Finalists Announced for 2021 World Wildlife Day Film Showcase

February 16, 2021

Geneva/Jackson Hole, WY/New York, Feb 16 – Judges and organizers of the 2021 World Wildlife Day Film Showcase have unveiled the finalists of this year’s contest, highlighting 38 outstanding films entered in five categories, selected from a total of 275 entries and 12 films designated for Honorable Mentions.

In keeping with this year’s World Wildlife Day theme “Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet,” the Showcase highlighted the links between the world’s forests and the wildlife they harbor, the ongoing efforts towards conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and the millions of livelihoods that directly depend on forests, particularly the indigenous peoples and local communities who are often the guardians of these ecosystems.

The winners will be announced on 3rd March, during the first-ever global virtual World Wildlife Day celebration.

The 2021 Showcase is the sixth film competition jointly organized as part of the annual World Wildlife Day celebrations by Jackson Wild, the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The films below have been selected as finalists in five categories:

●    People & Forests;

●    My Forest;

●    Future of Forests;

●    Living Forests;

●    Forest Micro Movie.

All categories, save for the Forest Micro Movie, have been further divided into two sub-categories, comprising of long form entries, with a runtime above 17 minutes, and the short form entries, with a runtime between 5 - 17 minutes. Micro movies comprise entries with a runtime of up to 5 minutes.

The full list of finalists can be found below or click here.

Winner and finalist films will be shown at events across the world to raise awareness of the importance of conserving forests and forest wildlife, and to shed further light on what can be learned from the extensive knowledge and experiences of forest and forest-adjacent inhabitants when it comes to conserving these ecosystems.

CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero said: “The outstanding entries of this sixth World Wildlife Day Film Showcase will help viewers discover the stories of local and indigenous communities around the world who live in or near forests, whose livelihoods and well-being depend on these ecosystems and the wildlife therein. As we all seek to mend our relationship with Nature, the Film Showcase gives us the opportunity to capture and share the stories of people and communities as they march towards sustainability. The efforts of those who interact with their surroundings in a sustainable way should be an inspiration for us all. We are deeply grateful to all the filmmakers who submitted their works.”

“Finalists selected for this year’s World Wildlife Day Film Showcase highlight the challenges and opportunities we face to conserve our forests and strengthen the livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities. Investing in the protection and restoration of forest ecosystems is critical for reducing poverty and inequality, simultaneously, it helps to address the dual nature-climate crises within the COVID-19 context and the Decade for Action for the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.

“Selected by 100+ judges who screened more than 750 hours of film, this portfolio highlights fifty extraordinary stories from forests and communities around the world. Throughout human history, stories have connected each of us with one another and the world we share,” said Lisa Samford, Executive Director of Jackson Wild. “This is more crucial now than ever before. Media has the power to accelerate tangible ways we can work together to restore and protect our planet during these critically important times.”

World Wildlife Day 2021 Film Showcase finalists:

People & Forests (long form):

Australia's Great Wild North
Wild Pacific Media, Definition Films

Backyard Wilderness
Archipelago Films, Arise Media, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, SK Films and Reconsider

Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees
Merit Motion Pictures, Edgeland Films

​Judi Dench's Wild Borneo Adventure: Untouched and Under Threat
Atlantic Productions for discovery+

People & Forests (short form):

The Church Forests of Ethiopia
Emergence Magazine

Alchimie Productions, Sébastien Pins

Water Logged
Ramshackle Pictures

My Forest (long form)

Death by a Thousand Cuts
Participant and Documentales Univision present a Tarasios Production in association with Human Pictures

Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest
Happen Films

Great Bear Rainforest
Spirit Bear Entertainment & MacGillivray Freeman Films​

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

Sacred Forest
Taiwan Public Television Service Foundation

My Forest (short form)

Arunachal Virtual Archive
National Geographic Society, Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department

The Guardians of Dampa
Green Hub (NEN - DFF), Dampa Tiger Reserve

Think Like a Scientist: Renewal
Plumb Productions, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios

Leo Plunkett, Environmental Investigation Agency

Future of Forests​ (long form):

