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Beyond the Swarm

A window into climate activism and the personal toll it takes on the individuals.

  • Lukasz Termer
    Swarm, Castle in the Sky, Nico Untitled
  • Sebastian Strakowicz
  • Noni Couell
    Producer, The Last Aviator
  • Lukasz Termer
  • Jaime Bolla
  • Natalie Haddad
  • Lukasz Termer
    SWARM, Castle in the Sky, Nico Untitled
  • Lukasz Termer
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 17 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 31, 2022
  • Production Budget:
    100,000 AUD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Pivot Pictures
    Country: Australia
    Rights: Video on Demand, Theatrical
Director Biography - Lukasz Termer

Lukasz Termer is a Sydney based emerging writer and director with a focus for character driven true stories that reveal environmental issues, as a way to confront social impact and drive change.

Having found his passion for writing and directing, and seeking to make a difference with his craft, his two short documentary projects, ‘Nico Untitled’ (2016) and ‘Castle in The Sky’ (2019), are where Lukasz really found his voice.

Lukasz’ most recent project ‘Swarm’, a short documentary about core members of Extinction Rebellion will be distributed by FilmInk, inspiring him to make a longer version focusing on the broader global movement ‘Beyond the Swarm.’

Lukasz finished a fine arts degree at the Art Academy in Gdansk, Poland in 2002, and began his passion for filmmaking in London, before settling in Sydney in 2005.

His background as a broadcast editor is extensive. Lukasz' credits span 15years where he has edited high profile TV shows including ‘Bondi Rescue’, ‘The Block’, ‘X factor’, ‘Hatch’, ‘Match and Dispatch’, ‘Last Chance Surgery’ & ‘Get Clever’; freelancing for commercial networks and production companies such as CJZ, Nine, Seven, Screentime, Fredbird Entertainment, and previously for Fremantle and Freehand.

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Director Statement

I've been involved with the Extinction Rebellion Sydney since September 2019, helping to document the groups' activities for their online platforms.
‘Beyond the Swarm’ is an intimate look behind the scenes, profiling a small group XR members who all have the same goal, to save our planet from climate devastation. From the beginning I fell in love with this varied group of people. However, like with most love affairs, the arc of this film goes from total infatuation, through disillusion, to let’s just be friends.

I’m interested in their personal stories, uncovering their individual circumstances, background, ideologies and desires, and what motivates our characters to step out of their comfort zones and practice what they preach.

Along the way I discover the impact, aftermath and consequences XR’s actions have on these individuals, revealing how their actions affect their personal relationships, mental health and how their sense of belonging within the organisation continuously shifts across the spectrum. I observe as their seemingly normal lives transform, finding purpose in an organisation that believes their actions are a necessary step in order for life on earth to survive. We see them uniting in their collective mission to challenge the status quo… until they confront their own limits.

By capturing stories of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, I’ve allowed our audience to experience choices they might have considered before, but never acted on. ‘Beyond the Swarm’ offers an insight into the world of those who followed their convictions, completely dedicating themselves to a cause that hopes for a happy ending, but can’t guarantee it.

Whilst making this film, I was trying to discover where I stand on civil disobedience and direct action, wrestling with my own cynicism and apathy. Over time I found a deeper connection with the characters in this film. The process of making this film has changed me and stripped me of my inhibitions and left me in a very different place where this journey began, which ironically mirrored the journey of some of the subjects in the documentary.

‘Beyond the Swarm’ offers a unique perspective on a controversial global movement, by showing their vulnerable side at a human level - something we don’t see from XR community itself, as the group prefers to act as one massive entity. Ultimately ‘Beyond the Swarm’ adds another layer to the conversations we are all faced with, about climate change and what needs to change in ourselves.