“Protecting standing tropical rainforests is a climate solution that plays a vital role in our collective future, no matter where on the planet we live.”

— Niyanta Spelman, CEO of Rainforest Partnership
Every action matters!

Connecting people with rainforests through the powerful medium of film

Films for the Forest is an annual juried short film collection that uses the power of creative storytelling to convene, empower, and activate global audiences to take action on behalf of the world's forests.

Launched by Rainforest Partnership in 2010, Films for the Forest invites filmmakers from around the world to share the voices and stories of forests worldwide, highlighting their rich biodiversity and local communities, their immense beauty and importance to the entire planet, the threats they face, and the opportunities for renewal.

2022 Winners and Runners-up

Documentary Short Winners

Winner — Trees for Tamarins
Directed by  — Whitney Beer-Kerr & Geoff Luck

Here, they’re called titís—squirrel-sized monkeys that live nowhere else in the world except this corner of Colombia. But architect Rosamira Guillen had never even heard of cotton-top tamarins until she began designing a zoo, even though she grew up right where they live.

Runner-up — Tadpoles: The Big Little Migration
Directed by  — Maxwel Hohn

This film documents the incredible daily migration of Western Toad tadpoles, a designated threatened species that faces constant risk from urban development.

Narrative Short Winners

Winner — The Big Green
Directed by  — Massoni Laurenzo

Jeanne, the director of a lumber company, arrives to a tree-cutting site to find it’s been sabotaged by environmental activists. While she tries to save some equipment, she ends up stuck on the first branch of a 30 meters high, centuries-old tree. Her only hope: to climb higher to find some network and call for help.

Runner-up — Good Neighbors
Directed by  — Lennon Sullivan

An art student finds success through mysterious elves. A film adaptation of the Shoemaker and the Elves fairytale.

Animated Short Winners

Winner — Re-member
Directed by  — Yo Kohatsu

Late for a meeting, a human opens a conference room door to find it leads to a deep forest. Various creatures – trees, insects, and horses – sit in a circle, engaged in a vibrant discussion. The creatures nod to an empty chair and encourage the human to take a seat. It belonged to the human once, after all.

Runner-up — Loto. A jungle tale
Directed by  — Antonio Aracil García

Loto, a jaguar from the Peruvian Amazon, walks through the jungle in search of food until he is surprised by a group of hunters and is forced to improvise in order to survive.

Youth Film Winners

Winner — Bad Bugs
Directed by  — Bryn Wright

Ten-year-old Bryn made a Claymation film about the importance of using "natural solutions for your bug problems" - something she's passionate about.

Runner-up — Weaving our paths
Directed by  — Cledson Kanunxi, Jackson Xinunxi & Marta Tipuici

Only six elders of the Manoki population in the Brazilian Amazon still speak their indigenous language and face an imminent risk of losing this important dimension of their existence. Determined to reclaim their language with the elders, the younger Manoki decide to narrate their challenges and desires in images and words.

Indigenous (IPLC) Film Winners

Winner — Ixch'umil
Directed by  — Miguel Ajcot

Ixch’umil, a 10-year-old girl, takes a trip with her mother from Guatemala City to her hometown to visit her grandmother, who is sick. Ixch’umil is about to discover the connection of cultural roots through the teachings of her grandmother.

Runner-up — The Pillar Of Strength
Directed by  — Ayie Ibrahim

When human beings value the life of nature, when they respect and learn from it, then it can strengthen the loving relationship between nature and humans. ‘The Pillar of Strength’ is a wonderful story that touches on topics about family, natural relations, and human identity as well as the patterns and culture of life in the Borneo archipelago.

2022 Films for the Forest Judges

A highly distinguished panel of judges selected this year’s films, and Rainforest Partnership expresses deep gratitude for their time and talents. 

2022 judges include five-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker Richard Linklater, who has been a Films for the Forest judge since the competition's inception; Welsh actor, singer, and activist Iwan Rheon (for the second year in a row); Colombian filmmaker Juan Sebastián Mesa, director of Los Nadie (winner of the 'Audience Award' at the 31st Settimana Internazionale della Critica de Venezia); Ecuadorian filmmaker Frida Muenala, director and writer from the Kichwa community; and British activist and youth speaker Lucy Houliston.

