Andrea Builes-Vélez, Films for the Forest Coordinator said,
“The films for 2023 showcased the great diversity and talent of filmmakers in each category. We were deeply honored to connect audiences worldwide and get them transported to new places, discover new living perspectives, and be amazed by heart-warming forest stories. Some films focused on the present and on the value of keeping forests standing now and ‘Tam Mỹ Tây’, Runner-up in the Documentary category, is a wonderful example.”
Located in the South Central Coast Region of Vietnam, Tam Mỹ Tây is a small farming village and is the last refuge for the grey-shanked douc langur. As plantations divide their habitat, Mr. Danh and his wife create a community patrol with the help of neighbors to protect the vulnerable grey-shanked douc langur and educate locals about them.
James Thomson, Scotland-based director experimenting with new modes of storytelling and Director of ‘Tam Mỹ Tây’, shared his insights about the film
“Here’s a community of foresters saying, actually – what’s our number one priority? How do we find balance here? In answering these questions, the village of Tam Mỹ Tây has grown a tight bond with the langurs. I hope Mr. Danh’s story about disarming poachers with food and beer, inspires other communities to follow their lead and realize the power they hold to change things.”
Andrea added “Several winning stories from 2023 give us a glimpse of the disastrous and difficult future that we will face if forest destruction continues.”
‘The Spayer’ Winner in the Animated Shorts category, is the story of a dystopian city where it is forbidden to grow any kind of plant. A trained army of ‘Sprayers’ had the mission to destroy all plants and capture anyone who dares to break the rules.
Farnoosh Abedi, Iranian-born filmmaker, animator, and director of ‘The Sprayer’, said about his film
“The narrative is inspired by the book and movie Fahrenheit 451, where books are confiscated and burned. However, I think destroying a plant is more bitter than burning a book. When this idea came up twelve years ago, it seemed a bit strange, distant and pessimistic. But now after recent events such as the pandemic and climate change, unfortunately this horrible story is becoming more and more of a reality. But in the end, maybe there is still hope to save us, even if it is a small one, like a plant sprouting in the middle of the road.”
2024 Films for the Forest will launch in fall 2023…
About Films for the Forest
Founded by the nonprofit 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.
It 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. www.FilmsfortheForest.org