We are delighted to announce that the winner of this year’s Planetary Health Film Prize at the Global Health Film Festival is Albatross, directed by Chris Jordan.
Albatross, which premiered in 2017, is a 97-minute free public artwork. It is a powerful visual journey into the heart of a gut-wrenching environmental tragedy. On Midway Island in the Pacific Ocean, tens of thousands of albatross chicks lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic. Returning to the island over several years, Chris and his filming team witnessed cycles of birth, life, and death of these magnificent creatures as a multi-layered metaphor for our times.
This annual £10,000 prize is generously sponsored by the Planetary Health Alliance and is awarded to a film that highlights planetary health – an emerging interdisciplinary field that focuses on the human health impacts of humanity’s vast and accelerating transformation of Earth’s natural systems – and sets out the most compelling case and call to action.
From a shortlist of four films in this year’s Global Health Film Festival programme, Albatross was unanimously selected by an international panel of scientists and film-makers as this year’s winner.
Samuel Myers, Director of the Planetary Health Alliance said: “Nature is under siege, and we are coming to understand that this global environmental crisis is creating an urgent public health crisis. As we change our planet’s climate, extinguish its species, transform its land and seascapes and degrade and pollute its natural systems, we fuel the greatest threat to human health of our century. Planetary health recognizes these threats and insists that we radically rethink our relationship to Nature in order to save ourselves. The Planetary Health Film Prize celebrates a film that awakens us to this moment and inspires us toward a new path forward.”
Presenting the award on Saturday 08 December, Gerri McHugh, Global Health Film Founder and Director said: “We are indebted to the Planetary Health Alliance for their most generous and visionary support of this very timely award; the partnership we have forged is central to our collective efforts to promote and reward creative and impactful storytelling on some of the most urgent issues that humanity faces in the 21st century. We are delighted that this year’s £10,000 award goes to Albatross – a most worthy winner - and we look forward to communicating the detail of how Chris Jordan and his team will use the prize to further the excellent advocacy and educational work that he has started with his extraordinary film.
Albatross director Chris Jordan added: "What an honour to be part of this visionary and courageous film festival. Winning this prize brings a well-timed breath of wind under the wings of Albatross, to help carry her message of grief and love further out into the world.”