Earth Stories film festival and competition launches


Young filmmakers aged 16+ are being invited to submit their work for a new international film festival and competition run by Keele University’s School of Media and Film.

Earth Stories film festival and competition launch

Earth Stories, a student-led initiative, will present new and inspirational stories addressing climate change revealing pathways for a more sustainable future, and aspiring young filmmakers who are passionate about the environment are being urged to take part.

Dr Pawas Bisht, Deputy Director of Keele Institute for Sustainable Futures, said: “This festival provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase Keele’s world-leading research, education and impact activities supporting transitions to sustainable futures and bring these into dialogue with young people’s experiences and stories.”

Alana Wheat, Keele University Sustainability Engagement Officer, said: “Stories allow viewers to connect with the issues and concerns that the storyteller is facing. The films will offer an engaging opportunity for filmmakers to share what is facing them and others, potentially inspiring action as a result. I look forward to seeing the entries and exploring how these can be used in sustainability and climate change communication.”

Made by young filmmakers, each film will give insight into what young people are thinking and feeling about an issue that affects us all.

The two-day festival of films will be interspersed with talks and workshops, and will be hosted at two locations in North Staffordshire: Westminster Theatre at Keele University (21 April 2023), and the Mitchell Arts Centre in Hanley (22 April 2023).

There will be sessions on environmental storytelling, film and climate politics, and how to transition to net-zero. Keele’s Institute for Sustainable Futures will lead a programme of engaging and impactful public events and activities.

Aaliyah Gibbings-Gardner, second year Media student and Festival Director said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for young people to showcase their creative talents and make a valuable contribution to the debate around climate change and the sustainability issues we are facing.”

The film screenings will be free to attend, and offer an ideal opportunity to start conversations about the environment, human-nature reconnection, and sustainable futures.

All films submitted must be between 1 and 30 minutes in duration and must be in the English language or with English subtitles.

Five prizes will be awarded to young filmmakers demonstrating remarkable talent in communicating their Earth Stories, as selected by a panel of judges and a public audience.

  • Best Film Jury Award – £200, including a tree to be planted at Keele.
  • Best Film Audience Award – £100
  • Best Film by Keele Student – £100
  • 2 X Special Mention Awards- £50

The deadline for submissions is 13 March 2023. The festival is being supported by funds from the Keele Key Fund.

Films can be submitted free of charge through the FilmFreeway portal.

A selection of films will also be hosted on

(Press Office – Keele University)

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