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International Forest Film Festival

An International Forest Film Festival competition to mark the International Year of Forests, 2011 has named Vance Martin, Jan McAlpine, and Cristina Mittermeier as the judges who will select winning films from 18 finalists in six categories.

The International Forest Film Festival competition, launched by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat, will announce the finalists in December 2010, and the winners will be honoured at the global launch of Forests 2011 at UN Headquarters in New York in February 2011.

“The International Forest Film Festival offers a unique opportunity to bring the issues and objectives of Forests 2011 to a global audience,” said Ms. McAlpine, director of the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat. “The power of cinematic art is universal. It connects with people all over the world on a personal level. The International Forest Film Festival will spread the message of Forests 2011 in that same powerful manner.”

Winning films will first be showcased at the global launch of Forests 2011 in New York, and will then be screened at other festivals and events around the world throughout the year. The film festival is part of a global effort to raise awareness on the importance of forests, their relationship with people and the sustainable management, conservation and development of all types of forests.

While the overall theme for the film submissions is “Forests for People,” specific film categories will explore the multitude of ways that people interact and benefit from forests. From the social, cultural, economic or spiritual aspects of the “360 Degrees on All Things Forest” category to highlighting uniquely dedicated individuals in the “forest heroes” category, the competition seeks to take an all-encompassing approach to forest issues. A full description of guidelines and categories is available at www.forestfilmfestival.org. Films made since 2000 are eligible for entry, and submissions will be accepted until November 30th 2010, through www.WithoutABox.com.

Vance Martin has been president of The WILD Foundation since 1983. An innovative leader known for bridging the interests of people and nature, he has lived extensively overseas, worked in over 45 countries, and helped to establish many non-profits. An avid supporter of the role of culture, media and the arts in helping solve environmental issues, he has also written and/or edited 10 books and many articles. Vance has also served on the boards of numerous organizations such as the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Friends of Peace Parks, Conservation & Preservation Charities of America, Fulcrum Publishing, Wilderness Foundation (South Africa), Wilderness Foundation (UK), International Conservation Caucus Foundation, and others.

Jan McAlpine is the Director of the United Nations Forum on Forests Secretariat, having held that position since November 2008. She has a long experience in international forest policy, initiatives and negotiations and has been part of the UNFF and its predecessors for 15 years. Over the years she helped shape important actions, decisions and resolutions, notably as a negotiator on issues relating to international forest and timber trade at the White House, and as the Senior Advisor and lead for Forests in the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC.

Cristina Mittermeier is the President and Founder of the International League of Conservation Photographers, whose work with leading scientists, policy makers, government leaders and conservation groups produces the highest-quality documentary images of both the beauty and wonder of the natural world and the challenges facing it. As a photographer and writer, Cristina has co-edited nine books. From the popular to the scientific, Cristina’s work has appeared in major magazines around the world. Her evocative images focus on demonstrating the important relationship between human cultures, especially indigenous people and biodiversity.

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