Ecological restoration projects happen all around the world at diverse scales, from backyard projects to large scale restoration of mine sites. Each project has a story to tell. A story from the practitioners. A story about science. A story about culture. A story of social justice. A story from the custodians. A story of land and sea, and everything in between. Some of these stories are loud and in your face, and some are whispers, an act of healing and a reunion. Every story deserves to be told, deserves to be heard, deserves to be felt.

Storytelling fills a communication gap

On the night of September 28 in Darwin Australia, our community will participate in a Film Festival like no other World Conference on Ecological Restoration has offered before. This Film Festival fills a known communication gap between restoration projects and larger society. Most government and agency reports as well as many scientific papers are not easily accessed by the general public, and those that are accessible have additional barriers such as academic and bureaucratic language. We must come back to the most basic, fundamental, and historical method for sharing knowledge– storytelling. To sit, and listen, and watch.

During the 2023 Film Festival, professional and emerging filmmakers, students, ecological practitioners, and First Nations people will share their stories through film. These stories will be screened at the festival, and prizes will be awarded for each category. Selected filmmakers will also have the opportunity to pitch their submissions to Australian based producers for further development or publication.

Join the Ecological Restoration Storytelling and Film-making course

We are excited about launching the Ecological Restoration Storytelling and Film-making course on March 24. This course is for ecological restoration students, researchers and practitioners looking to create a film on their ecological restoration story for submission to the 2023 Film Festival competition.

This short course is a self-paced and non-assessed and is designed to help you tell as best a story as possible. This short course consists of 4 modules:

  1. Find and refine your story
  2. Design and collect your story
  3. Edit and re-edit your story
  4. Export, screen and evaluate your story

We are lucky to have the Head of Documentaries from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Stephen Oliver provide a storytelling workshop on April 13 th at 9:30 AM (AEST – Sydney Time). If you’re interested in submitting and filming and receiving some first class training in film-making and storytelling, it’s not too late, register below!

Register here

Want to submit your film?

Please fill out the online form to receive more information about the film festival here. For rules, cost of submission and additional information about submitting your film, check out our FilmFreeway page.

If you have questions about the film festival, please direct them to

Article written by Jillianne Segura, Tertiary Enabling Program Coordinator at Charles Darwin University, Australia