The Climate
Story Lab 2019
Auburn Seminary, NYC
July 15-19

Doc Society and Exposure Labs have joined forces with our friends Hartley Media Initiative at Auburn Seminary, David and Linda Cornfield, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Kendeda Fund, Fledgling Fund, The JPB Foundation, EarthX and Sundance Institute to host The Climate Story Lab in New York City in 2019.

Climate communication is more critical than ever before: we need the best storytelling to reach its full potential and hit the audiences that matter. Born of this conviction, The Climate Story Lab will catalyze the most urgent and compelling media projects being made in America right now.

This lab marks the first in a series of interventions bringing together the creative and campaigning expertise of Exposure Labs and Doc Society with the best of the Good Pitch Impact Labs and a laser determination to accelerate climate communication in the United States.

Thank you to our wonderful friends at the Hartley Media Initiative at Auburn Seminary, Bloomberg Philanthropies, EarthX, Fledgling Fund, The JPB Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, Sundance Institute and our supporters David and Linda Cornfield who have so quickly rallied round to make The Climate Story Lab possible.

Joining us in July

The Climate Story Lab is bringing together experts in social justice documentary with the kinetic energy of experts - lawyers & political strategists, scientists, indigenous & faith leaders, branding experts & campaign organizers.

Together, this powerful group will strategize with ten teams of creative storytellers and help them to imagine how best to inspire citizens, engage politicians and mobilize communities with their projects.

We will be welcoming over 100 colleagues during the course of the week including The American Museum of Natural History, ASU School of Sustainability and Journalism, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Blueshift, The Center for Investigative Reporting, CIFF, The Center for Climate Communication at Columbia University, Change Food, Citizens Climate Lobby, Climate Advocacy Lab, Climate Justice Resilience Fund, The Center for Media and Social Impact, Drawdown, EarthX, Far Star Action Fund, Ford Foundation JustFilms, Fledgling Fund, Fridays For Future Campaign, The JPB Foundation, The Kendeda Fund, The League of Conservation Voters, MIT Open Documentary Lab, The Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Defence Council, Ocean Collective, Purpose, OSF Human Rights Programme, Perspective Fund, Project Drawdown, Participant Media, POV, Redford Center, The State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law, Sundance Institute, Sunrise Movement, True Colors Fund, United Nations Global Comms Department, Vulcan Productions, Working Films, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action and many more.

Official selection

We have invited 12 storytelling projects to present at the Climate Story Lab.

Raising Aniya (feature doc)

Directed by John Fiege, Produced by Christopher Lucas, Walter Hull & Anita Grabowski

A teenage African dancer in Houston must draw on her community and her own resilience when she sets out to choreograph a performance about environmental justice and her experience with Hurricane Harvey.

Swampscapes (multiplatform project using VR)

Directed & Produced by Juan Carlos Zaldivar, Elizabeth Miller and Kim Grinfeder

SwampScapes is an immersive journey to remote regions of the Everglades that invites users to consider the complexity between humans and this extraordinary ecosystem in an era of severe climate changes.

Greta Vs Climate (feature doc)

Directed by Nathan Grossman, Produced by Cecilia Nessen and Fredrik Heinig

Greta starts a school strike for the climate. With determination she wants to show the adult world that if they don’t care about her future on earth, why should she care about her future in school? In just a few months her strike evolves into a global movement and Greta goes from being a quiet Swedish girl with Asperger's syndrome to a world famous activist.

Drenched (podcast series)

Director Maeve McGoran, Producer Kate Stein, Co-host/reporter Gwen Thompkins

Drenched (working title) is a new multimedia project bringing together citizens who want to take the responsibility for saving our communities into our own hands. It’s a manual for living with sea level rise, for taking action to prevent further climate change, for forging connections between communities on the front lines, around the U. S. and all over the world.

Greener Pastures (feature doc)

Director Sam Mirpoorian, Producers Andrew Cohn + Sam Mirpoorian

American farmers are dealing with more economic hardship and more pressure than ever before; Globalization, mechanization, and climate change have left farmers at a dark crossroad. Greener Pastures is an immersive and intimate dive into the lives of four American families from fall to harvest, tracking the rise of suicide rates and growing mental health issues among Midwestern farmers.

Signal (3 part series)

Director Kelly Nyks, Producer Tad Fettig

SIGNAL chronicles an outlier crew of Wall Street insiders as they investigate whether we are on the brink of the largest financial failure ever seen. Their relentless search for the signals of a climate-crash weaves the economics, politics and psychologies of markets with insights from the sharpest minds in climate.

