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Planetary Health Film Lab

Planetary Health Film Lab

Planetary Health Film Lab

The 2021 edition of 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 virtual workshop to be held in August, 2021, a group of Indigenous participants from the Circumpolar Arctic and Canada will learn to effectively tell stories that communicate data, research, and life experiences related to global and planetary health. The workshop teaches specific theories, techniques, and modes of social issue filmmaking and provides hands-on experience with new digital technologies and platforms.

During the program, participants produce documentary short films that will be 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 policymakers. The films will be presented at this year’s UN climate summit, COP26, to be held in Glasgow, Scotland (pandemic permitting) and directly contribute to progressive policy creation on a global scale.

2021 Application is now open!

Applications for the 2021 Planetary Health Film Lab is now open, apply via the following link:

Program Overview

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the program, participants are expected to have learned:

  • how the documentary film is used as an influential communications tool for environmental activism
  • to produce digital media projects and GIS maps
  • the value and process of collaborative filmmaking
  • to conduct professional interviews with researchers and practitioners
  • oral presentation skills
  • Planetary Health research and how research can influence policy and practice


Participants will create short documentary films about planetary health and the impacts of climate change on human health and wellbeing in their community. General themes are Planetary Health, Global Health and Humanitarianism, Global Health Foresighting, and the Sustainable Development Goals. The films may tell a narrative and/or communicate research which touches on any of the following:

  • the relationship between environmental and human health
  • specific issues created or exacerbated by climate change such as water safety, displacement, conflict, food shortages, changing patterns of infectious diseases, floods and droughts
  • how the humanitarian sector is responding to climate change
  • innovative or creative solutions to climate change
  • innovative or creative health adaptations to climate change impacts
  • visions for a healthier future and how to get there
  • how the participants’ community is adhering to one or more of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals.


The Planetary Health Film Lab this year is intended for Indigenous youth in Canada or anywhere in the Circumpolar Arctic who are interested in using their filmmaking skills (videography & film editing) to tell stories about climate change's impact on planetary health as well as human health and wellbeing in their community.

We are interested in bringing together Indigenous youth from Canada and throughout the Circumpolar Arctic, who bring a diversity of lived experiences and perspectives.

Above all, we are looking for youth with a passion for storytelling through film and are experiencing the urgency of environmental impacts in their home communities.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Indigenous youth between 18 - 30 years old, residing in Canada or anywhere in the Circumpolar Arctic;
  • proficient in written and spoken English;
  • have experience in producing videos using their own cell phones or video cameras;
  • have experience in editing videos using their own computers and editing software;
  • able to complete their projects by the deadline identified by the program.

Important Dates

  • Application Deadline: May 31, 2021
  • Production: July 1 to July 30, 2021
  • Post Production: July 30 to August 15, 2021
  • Virtual Workshop: August 16 to 19, 2021
  • Elder Approval: August 17 to August 26, 2021
  • Virtual Film Festival: August 27, 2021



Mark Terry, PhD is a documentary filmmaker, polar explorer, ecocinema scholar and executive director of the Youth Climate Report. He co-leads the Planetary Health Film Lab.

James Orbinski, MD is the director of the Dahdeleh Institute for Global Health Research. He is the founder and co-lead of the Planetary Health Film Lab.

Kate Tilleczek, PhD is the Canada Research Chair, Young Lives, Education & Global Good, Scientific Director (and founder), Young Lives Research Lab. She is the educational Co-Investigator for the Planetary Health Film Lab.

Deborah MacDonald, BA, MA is the Senior Research Associate and Manager for the Young Lives Research Lab (CANADA). She is the research Co-Investigator for the Planetary Health Film Lab.


The Planetary Health Film Lab is a collaboration between the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research, the Young Lives Research Laboratory, Planetary Health Alliance, and the Youth Climate Report.


The 2021 edition of the Planetary Health Film Lab is made possible by a grant from the Hunter Family Foundation.

Winter 2020 Films

Seven emerging filmmakers from six countries came to the Dahdaleh Institute in Toronto from 16 - 22 February 2020 to participate in the Planetary Health Film Lab. The Film Lab took these young filmmakers through an intensive five-day process to create a film which tells a story about the health impacts of climate change.

The Winter 2020 cohort of youth were the workshop’s first. The group includes environmental activists and emerging filmmakers from Canada, Australia, Ecuador, Colombia, India, and Italy.

Thierry Toto (Italy)

Karla Cajas (Ecuador)

Ishika Mitra (India)

Kai Millen (Australia)

Monica Monrroy Botero (Colombia)

Vivian Guido (Canada)

Jacquelin Montoya Hidalgo (Ecuador)


Planetary Health


Climate Change, Film


Mark Terry, PhD, Project Lead
Netta Sarah Kornberg, MPhil, Co-organizer



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