National Film Competition Targets Illegal Wildlife Trade in Vietnam

A national short film contest to raise awareness about the illegal wildlife trade and rhino horn consumption was launched today in Hanoi as part of Operation Game Change’s WildFest, an event designed to raise public awareness and spark a reduction in demand for illegal-trafficked wildlife.

A series of workshops targeting aspiring filmmakers will tour Hanoi, Danang, and HCMC on 22, 24, and 26 June. These workshops will engage and sensitize filmmakers about issues related to the illegal wildlife trade and rhino horn consumption, and provide essential information and insights to help them develop creative film concepts. At the workshops, filmmakers will learn more about the key messages that need to be conveyed and how to most effectively reach the relevant target audiences through participatory discussions with wildlife and media experts. Nguyễn Mỹ Dung, a trained filmmaker and wildlife protector, will share her experiences interacting with wildlife in South Africa from a filmmaker’s perspective.

At the kick-off workshop in Hanoi today, it was announced that three of Vietnam’s hottest young directors, Nguyễn Quang Dũng (Superman X), Nguyễn Hoàng Điệp (Flapping the Middle of Nowhere) and Bảo Nguyễn (Live from New York!), will be producing short films targeting people that purchase, trade, and consume wildlife products in Vietnam. These three professional filmmakers will also be part of the jury who select the winners of the WildFest short film contest.

The submission period for the WildFest film contest runs until the 31st August. The competition accepts recently produced films of up to seven minutes in duration. The main criteria for judging the submissions include: 1) strength of idea and creative concept, 2) production execution, 3) effective message integration regarding the consumption of illegal wildlife products, and 4) relevance to target audience groups.

Based on these criteria, on 1st October, the jury will select the most compelling films to be part of the ‘Official Selection’, where they will compete for three Awards: 1) Grand Prize, 2) Special Jury Prize, and 3) Press & Critics Choice. The award winning films will premiere at WildFest on 1st November 2015 at the Imperial Citadel in Hanoi. WildFest will also feature an exclusive premiere of the three professional filmmakers’ films, as well as other entertainment.

“I am excited to be a part of such an important initiative, and to have the chance to produce a film about an issue as critical as the illegal wildlife trade,” said director Nguyễn Hoàng Điệp. “I look forward to seeing and judging the short films that are produced by Vietnam’s aspiring filmmakers. Together we have a chance to create something powerful that will inspire others to take a stand against wildlife trafficking,” she added.

Ms. Lisa Bess Wishman, representative of the US Embassy at the workshop in Hanoi, added: “We want WildFest to encourage creative approaches to tackling the illegal wildlife trade, and would like to encourage anyone who is passionate about using film to make a difference to enter this competition. The US Government is proud to support WildFest and Operation Game Change, and is excited to see the positive impact we can collectively have on this globally-interconnected critical issue.”

WildFest is part of Operation Game Change (OGC) – a joint alliance between the United States and Vietnam which aims to have broad appeal and influence public debate around illegal wildlife issues in Vietnam, especially to stop rhino horn trafficking. For more information, please visit and

For information regarding the WildFest film contest, please contact:
Mr. Marcus Manh Cuong Vu
Campaign Manager

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