PUBLISHED16 Apr 2021

Where Are They Now? The 2020 Environmental Incubator Projects


Take a look at where the seven 2020 Documentary Incubator Program projects are and how they plan to make impact in the near future!

Last year, Documentary Australia Foundation’s Environmental Incubator welcomed seven new environmental documentaries into this new program – supported by The Lord Mayors Charitable Foundation.

The environmental documentary Incubator program is working with a suite of films to drive collective impact. Our aim is to build the capacity of film teams across impact, partnerships, evaluation and fundraising to inspire film audiences to take action on climate change and environmental issues, long after the credits have rolled.

Take a look at where these seven films are and their plans to take their stories out into the world to create impact in the coming months; If you’re inspired by one of the projects and you’d like to watch, financially support, host a screening or become an impact partner of these films – reach out to us!

"Each of these projects have incredibly important and timely messages, I look forward to watching them all come to audiences" -"Each of these projects have incredibly important and timely messages, I look forward to watching them all come to audiences"

– Audience member, New Stories for Climate Action pitch event


A Tree is for Life is a 90minute cinematic journey that meditates on the vitality of our forest and our relationships with them. The project is in early financing and the team has been focused on developing their primary impact partnerships to align key messages within the film.
After securing development funding from Film Victoria, the team is balancing the heart of the film with a deeper dive into Why Trees Matter, a companion 4-part series. New trailers for the film and the series are in the works. Support this project.

The Great Southern Reef aims to connect everyday Australians with sea country by giving the 8000-kilometre kelp forest reef system that supports communities across the southern coasts of Australia a name and identity. By highlighting our entwined relationship, this project hopes to protect the future of this ecosystem.
The team has finalised their long-term environmental impact goals and recently the film’s Director, Stefan Andrews, embarked on a series of educational workshops at the Seaweed Forests Festival in Manly, and a Youth Coastal Ambassadors program for students in Australia. The team continues to produce short educational video bites to support their education goals, producing narratives on ocean ecology, local biodiversity, conservation approaches and Indigenous coastal knowledge. Support this project.

From the ocean to our rivers, we witness the beautiful synergy of live music and documentary filmmaking in River. The project has now released tickets for its national tour starting in late July, screening across the country’s prestigious venues with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. The documentary will be accompanied by a musical score directed and performed by Richard Tognetti, including music by William Barton and Radiohead – River is a truly cinematic experience that explores the importance of being good ancestors in the fight for the survival of our global treasures. Purchase tickets here and support this project.

Image: The Great Southern Reef

The Franklin River in remote Tasmania was ground zero for one of the most significant environmental movements in Australian history. Four decades later, Battle on the Franklin revisits the iconic story with a modern day lens and investigates what made the campaign so special. With fresh eyes, Oliver Cassidy embarks on a gruelling journey down the wild river. While retracing his father’s steps he unpacks how this incredible story can help us build a better world today, and his own place in it all. Battle on the Franklin is currently in post-production and will premiere in 2022. The team has an Impact Producer on board and is looking for funding to kickstart the campaign. Support this project.

In The Seeds of Vandana Shiva, we meet a woman who’s determined to protect one of our smallest but most powerful resources – seeds. Vandana Shiva is an inspiring Indian scholar, environmental activist, and anti-globalisation icon will not stop until we pivot from environmentally destructive industrial food systems and support ecological agriculture in the hands of small farmers. “Food is a weapon,” says Vandana Shiva, “when you control food, you control society. When you control seed, you control life on earth”.
The film has developed a large base of supporters and there is much anticipation for its release in 2021. The production team are working on their impact strategies and will launch a crowdfunding campaign to support their impact activities in the coming months. They’re also looking for impact partnerships to spread the word and educate the public. Support this project.

Vandana Shiva isn’t the only activist taking her environmental fight to new heights. Wild Things is a documentary, released in 2020, about the lengths people will go to for the survival of our planet – following those on the frontline of environmental activism for one year. Wild things has screened a various film festivals, receiving a nomination for Best Sound in a Documentary at the 2020 AACTA Awards and winning Best Cinematography at ‘A Show For A Change Festival’ and the Award of Excellence at the Impact Docs Awards USA. The film is available for community screenings via FanForce and is being distributed to schools via The Education Shop. The film is also continuing to tour with festival screenings coming up in Darwin, Canada and the USA. Watch and support this project.

Youth on Strike!, focuses on grassroots environmental activism through the eyes of the young people leading the fight. The film follows a group of students taking part in the School Strike for Climate rallies in March 2019, which saw over 150,000 Australian students defy calls to stay in school to organise one of the largest climate movements in Australia.
Youth On Strike! Has screened at a number of festivals, winning Best Documentary Webseries at Melbourne Documentary Film Festival, Best Documentary at Bilbao SeriesLand in Spain, and was nominated for a 2020 Australian Director’s Guild Award for Best Direction Short Form Documentary. The film partnered with the Foundation for Young Australians and Youth Action NSW for an event with young climate leaders that was hosted by Tom Ballard. The film was also part of the 2020 Online Climate Strike where it was seen by over 15,000 people. Watch and support this project.


We want to connect these seven powerful environmental films with a passionate network to drive impact and use these stories for change.
If you would like to know more  or would like to discuss partnering and supporting any of these projects, please get in touch here: [email protected]

The Documentary Australia Environmental Incubator Program is ongoing and has welcome a new suite of twelve impact films in 2021. You can read more about the new films taking part here.