There are 94 naturally occurring elements, and together they make everything in the world. The stories of the elements are the stories of our own lives - they reveal the patterns of our economies, our relationships with our natural resources, and our own personal histories.
94 Elements is a global filmmaking project, producing a short film for each element by a different filmmaker. The project celebrates the diversity of the documentary form, with films being made by super-talented filmmakers and animators all over the world.
To accompany the films, we’re also creating a collection of interactive features exploring the data behind how we use the elements. Sign up for updates to hear when new films and features are released.
We’re finding more and more uses for the elements - half of the periodic table can be found in the phone in your pocket – and our demand for them has profound environmental, social and political consequences. We want to explore our complex interactions with our natural resources through a web of stories by some of the best filmmakers, coders and designers. Get involved!
Jason Sussberg & David Alvarado
Prof Andrea Sella
Half of the periodic table can be found in the phone in your pocket. We want to create a unique portrait of our human relationships with our resources in the 21st century.
The element indium is used in the manufacture of TVs and probably the computer screen you're reading this on right now. Known deposits could all be used up in 10 years.
It's likely however, that the environmental consequences of the way we extract minerals will catch up with us before we run out of them. More and more energy is required to exploit increasingly poorer deposits. A single Zinc mine in Namibia, for example, currently uses 20% of the entire country's electricity supply.
The 94 Elements project explores our relationships with these finite resources through films and data visualisation.
The Wellcome Trust helped fund the development of this first phase through a People Award and an amazing group of crowdfunders. Our partners are The D-Word and we've received invaluable support from the amazing people at The Sheffield Docfest, Protein, and Power to the Pixel. Many other people have given advice and encouragement along the way (you know who you are!) and we want to thank everyone supporting us for their belief in the project.
We're on the lookout for special partners to work with us on the next phase. Please do get in touch if you're be interested in sponsorship - we have some great ideas for ways to get involved - or if you have specialist skills to contribute or simply an amazing idea for a film - we'd love to hear from you.