This guest post was written by Alex Leff, filmmaker and recent Hampshire College graduate. You can connect with the ‘Students & Goliath’ project on Facebook here.

The world faces accelerated climate catastrophe. If the fossil fuel industry has the most to gain, the youth have the most to lose. But as the fossil fuel industry profits, students nationwide are taking on the fossil fuel industry head on.

Based in Amherst, Massachusetts, Students & Goliath follows the divestment campaigns of five schools: Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts. Eight students lockdown and are arrested inside an energy company’s office to protest a devastating pipeline proposal. 40,000 gather in Washington DC to demand action. Students & Goliath is the story of a generation waking up, becoming empowered, and taking the climate crisis into their own hands.

The film captures a burgeoning movement that eventually engulfs colleges nationwide. Students learn how to respond to stubborn administrations, some whose finances are too mingled with invisible hedge funds and other whose board members are in the fossil fuel industry themselves. But despite heavy opposition, students find community and empowerment to do what the United States government has continually failed to: act on climate change.

As a student at Hampshire College, I had to decide how to best help the movement now that my school had divested. I interviewed a dozen students, my college’s president, Bill McKibben, Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein, went to rallies and marches, followed eight student activists as they locked themselves in a TransCanada office, and helped tell their David and Goliath story. The purpose of this film is to educate, promote further action, and share a new side of one of the most important stories of our time.