A major international educational initiative at the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, the Planetary Health Film Lab is an intensive program designed for youth who have a story to tell about climate change and health and want to do so through film.
During a week-long workshop at York University, Toronto, a group of international and domestic youth learned to effectively tell stories that communicate data, research, and life experiences related to global and planetary health. The workshop taught specific theories, techniques, and modes of social issue filmmaking and provided hands-on experience with new digital technologies and platforms.
We designed the program for 12 youth, aimed for 15 applicants, and got 43. Our targeted outreach campaign, editing and re-editing many versions of the webpage copy, and deliberately setting up the application process can be credited.
After visa issues, passport issues, and scheduling issues, seven of the twelve invited participants were able to come. They came from six countries: Colombia, Ecuador, India, Italy, Australia, and Canada.
We worked with York University PhD students and industry leaders — notably Chris Romeike, one of Canada’s leading cinematographer — to deliver workshops and help with the editing process.
During the program, participants produced documentary short films that are now featured on the websites of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research and the Youth Climate Report, influential platforms used as a resource by policy-makers. The films contribute to progressive policy creation on a global scale.
The Planetary Health Film Lab was a collaboration between the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, the Young Lives Research Laboratory and the Youth Climate Report, and was funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Government of Canada.
I co-led the development and delivery of the program with Mark Terry, PhD.
More details, including the films themselves, can be found here: dighr.yorku.ca/projects/planetary-health-film-lab