Film showcase

The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Jackson Wild have teamed up once more to organize an international Film Showcase to highlight stories that can showcase the role of forests, forest-dwelling species of wild fauna and flora and the ecosystem services they provide for the millions of people rely on them to meet their basic needs around the world.

All entries and the winning films will help raise global awareness of the essential role of forests and forest species as pillars of humanity’s social and economic well-being, as well as key elements of the planet’s environmental health and biological diversity.

The Film Showcase will serve to further illustrate the theme of the 2021 UN World Wildlife Day: Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet.

This year’s theme seeks to shed light on the links between the state of our planet’s forests and the preservation of the millions of livelihoods that depend directly on them, with a particular attention to the traditional knowledge of the communities who have managed forest ecosystems and its wildlife for centuries. It also underlines the importance of sustainable use of natural resources in support of the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero said: "The World Wildlife Day 2021 Film Showcase offers a powerful platform to discuss the experiences of communities whose livelihoods are built on their historic relationship with forests and its wildlife. It is also an opportunity to discuss the immense value of the ecosystem services forests provide to people everywhere and to the global economy. As we seek to respond to multiple planetary crises, from climate change to biodiversity loss and the effects of a global pandemic, the film showcase will highlight the experiences of groups and communities who have established a safe and sustainable relationship with some of the planet’s most important natural systems."

"We believe in the power of story to inspire awe at the wonders of our natural world and ignite the critical changes that will be required to restore and protect it," agreed Lisa Samford, Executive Director of Jackson Wild. "Covering over a third of the Earth’s surface, forests are a home to 80% of all terrestrial animals, plants and insects and sustain the livelihoods of millions of people, providing ecosystems services and resources that are essential to the global economy."

38 finalists have been picked from a total of 275 outstanding entries. You can see the full list of finalists here.

Winners were unveiled during the global virtual World Wildlife Day event, on March 3 - scroll down to read through the full list of laureates. The UN World Wildlife Day Film Showcase films are broadly available for a free streamed screening here.

Winners of the 2021 World Wildlife Day Film Showcase in the 5 categories are:

People & Forests (sponsored by National Geographic):

Winner, long form:
Backyard Wilderness
Archipelago Films, Arise Media, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, SK Films and Reconsider

Winner, short form:
The Church Forests of Ethiopia
Emergence Magazine

My Forest (sponsored by Fable & Mane):

Winner, long form:
Mundiya Kepanga, the voice of the forest
ARTE France and Muriel Barra / Lato Sensu productions

Winner, short form:
Leo Plunkett, Environmental Investigation Agency

Future of Forests (sponsored by San Diego Zoo):

Winner, long form:
After the Wildfires
Northern Pictures for ABC, CBC, Love Nature and Blue Ant International

Winner, short form:
How Old Cell Phones Are Protecting the Rainforest
Seeker Media

Living Forests (sponsored by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios):

Winner, long form:
Earth's Tropical Islands: Borneo
BBC Studios Natural History Unit, PBS

Winners, short form (two films tied):
Chasing Ghosts
Grizzly Creek Films, bioGraphic

Memories of the Future
a Mares Mexicanos production

Forest Micro Movie:

Gajah Borneo
Shervin Hess, Oregon Zoo

A Special Jury Award was given to:
The Man Who Planted a Forest
101India Digital Services

For artfully expressing the healing power of forests, a lifelong commitment to conservation and reminding us all that each individual person can make a difference in the fight to protect nature and the resources it provides for future generations.

Honorable Mention films: Alianza Ceibo: Equator Prize Winner of 2020 (UNDP Equator Initiative, What Took You So Long), Can Farms and Forests Coexist? (Produced by Spotzen for PBS Digital Studios), Clatter (Rémi Rappe), Eeya (House Tiger Productions), If We Plant 1 TRILLION Trees Can We Stop Climate Change? (Produced by Spotzen for PBS Digital Studios), Jungle Guardian (Doclights GmbH / NDR Naturfilm), Moss Man (Tilapia Film, Topic Studio), Primary Forests (Rojo Visuals and Wild Heritage for IntAct - International Action for Primary Forests), Rearing Giants (Green Hub (NEN - DFF)), Rise of the Warrior Apes (KEO Films for Discovery Network International), Sungai Utik -The Fight for Recognition (If Not Us Then Who), The Ogieks; Guardians of the Mau Forest (Maurice Oniang'o)

For more details on the Showcase, and if you are interested in hosting a screening, please visit the Jackson Wild page.