivetime winner of the prestigious Eureka Award for Science Journalism, leads the company. Previous projects include the critically acclaimed and multi-award-winning documentaries Immortal, Catching Cancer, Jabbed love, fear and vaccines, Uranium-Twisting the Dragon’s Tail, Vitamania - the sense and nonsense of vitamins and, most recently, Cracking COVID. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Genepool works in partnership with global broadcasters including ABC, SBS, Arte, ZDF, PBS, Smithsonian Channel and CuriosityStream.


Specialist science and nature producer Handful of Films is known for intelligent, ambitious, and impactful documentary storytelling.  Winner of 7 Canadian Screen Awards for Best Science and Nature Program, Best Cinematography and Best Original Score for the recent documentaries The Great Human Odyssey, The Perfect Runner, and Equus - Story of the Horse, we reached new heights in 2019, with a win at Sundance for Fast Horse and our second Emmy nomination for Transplanting Hope.  We work with CBC’s The Nature of Things, PBS NOVA and Nature, The Smithsonian Channel, ZDF, Arte and other major broadcasters and distributors.


We know that tackling the climate emergency effectively requires systemic changes and a move away from fossil fuels. In the meantime, we can take efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to carbon offsetting projects that keep or sequester carbon into the soil.


One of the biggest contributors to a film production’s carbon emissions is travel, and in particular, flying. For the production of ‘Carbon - The Unauthorised Biography’, every shoot was filmed by local crews on the ground, with interviews conducted remotely via zoom. With so much of the film being produced remotely, we were able to significantly reduce our carbon emissions.

We used the PEAR method to calculate our emissions estimate - we then purchased carbon offsets equal to double our estimated emissions amount. These offsets will go towards planting native biodiverse forests to capture carbon emissions and help fight the impacts of climate change.


Follow Greenfleet and CarbonZero to find out more about carbon offsetting and other ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint.

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