Planetary Health Film Lab

Planetary Health Film Lab

The Planetary Health Film Lab is currently accepting applications.

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, twelve international and domestic participants 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 policy-makers. The films will directly contribute to progressive policy creation on a global scale.

Program Structure

Overview | Learning Outcomes | Stories | Who Should Apply

2019 Program Details

Overview | Application Process | Organizers

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Program Structure


Planetary Health Film Lab consists of a combination of learning by doing and learning by instruction. Participants will be provided with training in filmmaking techniques, approaches and technology, which they will immediately apply by creating a short documentary film.

Participants will work in groups of three to produce a short (3-5 minutes) documentary film. Each member of the group will have a unique role.

The Content Producer is responsible for story development, scripting and, where applicable, interviewing and narrating. For this role, we are looking for youth with a story to tell about the impact of climate change on human health and wellbeing in their community.

The Videographer is responsible for operating the camera, including framing, lighting and sound. For this role, we are looking for youth who are comfortable behind a camera, pay attention to detail, and have some previous experience filming.

The Editor is responsible for editing footage, including b-roll. For this role, we are looking for youth with basic knowledge of editing software (ex. Moviemaker, Adobe Premiere) and some previous experience editing.

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 the impacts of climate change on human health and wellbeing in their community. 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

Who Should Apply

The Planetary Health Film Lab is looking for youth with a story to tell about climate change's impact on human health and wellbeing in their community, or who are interested in using their filmmaking skills (videography & film editing) to collaborate in telling such a story.

We are interested in bringing together youth from Canada and internationally, who bring a diversity of lived experiences and perspectives.

Above all, we are looking for youth with a passion for storytelling through film and know the urgency of climate change.

Eligibility Criteria

Participants must be:

    • youth between 18 - 24 years old
    • in Toronto, Canada, for the duration of the program. Participants traveling from abroad must be able to secure any necessary documentation (ex. travel visa) at least one week before the program begins.
    • proficient in written and spoken English
    • work on projects which can be completed within the time frame of the program

2019 Program Details



February 16 - February 22, 2019


Keele Campus, York University, Toronto, Canada


Expenses covered by the program include:

    • On-campus accommodation
    • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
    • Filming & editing equipment & software
    • Economy-class travel to and from York University, Toronto, Canada
    • Travel visas/permits
    • Insurance

All other expenses are the responsibility of the participant.

Application Process

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until the application closing date. Successful applicants must confirm their attendance within one week of being notified that they are accepted to the program.

Application Closing Date: November 25, 2019
Responses sent to applicants by: December 2, 2019

If you have any questions about the application or application process, please contact Mark Terry at [marktery]



Mark Terry, PhD., is a documentary filmmaker, polar explorer, Ecocinema scholar and founder of the Youth Climate Report. He leads the Planetary Health Film Lab.

Netta Kornberg, MPhil., is an educator, researcher and designer with international experience in adult education, public health, and the arts. She designs the programming of 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 and the Youth Climate Report.

Apply Now!