Workshops & Competitions

Workshop: The Planetary Health Film Lab (York University, Canada)

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.

Workshop: The Student Life Levy (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada)

The Student Life Levy program makes available a two-month workshop over the winter for students to learn how to make environmental documentaries for the United Nations. This year, three short documentary films about climate change created by Wilfrid Laurier University students were featured as part of a presentation at the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals Global Festival of Action, an international event that was broadcast live on UN-TV from Bonn, Germany March 25 and 26.

The Laurier films are included in the Youth Climate Report, an interactive map featuring hundreds of films about climate research, impacts and solutions produced by youth from around the world. The report, which uses geographic information systems technology to display the short videos along with scientific reports and other information, recently won a United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals Action Award – the only Canadian initiative to win out of more than 1,000 nominated entries worldwide.

Workshop & Competition: The #NextGen Video Challenge (World News Day, Singapore)

To mark World News Day, the #NextGen Video Challenge invites young aspiring filmmakers and environmental enthusiasts in Asean member countries to tell their climate change story on one of the following topics for a three-minute video: Climate Change and Community: How Are We Responding? | Climate Impacts on Urban Environments | Nature-based Solutions for Sustainable Management | Protecting and Restoring Ecosystems.

The videos address one of the selected themes identified by the competition and raise awareness about this issue, promote certain lifestyle changes that address this issue, and offer one or more possible solutions.

The top three films are awarded cash prizes of $1,000 (US), $800 (US), and $500 US), respectively. There is also Honorable Mention recognition of three $100 (US) prizes.

Competition: The Earthbeat Challenge (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change)

Earthbeat is an international competition for young filmmakers between the ages of 14 and 30 to produce a film of up to three minutes in length on one of three themes: The challenge of climate change; Protecting and restoring ecosystems; and Protecting and restoring land. Winning filmmakers will have their films films screened at the United Nations annual climate summit known as the COP conferences.

In addition, two special awards are presented: The Young Persons’ Award, recognizing excellence in filmmaking for those participants between the ages of 14 and 17; and The People’s Vote Award, voted on by global audiences, winners of this award receive the following:

  • receive special recognition
  • be invited to participate during the climate COP26
  • attend an online film making masterclass
  • be given film making equipment (such as external microphones and smartphone software).

Competition: Young Reporters for the Environment (Foundation for Environmental Education, University of Copenhagen)

This competition gives young people aged 11-25 a platform to research environmental issues and promote solutions through investigative reporting, photography, and video journalism. The Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) programme is run by National Operators in more than 40 countries around the world and they are the ones implementing the programme on a national level. Youth between the age of 11-25 can join the programme in these countries through their school, youth group or as individuals by contacting the relevant National Operator.

The annual YRE International Competition is without a doubt one of the highlights of the YRE programme! Every year, the most inspiring and creative entries from the National Competitions are assessed by an International Jury and have the chance of being recognized on a global scale.