After the Wildfires
Northern Pictures for ABC, CBC, Love Nature and Blue Ant International

Eyes In The Forest
Google VizLab

River of Gold
An Amazon Aid Foundation Production in association with Uber Content

The Lost Forest
The Nobel Prize, Grain Media, Rideback Films, National Geographic

​Trees, a Global Superpower
Hauteville Productions In Coproduction with INRAE, with the participation of France Télévisions, Planète +, CNC, Procirep/Angoa, International sales: France TV distribution

Future of Forests​ (short form):

How Old Cell Phones Are Protecting the Rainforest
Seeker Media

How To Get Grizzly Bears the Space They Need to Survive
Seeker Media

Our Planet - How to Restore Our Forests
Silverback Films, Netflix, WWF UK

​Reforestation Alert
If Not Us Then Who

Living Forests​ (long form):

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

Planet Earth II: Jungles
BBC Studios Natural History Unit, BBC America, ZDF, Tencent, France Televisions

The Magical Four - Our Seasons
Marco Polo Film AG in collaboration with WDR

Tiny World - Woodland
Plimsoll Productions

Unknown Madagascar - Forest of the Indri
Doclights GmbH / NDR Naturfilm, NDR, ARTE, ORF

Living Forests​ (short form):

Chasing Ghosts
Grizzly Creek Films, bioGraphic

Memories of the Future
a Mares Mexicanos production 

​Protecting Nature for Good
Day's Edge Productions for World Wildlife Fund

​The Golden Lion Tamarins of Poco Das Antas
National Geographic Society

Forest Micro Movie:

#WildForLife Forest Champion: Mount Kenya Trust
UN Environment, PCI Media

Gajah Borneo
Shervin Hess, Oregon Zoo

Koa Talking to Me
Harpers Ferry Center & Haleakalā National Park, National Park Service

The Man Who Planted A Forest
101India Digital Services

Honorable Mention films include: 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 information and to arrange interviews, please contact:

CITES Secretariat: Francisco Pérez, +41 22 917 1447,

United Nations Development Programme: Sangita Khadka, +1 212 906 5043,

Jackson Wild: Abbey Greene, +1 307 200 3286 ext. 700,

To arrange free community screening events, please contact:

Melanie Judd, (307) 200-3286 ext. 4,


The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed on 3 March 1973 and entered into force on 1 July 1975. With 183 Parties (182 countries + the European Union), it remains one of the world's most powerful tools for wildlife conservation through the regulation of international trade in over 38,000 species of wild animals and plants. CITES-listed species are used by people around the world in their daily lives for food, health care, furniture, housing, tourist souvenirs, cosmetics or fashion. CITES seeks to ensure that international trade in such species is sustainable, legal and traceable and contributes to both the livelihoods of the communities that live closest to them and to national economies for a healthy planet and the prosperity of the people in support of UN Sustainable Development Goals.

About Jackson Wild

For 30 years, Jackson Wild has hosted extraordinary convenings for science, nature and conservation media stakeholders, celebrating the finest and most innovative media in the genre. The World Wildlife Day Film Showcase brings together stakeholders from all over the world to focus on a single global theme. Jackson Wild’s international board members include: ARTE France, BBC Studios, Blue Ant Media / Love Nature, Borealés, Conservation International, Discovery, Doclights, FujiFilm Optical Devices - Fujinon Lenses, Gorongosa Restoration Project, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, Humane Society International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, National Geographic Partners, National Geographic Society, Nature/WNET, Netflix, Off the Fence Productions, ORF/Universum, PBS, Saint Thomas Productions, San Diego Zoo, Seeker, Smithsonian Channel, Sony Electronics, SVT - Swedish Television, The Nature Conservancy, Terra Mater Factual Studios, Wanda Natura, WGBH, and World Wildlife Fund US.

About UNDP

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn more at or follow at @UNDP.

About the United Nations World Wildlife Day

On 20 December 2013, the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3 March as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and flora. The date is the day of the signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. World Wildlife Day has quickly become the most prominent global annual event dedicated to wildlife. It is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of the various challenges faced by these species. The day also reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and social impacts.