Filmmaking instructor, documentarian and York University postdoctoral Fellow in Documentary Film and Global Health Mark Terry is launching his new book, The GeoDoc: Geomedia, Documentary Film, and Social Change, at an event at 6 p.m. on March 13 at the historic Arts & Letters Club (14 Elm St., Toronto). Admission is free and food will be served.
The 2011 Canadian Screen Humanitarian Award-winning filmmaker behind such climate change documentaries as The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning, The Polar Explorer and the United Nations’ series The Youth Climate Report, explores new methods and approaches to remediating the documentary film as an instrument of social change by incorporating geomedia platforms with database documentary film projects.
The result is the “Geo-Doc,” a multilinear, interactive, database documentary film project presented on a platform of a Geographic Information System (GIS) map of the world. Terry’s initial experiment with this format, The Youth Climate Report, was adopted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change along with other UN agencies in 2015. Today, the project showcases more than 400 documentary films from all seven continents.
The Geo-Doc: Geomedia, Documentary Film, and Social Change, published by Palgrave Macmillan, examines the history and theories surrounding mobilizing the documentary film as a communication tool between filmmakers and policymakers. “Ecocinema” and its semiotic storytelling techniques are also explored for their unique approaches to audience engagement. The proven methods identified throughout the book are combined with the spatial and temporal affordances provided by GIS technology to create the “Geo-Doc,” a new tool for the activist documentarian.
“I greatly admire the use of practical case studies to illustrate this new documentary format explored in this study,” said Pat Brereton, professor of communication at Dublin City University, “Especially in light of the growing importance of climate change and the urgent need to tease out the social changes facing our planet, documentary activists like Mark Terry, as evidenced in this volume, have a major role to play in this environmental communications struggle.”
Terry recently demonstrated the power and impact of ecocinema while teaching the York University Planetary Health Film Lab course, where he invited students from Ecuador, Colombia, Italy, India and Australia to produce a three-minute film telling a story about climate change in their respective countries and communities, which will be included in the Youth Climate Report.
Terry will host the launch event and be available to sign books.