Climate Woke (short form episodic)

Director Jesús Iniguez & Producer Layel Camargo

Host and investigative enthusiast Layel Camargo, with the occasional co-host, uses satire, comedy, and critical hope to amplify the realities of those facing the brunt of the climate crisis and offer collective solutions for a more sustainable future.

Think 100%: The Coolest Show on Climate Change (Short form episodic series & podcast)

Director Liz Havstad & Producer Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr.

Think 100% is a content and media platform from Hip Hop Caucus, that tells stories and reaches new audiences on climate change and just and sustainable solutions for our communities and planet. Think 100% delivers the coolest leaders on climate, powerful storytelling, and community-driven solutions.

Necessity: Oil, Water, and Climate Resistance (Doc series + short form episodic)

Directors Jan Haaken, Samantha Praus, Producers Jasmine Eppelsheimer, Frann Michel, David Cress

In a climate emergency, is civil disobedience a necessity? Grounded in people and places at the heart of the climate crisis, NECESSITY traces the legal fight in Minnesota against the expansion of pipelines carrying toxic tar sands oil through critical waterways in North America.

Newtok (Short form)

Director Katie Basile, Producers Patrick White & Paul Charles (Newtok Village Council)

As the climate warms, the West Coast of Alaska is eroding away, taking whole communities with it. When a storm hits the remote Alaska Native (Yup’ik) village of Newtok, Albertina Charles is terrified of flooding and the encroaching river bank. She and her son, Bosco, share their anxiety and grief over the loss of their home and their plans for the future. Our story highlights the grassroots effort by the community of Newtok to move to safety while maintaining geographical roots and a subsistence way of life.

Breathe (Mixed Reality)

Made by Diego Galafassi, Lisa Holmqvist, Jesper Kurlandsky & Jess Engel (SWE)

We live in an ocean of air. When air first filled your lungs, everything changed. Without air, birds would plummet from the sky, plants would wither and we humans would suffocate. As we breathe in and out, air mingles with our bodily tissues, filling the lungs and oxygenating the blood. Air knows no borders.

BREATHE is a mixed-reality application that uses body movement, gesture and breath to immerse participants in the story of air.

Meat The Future (Feature Doc)

Written, Directed, Produced by Liz Marshall; Production Manager & Impact Co-Producer Jessica Jennings; Executive Producer Janice Dawe; Consulting Executive Producer Chris Hegedus.

Reinventing meat is a tipping point that could change the world. Revealing challenges and breakthroughs and posing a myriad of questions about the future, this urgent and timely character-driven documentary explores the advent of real meat without the need to raise and slaughter animals.

Thank you!

This initiative is made possible by a growing circle of supporters.

If you would like to join us to rally around this urgent issue, please contact

Partners & Supporters
David and Linda

Who we are

Exposure Labs

Exposure Labs is the film and impact production company behind award-winning environmental films such as Chasing Ice and Chasing Coral. Our work is driven by the idea that film can be used as a tool to create meaningful change on pressing social issues. Since 2014, we have supported thousands of community organizations in using our films to drive local climate action around the world.

In January 2019, Exposure Labs launched Unstoppable, our new initiative to support other climate storytellers in connecting their projects to impact. Given the need to accelerate action on climate in the U.S., we hope to be able to share the tools and insights from our own organizing work with the film and advocacy community to help create shared momentum.

Doc Society

A non-profit based in London & New York, Doc Society’s mission is to bring people together to unleash the transformational power of documentary film. We stand in solidarity with independent filmmakers. We work to protect their independence and safety and to unite them with new friends and allies globally.

To find out what we are doing as an organisation in response to the climate emergency, please have a look here.

Over the last decade, together with our partners, we have directly funded over 250 documentary films, including Academy Award-winning CITIZENFOUR, Academy Award nominees Virunga, The Square, Hell & Back Again and Dirty Wars. Other titles include Hooligan Sparrow, The Yes Men Fix The World, The Look of Silence, Whose Streets? and Pussy Riot. Doc Society has also developed a slate of programmes to build the capacity of the whole field. Amongst these are the Safe & Secure initiative, the schools platform Doc Academy, the annual Doc Impact Award, the online toolkit the Impact Field Guide and Good Pitch, the international forum for social justice documentaries connecting change makers and filmmakers around the world.