Storytellers - we need to play our part


A recent study by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication found that more than 6 in 10 people across all countries and territories surveyed want more information about climate change. With more than a billion adults knowing little to nothing about the biggest existential challenge facing humanity, raising awareness among the public about climate science is critical.

Climate negotiations and publishing urgent reports have got us so far, but as the outcomes of COP26 have demonstrated, we continue to lack the global political will for bold action at the pace and scale that is needed to address the climate crisis. As cultural creators, we can take action by unleashing brilliant creative storytelling to meaningfully connect with more communities; Stories which challenge & inspire audiences to hold our leaders to account with a transition that keeps global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius.

When future generations look back upon the Great Derangement they will certainly blame the leaders and politicians of this time for their failure to address the climate crisis. But they may well hold artists and writers to be equally culpable – for the imagining of possibilities is not after all, the job of politicians and bureaucrats.

Amitav Ghosh, author
The Great Derangement

To meet this challenge, Doc Society has launched a Climate Story Unit to support a wave of transformative climate storytelling from around the world.

We aren’t looking for the silver bullet film that will work for everyone, rather we believe we need a multitude of storytelling “as diverse as the ecosystems we seek to save” (props to filmmaker Michael Premo for coining this phrase). We actively welcome stories that will resonate in specific regions and engage audiences who have not felt part of the climate movement; Stories that seed new norms and beliefs and offer us visions of a climate just future. To read about our theory of change on climate storytelling in detail and the narratives and perspectives we are prioritising, check out the reports from the UK & US Climate Story Labs.

Over the past eighteen months we’ve regranted over $1 million in production and impact grants to creative storytelling projects; feature docs, shorts, web series, animations, podcasts and a docudrama - take a look at the projects below. We will continue to add additional information as each project moves into distribution and launches their impact campaigns with civil society partners. We will also be sharing insights and case studies as we go to inspire more storytellers to lean in.

The next round of the Climate Story Fund is open from November 15th 2021 to January 7th 2022 and is open to all storytelling mediums. If you already have a project in late stage production and/or you are looking for support for an impact campaign, check out the fund details here.

If you’d like to join a Climate Story Lab in your region - keep an eye on upcoming editions here and sign up to the Doc Society newsletter.

We can’t wait to hear from you.


Climate Story Fund Grantees 2020/21 include:

Ain’t Your Mama’s Heatwave

Mid Length Comedy Special set in the USA

Directed by Elijah Karriem
Produced by Hip Hop Caucus

Supported with

Impact Funding

Asog

Comedy drama set in the Philippines

Directed by Séan Devlin
Produced by Amanda Nicole

Supported with

Production

+

Impact Funding

El Tema

Web series helmed by Gael Garcia Bernal & Yásnaya Aguilar. Set in Mexico

Directed by Santiago Maza Stern
Produced by Pablo Montaño

Supported with

Impact Funding

Fashion Reimagined

Feature doc set in the UK

Directed by Becky Hutner

Produced by Lindsay Lowe

Supported with

Production

+

Impact Funding

Greener Pastures

Feature documentary set in the rural midwest of America

Supported with

Production

+

Impact Funding

Nature Ain’t A Luxury 

Short doc set in the UK

Directed by Tanya Ramsurrun & Louis VI 

Supported with

Development Funding

Nocturnes

Feature documentary set in India

Directed by Anupama Srinivasan and Anirban Dutta

Supported with

Production

+

Impact Funding

Paradise

Feature documentary set in the Philippines

Directed by Karl Malakunas
Produced by Marty Syjuco, Michael Collins & Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala

Supported with

Production

+

Impact Funding

The People Vs Climate Change

Mid length single doc set in the UK

Directed by Harriet Bird
Produced by Steve Smith, Fergus Haycock, Dov Freedman & Charlie Russell

Supported with

Production

+

Impact Funding

Radio Savia

Feminist Indigenous Podcast published from Colombia

Created by Ana Maytik Avirama & Daniela Fontaine

Supported with

Production

+

Impact Funding

Rebellion

Feature documentary set in the UK

Directed by Maia Kenworthy & Elena Sánchez Bellot
Produced by Kat Mansoor

Supported with

Production

+

Impact Funding

The Promise

Children's animation based on Nicola Davies’ children’s book of the same name

Created by Chi Tai

Supported with

Production

+

Impact Funding

Uyra - The Rising Forest

Feature documentary set in Brazil

Directed by Juliana Curi
Produced by João Henrique Kurtz, Juliana Curi, Lívia Cheibub, Martina Sönksen & Emerson Pontes/Uyra Sodoma.

Supported with

Production

+

Impact Funding

70 / 30

Feature documentary set in Denmark

Directed by Phie Ambo
Produced by Malene Flindt Pedersen

Supported with

Impact Funding