Can we break our addiction to North Sea oil and gas?

THE OIL MACHINE is a landmark documentary by Emma Davie about the challenges and complexities of transitioning away from fossil fuels.

The film reveals the dependencies that the dominance of big oil in our economy creates. We are now facing a climate emergency and, as the UK’s former Chief Scientific Advisor Sir David King points out in the film, we have five years to ensure decisive action that will determine the future of humanity. Even as the pace of global events continues to speed up and our attention is so easily diverted elsewhere, continuing to build momentum for a Just Transition is vital.

Premiering at Sheffield DocFest in June 2022, THE OIL MACHINE has united critics and audiences who have praised its remarkably broad remit and range of contributors. Voices from the oil industry are juxtaposed with those of young activists involved in the school strikes movement. Financial advisors managing multi-billion pound pension funds set out the stark prospects climate change poses to their balance sheets, while climate scientists explain the truth behind phrases like ‘net-zero’ and the urgency of meeting the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal to limit warming by 1.5 degrees. 

We began working with the filmmaking team in early 2022 by organising a series of campaign development workshops. This allowed us to plan for an impact campaign that reflected the scale and the urgency of the film’s core themes, and enabled the producer Sonja Henrici to successfully raise funds for the campaign.

THE OIL MACHINE is a powerful film because of its collective credibility and diverse range of voices brought together within a single narrative – it’s not an advocacy film in the conventional sense. We identified six core stakeholder groups who are represented in the film and will each be encouraged to be part of our impact activities or to organise their own: investors, oil and gas companies, oil workers, young activists, climate scientists, and a wider group of advocates.  

Every group will be enabled to host their own events, share their own calls to action, and offer us their perspective on the latest developments in the ongoing energy crisis.

The goal is to grow public understanding of the complexity of our energy economy and build common ground for ambitious action on climate.


This October, we will be announcing the campaign which we're calling After THE OIL MACHINE for three reasons:

  • It’s about sparking discussions after watching the film.
  • We’ll be producing additional content on what’s been happening since filming.
  • We want to share calls to action to move away from oil.

For example, a responsible investor can help us discuss the film with audiences in the finance sector, provide a web update on the current uncertainties, and encourage people saving for a pension to move their funds away from fossil fuels and towards more sustainable options.

This campaign couldn’t be more timely, as its launch coincides with the new UK government’s rush to offer 100 new licences for North Sea oil and gas exploration…

Check out the provisional website
(brand new one coming soon!)

Read more on Campaigns for Films

Add your reaction

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.