Live Facebook film screening of Planetary Health Film Lab project marks Earth Week celebrations


The stories of seven environmental activists and emerging filmmakers from across the globe will be shared with the community in a live virtual screening on April 24 to commemorate York University’s Earth Week celebrations.

Running as a Live Facebook Watch Party at 11 a.m., the event will screen seven mini-documentaries on the subject of the impacts of climate change on six different countries and communities. The emerging filmmakers came to the Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research at York University from Feb. 16 to 20 to participate in the inaugural cohort of the Planetary Health Film Lab, where they spent five days in an intensive process to create their films.

Mark Terry

The Planetary Health Film Lab is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)-funded workshop created by Mark Terry, a filmmaking instructor, documentarian and York University postdoctoral Fellow in Documentary Film and Global Health. Terry will be present during the live event for a Q-and-A.

The Winter 2020 group included environmental activists and emerging filmmakers: Thierry Toto (Italy), Karla Cajas (Ecuador), Ishika Mitra (India), Kai Millen (Australia), Monica Monrroy Botero (Colombia), Vivian Guido (Canada) and Jacquelin Montoya Hidalgo (Ecuador).

During the Planetary Health Film Lab 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 policy-makers. The films aim to directly contribute to progressive policy creation on a global scale.

The Live Facebook Watch Party is free and open to all. It can be accessed on the York University Facebook Channel.

Terry is the author of The Geo-Doc: Geomedia, Documentary Film, and Social Change, published by Palgrave Macmillan, which 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.