close icon

Development   /  Cathy Rodda

A Tree is for Life

Trees. Know them. Love them. Save them. Our lives depend on it.


Impact areas








  • PRODUCER Cathy Rodda (Producer), Brooke Daly (Impact Producer) and Norm Wilkinson (Producer)



Join a stunning global odyssey spanning 370 million years and six continents, as we meet the remarkable trees which have shaped our existence, and the inspirational people ensuring their – and our – survival.

Part love letter, part wake-up call, this beautiful, thought-provoking documentary will make you re-think everything you know about trees, while also illustrating how their future, and ours with it, is in your hands.

A TREE IS FOR LIFE is a high concept feature film, complemented by a blue-chip television series and a VR film:

A TREE IS FOR LIFE: 90’ cinematic and emotive feature film exploring the magnificence of trees and our relationship with them, physically, historically, spiritually, ecologically.

WHY TREES MATTER: 4 x 1 hour TV series exploring the story, science and sociology through the elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

SWAMP: 360o VR film immersing us in a mangrove forest’s ecosystem, below and above.

Support this project

0.10% funded
  • $100,000.00

  • $100.00

  • 2

Minimum amount is $ Maximum amount is $





George Reid $50.00
Tracey Hamilton $50.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Trees are critical to our survival – providing the food, shelter, fire and tools which fuelled civilisation, and the air which sustains us. However, trees are disappearing at unprecedented rates driven by human intervention, impacting ecosystems, wildlife and climate change. Tree numbers have halved worldwide since the rise of civilisation, and almost half of our rainforests have been lost in the last 50 years. One football field of forest is felled every second, releasing carbon and reducing our capacity to capture it, impacting global warming.

Yet trees present an accessible solution to the climate emergency. The UN states: "Trees are the cheapest and most effective means of binding CO2, allowing us more time to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero and mitigate the climate crisis".

Our programs, therefore, present positive, achievable change. By rediscovering our connections with trees, we will inspire action to protect them, each doing our bit to sustain life on Earth.


What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

The UN has set a goal to eliminate deforestation in 10 years and increase forest cover by 3% globally to reduce carbon emissions and avoid increasing our global temperature by 2°C – the point of no return.

Our vision is to generate the people power and political will needed to plant and protect trees as the most accessible and cost-effective way to fight climate change. We will do this by inspiring, educating and connecting people, not for profits, corporates and governments to take action.


What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

We will bring trees to life in ways not yet seen on screen – venturing beneath forest floors, to the tops of the world’s tallest canopies – and meet inspirational people protecting trees along the way, including scientists, young activists, land custodians and Elders.

In doing so, we will spark global action to address deforestation causes, protect and plant trees, and support communities and wildlife impacted by tree-loss.

To achieve our outcomes, we will partner with organisations to focus on five impacts:

PROTECT OR PLANT TREES: Tree-loss contributes to 15% of greenhouse gas emissions.

PROTECT ENDANGERED TREES: 20% of the world’s plant species risk extinction, impacting food, medicine and ecosystems.

PROTECT WILDLIFE: Habitat loss threatens 85% of all species.

SUPPORT INDIGENOUS LAND MANAGEMENT: Indigenous peoples maintain 80% of global biodiversity, many risking their lives to defend the land.

SUPPORT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Poverty is a cause of deforestation.


How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?

The documentary sets out to immerse our audience in the world of trees and to engage their heads and their hearts, in cinemas and on home screens. There will be something for everyone - science, history, sociology, spirituality. We will raise questions they’ll want to ask themselves and show them how other individuals and groups are tackling them.
We will support the documentary with a strong social media campaign with additional content and supporting messaging.
We will work with impact partners, including environmental organisations, to target messaging and maximise reach across platforms
We will create content for the education market and work with our education distributors for maximum impact
We anticipate engaging with various governments and corporations during the making of the documentary and will follow through on opportunities to influence policy


How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

Partnerships are critical to the development, execution, reach and success of our impact campaign globally.

While our intended outcome is the same worldwide – to spark global action to plant and protect trees, and support communities and wildlife impacted by tree-loss – we will work with local and global partners to execute our impact goals.


• WORLD-LEADING NGOS: Such as the UN, to inform and amplify our campaigns and messaging globally
• LOCAL AND GLOBAL NFPs: To highlight and support their campaigns
• CORPORATES: To help fund restoration/planting projects, and champion policy change
• GOVERNMENT: At all levels, to support policies protecting trees and managing land sustainably
• EDUCATION LEADERS: To create impact campaigns and resources for and with children and youth
• INDIGENOUS ORGANISATIONS: Leveraging our productions to support communities and their work.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Our goal is to empower everyone to become tree ambassadors – children and youth, the enviro-curious and enviro-active, NFPs and NGOs, and corporate and government leaders – each supporting one of five impacts to curb tree-loss and creating a unified voice to protect and plant trees.


PROJECTS SUPPORTED: Connect people with our partners’ projects to achieve five impacts: 1. Protect/plant trees/forests 2. Protect endangered trees species 3. Protect wildlife 4. Support Indigenous land management 5. Support economic development.

GLOBAL BEHAVIOUR CHANGE CAMPAIGN: Our consumer decisions are causing deforestation – from the food we eat, to the furniture we buy – we will create a campaign to raise awareness and change these behaviours.

CONSERVATION: Encourage people to join/create restoration, protection and planting projects with our partners.

POLICY CHANGE: Inspire governments to protect trees.

SCHOOL CAMPAIGN: Inspire a generation of tree-conscious eco-citizens.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

We will measure success by engagement with our productions, including the number of people who commit to actioning one of our five impacts.


PRODUCTION RELEASE: We aim to launch our feature documentary at an internationally credentialed festival, leveraging this exposure to drive our theatrical and TV series release internationally.

AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: Screening attendance, box office results, the number of impact/community screenings, TV/streaming views, and campaign and social media engagement.

CAMPAIGN ENGAGEMENT: Track impacts (including qualitative and quantitative results for trees planted or rescued), and engagement (including social media analytics and audience surveys tracking awareness and behaviour change over time).

PARTNERSHIPS: With NFPs to deliver impact and increase their membership/fundraising.

POLICY: Track government policy to protect trees and commit to global goals.

EDUCATION CAMPAIGN: Track students/schools participating.