Global Health Development Lab 2017



Develop and pitch immersive media projects on a Global Health issue with a chance of securing £5000 in development funding.

Do you have an exciting idea with a focus on a global health issue that uses technology and storytelling to reach audiences beyond traditional screens? Projects can be 360/VR, Mixed Reality, Apps, Art Installations, Live Events and Performances, Interactive Online Experiences, Webdocs – anything that goes beyond film and TV screens.

The three-day lab is open to global health advocates, filmmakers, emerging VR producers, immersive media producers, digital media specialists, artists, creatives, or anyone who wants to use immersive media to engender debate, or create real world change, around global health issues.

The workshop will involve mentoring, development of story and concept, pitch-training and outreach strategies, from a team of expert mentors drawn from the worlds of Film and TV, Immersive Media, Journalism and Impact Strategy, as well as Medical Experts and Global Health Advocates.


This year’s crack team of mentors will include:

Mark Atkin, Crossover Labs
Mark has produced four theatrically-released films in the past two years and his most recent production, Arcadia, premieres at the 2107 London Film Festival. Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel was the BBC’s first commissioned Virtual Realty documentary and was shown as an installation at National Theatre and Imperial War Museums as well as a festivals around the world. A 360 video showing the work of Medical Aid Films recently premiered at an event at BAFTA. RIOT, an emotionally-responsive film, was shown at The Future of Storytelling in New York and was awarded as one Columbia DSL’s Digital Dozen most innovative digital storytelling projects.
Mark is currently curating Electric Dreams, a new festival of immersive media planned for London’s South Bank 2018. Crossover Labs runs workshops in Immersive Media Development, Virtual Reality Production, 360 Video Production and Photogrammetry around the world.


Rebecca Ashdown, Together Films
Rebecca has over a decade of professional experience across the film and NGO sector, having worked with organisations such as the British Film Institute, Amnesty International, BBC Media Action and Toronto International Film Festival. Rebecca currently at boutique Together Films, a boutique consultancy, who specialise in impact distribution planning for social issue films.
She is passionate about the power of film and creative storytelling to inspire and ignite imaginations, encouraging dialogue, debate and impact around global social issues.
She has experience developing impact strategies and delivering distribution campaigns, on titles including Planetary (International campaign), The Hunting Ground (UK campaign), Pablo Larrain’s No (UK campaign) and Unrest (UK campaign). Rebecca has a Master of Arts in Applied Theatre, and has specialised in using cultural art forms for social change within community & education settings. Alongside her work with film, she has worked as a creative facilitator on a range of projects in schools, adults prisons, and community groups, both in the UK and internationally.

Darren Emerson, VR City
Darren Emerson is a director, producer and co-founder of London production companies VR City and East City Films. His first VR film Witness 360: 7/7 was selected in competition at IDFA Doc Lab in 2015, the inaugural Kaleidoscope VR Festival and has played at many high profile festivals including Cannes, One World Humanitarian Film Festival, Docville, Docaviv, as well as being part of the MIT Virtually There conference and exhibition in 2016.
The VR documentary Indefinite won the first ever VR commission by Sheffield Doc/Fest, and was supported by UK Arts Council and The Site Gallery.  It has since been featured in the New York Times Op-Docs VR app, as well as touring festivals globally.
Darren also directs live action VR for commercial and broadcast clients such as BBC, ITV, MTV, and The National Theatre. Darren is a passionate advocate of VR story-telling and has been invited to speak at VR Labs at CPH:DOX, IDFA Doc Lab, BFI Future Film Fund, I-docs, EDEF, the One World Humanitarian Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Dubai International Film Festival, the Berlinale and Cannes.


The lab be a space to develop ideas prior to pitching in front of a multidisciplinary panel of judges at the Global Health Film Festival on 08-09 December at the Barbican, with the opportunity of winning a £5,000 development award and on-going mentoring with Crossover.

Graphic designers will be on hand to create professional assets for the pitch that can be retained by all participants and global health specialists will be available to strengthen the scientific and/or medical basis of the concepts.


What are the requirements for the pitch?

Pitches should cover a global health topic, which could include but are not limited to:

  • Mental health
  • Refugee Health
  • Climate Change
  • Disability
  • Maternal and Neonatal Health
  • Healthy Aging
  • LGBTQ Rights
  • Surgery
  • Emerging Infections
  • Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases

The finished work must be ready for screening at the 2018 Global Health Film Festival as a completed work or work-in-progress (dates to be announced in December 2017).


What is the prize?

The Global Health Film Prize is a £5,000 development award for the best pitch. The award, made possible thanks to generous ongoing support from The Lancet, will serve as seed funding to develop the idea and seek additional funding for the project. Winners of the award will receive on-going mentorship from Crossover to develop the work, which will include project development, budgeting, finance plan, prototype assessment and distribution planning.




We invite you to register your interest and share a brief 200-word description of your idea along, with names and affiliations of any group members by 6pm on Tuesday 31 October 2017.

There will be a participation fee of £75 per person for selected projects. Projects can be submitted by individuals or teams. Registration fee includes admission to the Global Health Film Festival programme.


Location and Dates

The Global Health Crossover Lab will take place in Central London on 05-07 December, followed by a live pitch at the Global Health Film Festival on 08-09 December at the Barbican.


Please contact Tom Millen with any queries (

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