The Filmmaker's Influence
in the Time of Climate Change
Canada’s motion picture industry is taking the lead on green initiatives through production practices and reducing carbon emissions. Meet filmmakers who are using their roles to cultivate and tell stories on screen with underlying themes of environmental sustainability. This panel takes you through implementing intersectional climate themes from the early stages of development and the influence subject matter has over audiences.
An award-winning Canadian filmmaker of multiple impactful documentaries around the globe since the 1990s, Liz Marshall’s current documentary ,narrated by Dr. Jane Goodall, Meat The Future (2021), chronicles the birth of the “cultivated meat” industry through the eyes of a visionary CEO, Dr. Uma Valeti.
Other of Liz’s impactful work included: a 2013 critically acclaimed The Ghosts in Our Machine, featuring the work of animal rights photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur; Midian Farm (2018) unearths Liz’s formative family history about an Ontario-based 1970s back-to-land social experiment; and Water on the Table (2010) chronicles the human right to water amidst a global water crisis following Maude Barlow’s appointment as U.N. Senior Advisor on Water.
Director of SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement and Co-Director of SFU’s Community Engaged Research Initiative
Am Johal is Director of SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement and Co-Director of SFU’s Community Engaged Research Initiative. He has additional affiliations with SFU departments including Graduate Liberal Studies, Centre for Dialogue, Labour Studies and the Institute for the Humanities. He has been on the boards of the Vancity Community Foundation, Bloom Group, Indian Summer Arts Society, 221A, the Or Gallery and the City of Vancouver’s Arts and Culture Committee. He is the co-author of ‘Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life: A Tar Sands Tale’ with Matt Hern and Joe Sacco.
Loretta Sarah Todd is a visionary leader in Indigenous media. Her first feature, Monkey Beach, based on the novel by Eden Robinson, was very successful, screening at TIFF, opening film at VIFF and sweeping awards at the American Indian Film Festival and Red Nation Film Festival, including Best Film and Best Director. Monkey Beach was the #1 Canadian film for 4 weeks at the box office.
Loretta has directed over 100 projects including award-winning documentaries, apps, digital media, games and animation. She also creates, produces and showruns series including children’s and youth series, like Nehiyawetan, Coyote Science and Fierce Girls.
Loretta provides opportunities for Indigenous cast, crew and creative. She was instrumental in the formation of the Aboriginal Arts Centre at the Banff Centre. Recently, she created the IM4 Media Lab, an Indigenous XR Lab, where she is the Creative Director.
Loretta Todd is Cree/Metis, from Red River Metis, St. Paul des Metis, White Fish Lake First Nation.
Reel Green™ Sustainability Lead at Creative BC; Moderator
Smiely Khurana is the Reel Green™ Sustainability Lead at Creative BC, supporting and connecting Reel Green’s expanding community of engagement, deepening industry’s expertise and transforming production practices through the Clean Energy municipal collaboration.
With a background in Motion Picture Arts and Business Marketing from Capilano University, Smiely has worked on a number of productions in a wide range of positions, from producing, accounting, digital marketing, and most recently as a sustainability coordinator and a host of a successful podcast The Sustainable Act with Smiely Khurana.