Lights, camera, public health! The APHA Film Festival returns for its 11th year at APHA’s 142nd Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans, showcasing a wide variety of media focused on public health.

The APHA Film Festival is the nation’s first and only festival dedicated to the application of visual media in public health practice. Organized by APHA’s Public Health Education and Health Promotion Section’s Health Communication Working Group and APHA’s International Health Section, the annual festival attracts entries from U.S. and international health departments, foundations and community-based organizations to share best practices and effective media tools for public health professionals.

“The festival has grown immensely since those days of VHS videotapes and paper submissions. We’re now seeing a whole new level of entries with digital uploads and online submissions,” said Linda Bergonzi-King, MPH, chair of the APHA Film Festival. “We attract major directors who have produced large-scale productions with public health themes, and the festival has gotten wonderful reviews. Members can experience everything from grassroots productions to high-profile films!”

This year’s lineup features 12 sessions and over 60 films on a diverse range of public health topics. It also marks a return of special sessions, including:

  • A screening and discussion of “The Waiting Room,” a PBS documentary that goes inside Oakland, California’s, Highland Hospital’s Emergency Room.
  • A screening and discussion of “Anonymous People,” a documentary film about Americans living with alcohol and drug addiction.
  • “Digital Media and Youth: Beware, Be Wary, Be There,” a session led by Pamela Luna, DrPH, MEd, APHA Film Festival co-chair, featuring extended clips from three documentaries along with a presentation on practical tools to teach digital media literacy to youth.

In addition to these featured sessions, the festival will hold a special Monday night screening of “Within the Eye of the Storm,” a documentary film on peace efforts in the Middle East. For a sneak peak of this entry, watch a trailer for the film:

This summer, the APHA Film Festival expanded its reach internationally by making a special trip to the United Kingdom. Luna, along with festival co-founder Gary Black and Oregon Pacific University student Mahala Nelson replicated sessions from last year’s Annual Meeting at the annual Faculty of Public Health Conference in Manchester, England. The group also advised Oxford University’s Public Health Film Society on the planning of their summer film festival.

For more information about film festival sessions in New Orleans, check out the APHA website.