Richard Linklater

Born in Houston, Texas. Is a five-time Oscar nominee, two-time Golden Globe winner, and two-time Bafta winner who has directed 21 feature films including “Slacker” (1990), “Before Sunrise” (1995), “School of Rock” (2003), “Before Sunset” (2004), “A Scanner Darkly” (2006) and “Before Midnight” (2013).

His film “Boyhood” (2014), which took him 12 years to make - from 2002 until 2014-, won him a BAFTA for 'Best Director’ and ‘Best Picture’His most recent credits include “Everybody Wants Some” (2016), “Last Flag Flying” (2017), “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” (2019,) and “Apollo 10 ½: A Space Age Childhood” (2022).He also serves as the Artistic Director for the @austinfilm, which he founded in 1985 to showcase films from around the world that were not typically shown in #Austin.

The Austin Film Society has given out over $2,000,000 in grants to Texas filmmakers since 1996.Richard has been our Head Judge since the beginning of Films for the Forest and we can’t be more happy and grateful about it!!!💚😍

Is a Kichwa - Ecuadorian filmmaker. She studied film and video at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito In May 2011 she produced her first documentary, “Huellas de Tiempo”, which portrays life in a nursing home in Otavalo, Ecuador. It received the COCOA  award for “Best Documentary 2012”. In June 2011, she made the short fiction film “ELLA”, which has been screened in Shanghai, Washington, California, Austin (Texas), and New York City. 

In 2013, she participated in the editing and hosting of the television program "SHUKMA", a 12-chapter program that was one of the first to be made by indigenous people from their territories, and which is broadcasted on Ecuadorian national television. From 2012 to 2015, she worked on the fiction feature film “KILLA”, the first film in the Kichwa language to be shown in commercial cinemas in Ecuador. She is the director of the documentary "Warmi Pachakutik", which portrays the new generation of indigenous women in her country, and which was previewed in New York City in the May Sumak Kichwa Film Showcase 2019 and at the Malaga Festival, Spain. She is currently writing her fiction feature film script “PANIKU”.

Juan Sebastián Mesa

Born in Medellín, Colombia. He is a photographer and visual communicator with studies in scriptwriting and contemporary narratives.

He is also the co-founder of Monociclo Cine, a company that focuses on developing and producing film projects by new directors.In 2009 he directed his first short film “Maquillando el Silencio”. In 2013 he wrote and directed his second short film “Kalashnikov”, which was nominated for the Macondo Awards for 'Best National Short Film'.In 2015 he concluded his first feature film, “Los Nadie”.

This film won the 'Audience Award' at the 31st Settimana Internazionale della Critica de Venezia, and also was the inaugural film at the 56th Festival Internacional de Cine de Cartagena de Indias (FICCI).

He also directed "Tierra Mojada" (2017) and in 2021 released his second feature film called “La Roya”, which was also screened as the inaugural film at the FICCI in its 61st edition.

Iwan Rheon

Is a Welsh actor and musician. He is best known for his roles as Simon Bellamy in “Misfits” , Ramsay Bolton in “Game of Thrones” , and Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars in the film “The Dirt”.

He has also acted in several films including “Libertador” (2013), “Hurricane” (2018), “Berlin, I love You” (2019), and series such as “American Gods” (2017), “Riviera“ (2017), and “Inhumans” (2017). Iwan has previously released various EPs. The first one, called “Tongue Tied”, was launched in 2010. In early 2015, he also wrote and recorded a full-length album, called “Dinard”, while filming seasons four and five of GOTSince 2019 he has been an Ambassador for @wwf_uk , and in 2021 he joined @wwfcymru and @size_of_wales , in an effort to have Wales become the first 'deforestation-free nation'.

Iwan has been our judge at Films for the Forest for two years in a row!

Lucy Houliston

Is a British Zoologist, digital content producer, and NatGeo Young Explorer and Speaker with a passion for weird wildlife and conservation.

As an experienced speaker, Lucy has delivered school talks internationally, co-chaired educational webinars, delivered presentations at virtual conferences, and hosted live, digital events including Reserva’s Wild Trivia fundraiser and part of Exploring by the Seat of Your Pants’ International Sloth Day program. 

As the Media Officer and Youth Director for Reserva The Youth Land Trust, Lucy is also working to educate and empower global youth and marginalized communities in land conservation and assist in the creation of the world’s first entirely youth-funded nature reserve.

Films for the Forest Partners

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