Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and CITES Announce Winners of International Elephant Film Festival

ABOVE: Minds of Giants.  Still courtesy Vulcan Productions

NOTICE: This piece has been updated to show the correct winner in the Micromovie category.

Geneva, Switzerland, Jackson, WY, and New York, NY, USA — The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) teamed up in organizing an International Elephant Film Festival to raise global awareness of the various challenges facing the African and Asian elephants, as a highlight of UN World Wildlife Day on March 3rd. The Festival received more than 250 entries into the film competition, which were reviewed by over 75 preliminary judges over six weeks before the short list was passed on to the final judging panel.

“These films connect us in a very personal way to wildlife, observed John E. Scanlon, Secretary General of CITES.” They inspire us all to make sure these magnificent animals survive in the wild. Congratulations to all of the finalists and category winners, and thank you for making this such a memorable World Wildlife Day.”

The high-level celebration at UN Headquarters attracted international diplomats and policy-makers as well as conservation, NGO & business partners and filmmakers and included UNEP Goodwill Ambassador/model Gisele Bündchen and Actress/Producer Kristin Davis, whose film Gardeners of Eden won the Elephant Hero category.

The International Elephant Film Festival Winners are:

African Voices
Elephants Without Borders, Afriscreen Films for BBC and Animal Planet

Asian Elephants
Manas: Return of the Giants, Ammonite, Ltd. and Kosmik Global

Issues & Solutions
Explorer: Warlords of Ivory, National Geographic Studios for National Geographic Channels

Elephant Hero
Gardeners of Eden, Village Beat

Elephant Micro-Movie (under 5 minutes)
War of Space, Mays Entertainment

People & Elephants
Naledi: Every Elephant Counts, Vulcan Productions in association with Off the Fence

Science & Elephants
Minds of Giants, Vulcan Productions & Off the Fence

Winners were announced at a high level event marking the global celebration of World Wildlife Day at UN Headquarters in New York on 3 March 2016. Winning and finalist films will be showcased extensively throughout the world, through local screening events and broadcasts.

“These amazing films speak eloquently to the importance of saving elephants while are still able to do so,” said Jackson Hole Festival’s Executive Director, Lisa Samford. “We’re eager to partner with organizations around the world to raise local awareness and engagement through free public screenings and events.”

Samford drew particular attention to the decades-long anthology documenting Echo, the matriarch of Amboseli and her family, noting that the researchers who studied this herd and the filmmakers who told their story forever changed how the world would see wild African elephants.

The organizers are particularly grateful to the final judges for their commitment of time:

Inger Anderson, Director General of International Union for Conservation of Nature

Ian Craig, Director of Conservation, Northern Rangelands Trust, Kenya

Bingbing Li, Actress, Singer and Conservationist, China

Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, Republic of South Africa

Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, United States

John E. Scanlon, Secretary General of CITES

For more information, please visit:

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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