19 June 2012
Press Release

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

All-Star Cast of Filmmakers to Launch United Nations Forests Film Initiative

RIO DE JANEIRO, June 19 (UNFF Secretariat) — The United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat, in partnership with the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, has launched a new global multimedia initiative that will highlight the relationship between people and forests at the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.

The new initiative, “Forests for People:  UN International Short Film Contest”, will invite 200 million people in 193 countries to create and share a personal film up to 90 seconds in length.

Jan McAlpine, Director of the UN Forum on Forests Secretariat, said, “Through the visual power of film, we are asking everyone, in every part of the world, to share their own stories of how forests protect, sustain, nurture or inspire them.  Together, their films will explore the intricate human connections we have to forests in a way never before told.”

The film festival will invite people to tell their forest story using any type of media, from video cameras to mobile footage, animation to photos.  The initiative has been launched with a promotional film featuring some of the world’s most renowned nature/wildlife filmmakers who have joined together to spearhead the campaign.

“We’re thrilled to have an incredible group of filmmakers on board,” says Lisa Samford, Executive Director of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.  The campaign film includes Oscar-winning director Nick Park, Emmy winners Dereck and Beverly Joubert, acclaimed photographer Cristina Mittermeier, distinguished nature director Alastair Fothergill, pioneering cinematographers Louis Schwartzberg and S. Nallamuthu, renowned director/photographer and GoodPlanet founder Yann Arthus-Bertrand, and British film icon John Boorman with his son Charley, who is also a UNICEF ambassador, she said.

Winning films from Forests for People will be premiered at the United Nations Forum on Forests conference in April 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey, and screened at events worldwide, including the 2013 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.

The initiative has been created by the creative agency/film production partnership of Traffic Concept and Film and Tomato, with footage and film resources provided by the National Geographic Society, BBC Motion Gallery and Footage Search, Inc.

Further details on the Forests for People film festival are available at www.un.org/esa/forests/film.

For more information or interviews, please contact Mita Sen, United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat, e-mail:  sen@un.org; or Dan Shepard, United Nations Department of Public Information, e-mail:  shepard@un.org.

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For information media • not an official record