PUBLISHED10 Mar 2021

Environmental Documentary Incubator 2021


Since launching in 2019 – Documentary Australia Foundation’s Environmental Documentary Incubator Program has worked closely with documentary filmmakers to amplify their social impact and better engage the public on climate action.

In 2021, the cohort consists of 12 projects, each focused on a unique story that reveals the true impact climate change and environmental degradation is having on our planet and its inhabitants.

At Documentary Australia Foundation (DAF) we understand it is not one story, but many that will need to work together to create ongoing social change and have a lasting effect on the world’s climate crisis. This is why we’re focused on creating collective impact by supporting a number of projects that will keep the environment on the agenda for years to come.

Check out our Stories for Climate Action and New Stories for Climate Actions events for more information on the 2020 Environmental Incubator Program.

Here at home, Cry of the Forests explores one of the world’s most bio-diverse regions, Western Australia’s south-west forest, an area that is being cut down at an alarming rate for charcoal, firewood and woodchips. In the film, we meet the activist, traditional custodians, tourist operators and farmers on the frontlines protecting our forests.

In The Koala corridor, we learn how Sydney’s unique population of koalas fight to survive as a multi-million dollar housing development threatens their natural habitat.

In Before There Was Water, we will hear from one of Australia’s biggest agricultural hubs, the Bundaberg farming community, and their struggle with water shortages. As one of Australia’s largest producers of food struggles to survive, the project asks the question: “When water has become a prized resource what will our farmers do without it?”

We travel to the Martuwarra Fitzroy River, one of the world’s last intact river systems, in Voices of the River. A web-series that follows ten Traditional Owners who go out on Country and share stories of cultural connection with this 700km river that stretches from the desert to the sea, and their fight to protect it.

Similarly, the struggle to protect Australia’s waterways is also explored in the Snowy Mountain’s by Where the Water Starts.  In this project, we learn about Richard, an Indigenous man and his partner, Alison, as they fight to protect the delicate alpine ecosystem that supports the vital water sources of the Snowy Mountains.

We then trace activism back to its roots in The Giants. Reflecting on the charismatic environmentalist Bob Brown, and his role in the battle for the Franklin River – the film aims to ignite a conversation about the right of the forest to exist on our shared planet.

In The Big Shift, we hear from two soon-to-be parents, who in their search for hope meet everyday Australians who are challenging their assumptions and turning their lives upside down to build a sustainable future.

Our connection to nature, our surrounding environment and other people is explored by the documentary series, The Human Environment – aiming to educate young people on key issues around natural resource management, urban planning, economic impact and global human movement.

The hidden social and environmental costs of fast fashion are examined in Dear Fashion. Told through the eyes of trailblazing women across the globe and their unique sustainability stories, viewers are invited to be a part of this transformation.

In Palawan, a seemingly idyllic tropical island, Paradise captures the struggle of three environmental crusaders as they confront murder and betrayal in a battle to stop ruthless politicians and businessmen from plundering the Philippines’ “last ecological frontier”.

We follow Tim Jarvis, a polar explorer, in 25Zero as he travels and documents the loss of the equatorial glaciers – breathtaking and integral rivers of ice on the highest peaks of the equator. In 25 five years, they will be gone, but by highlighting their loss and exploring the science behind climate change, Tim sheds new light on the challenges we all face.

Finally, Carbon: an unauthorised biography aims to look at the most misunderstood element on earth. This story of life’s core element promises to transform how we think of Carbon from maligned destroyer towards a powerful enabler. Carbon is not the enemy. Carbon is life.

Climate change is an ongoing issue we must all be part of understanding and solving. There is no simple solution and we understand it requires a network of committed individuals working passionately, through many different avenues of change. We hope by supporting a suite of environmental projects, we can create collective impact, inspiring diverse audiences to work towards a more sustainable tomorrow.

Throughout 2021, we will be working with filmmakers to build their capacity in fundraising, evaluation, partnerships and impact.  If you would like to support these films, please click through to their individual project pages to donate, or to get in touch with the filmmakers.

For more information, contact [email protected]