Researcher working with environmental TV network to make archive available digitally

A researcher from De Montfort University, Leicester (DMU) is set to digitise decades of environmental journalism and films to bring them to a wider audience.

Dr Hiu Man Chan, Lecturer in Creative and Cultural Industries at DMU, is working with charity Television for the Environment (tve) to help make its archive available as a teaching and learning resource for a new generation of sustainable activists.


(Photo by Angela Benito on Unsplash)

Dr Chan's research explores how environmental film can be used more effectively as a cross-cultural communication medium to help raise awareness, inspire new public opinion, and encourgae sustainable action.

With the popularity of recent environmental films and series like Seaspiracy, Blue Planet and Before the Flood, it is clear there is an engaged audience for environmentally conscious filmmaking and Dr Chan hopes these digitised tve archives will be a valuable resource.

Dr Chan said: “Film is a very important medium to help open up debate to the wider public and more people are now interested in environmental documentaries, as they have become more readily available, we can really use this medium to inspire future generations.

“Film can spark imagination across all age groups, for the younger generations it gives them the opportunity to be aware what is happening to the planet from an early age, to hopefully make better life-long choices.

“The same goes for older audiences too, they may not know that it’s not too late from them to contribute too, from individuals to business owners everyone, can contribute.

She added: “The idea is film can be seen as a communication and education method to help people be more knowledgeable and make better choices, consequently helping protect our planet.”

 “I really hope this will help plant thoughts into the next generation to embed sustainability in all major sectors across the globe.”

In addition to the research project collaboration, Dr Chan is also working with tve on their annual Global Sustainability Film Awards (GSFA).


The awards recognise achievement both in filmmaking and sustainable action, with entries being judged on the power of their storytelling and creativity, as well as on the credibility and impact of their content.

This year, the shortlist for the awards will be announced at an event taking place at DMU on Friday 28 October, 2022, with the main award ceremony set to take place at the historic Merchant Taylor’s Hall on 29 November, 2022. 

Surina Narula, President Trustee at tve, said: “We look forward to our collaboration with DMU. Students and academics form an integral part in our archival digitisation project.

“We hope that the restoration of these important films which have documented the changes in our relationship to the climate for the past 40 years serves as an important resource pool."

Dr Chan added: “I am really looking forward to working more closely with tve and see how our students can support its missions wider. Together, we aim to explore the power of storytelling about the environment via this urgent research and impact collaboration.”

Posted on Wednesday 12th October 2022

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