#IWTMekong Short Film Competition

The Mekong region is a perfect storm – a source, transit route and final destination for many of the world’s most valuable and threatened wildlife species. This multi-million dollar trade significantly threatens the survival of endangered species including tiger, Asian and African elephant, and all rhino species, as well as pangolins – the planet’s most trafficked animal. Illegal wildlife trafficking represents the third-largest illicit trade in the world, with an estimated value of up to $19 billion per year.

As a region, Southeast Asia remains among the most critical in terms of severity and volume of wildlife trafficking. Driven by high demand in East Asia for animal products in the form of food, traditional medicine, and decoration, the illegal wildlife trade in Southeast Asia is responsible for approximately 25% of the global industry.

The UK Government and the Luang Prabang Film Festival, in cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), initiated a short film competition in order to draw attention to this crucial issue for the Mekong region.

The jury selected the top three films from the main competition and the top student film to win prizes. The UK Embassies in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam also selected one Special Prize-winning film per country. Additionally, the jury chose ten films  that competed on LPFF’s Facebook page for the Viral Prize. The prize was awarded to the film that received the most shares over a month-long period.

#IWTMekong
First Prize:
Children of the Jungle
by Sonepasith Phanphila (Laos)

Children urge their elders to stop hunting the animals they love.

Second Prize:
Chasing Wildlife
by Souksamlan Laladeth (Laos)

A Lao wildlife photographer shares his unique perspective on illegal wildlife trade.

Third Prize & Myanmar Country Prize:
Bo Bo & Mo Mo
by Zarchi Damloup (Myanmar)

An eight-year-old boy finds out that his best friend, a baby elephant, faces the risk of poaching.

Viral Prize & Student Prize:
Breath
by Phan Lê Hạ Long (Vietnam)

A Vietnamese student learns about African rhinos and their unfortunate connection to the Mekong Region.  

Cambodia Country Prize:
Untrapped
by Polen Ly (Cambodia)

An array of stories explore the wildlife crisis and rescue missions throughout different Cambodian regions.

Laos Country Prize:
A Letter to My Dad
by Vilayphong Phongsavanh (Laos)

In a personal note to his father, Phongsavanh asks hunters to consider the detrimental effects of illegal wildlife trade.

Viral Prize Finalists

Vietnam Country Prize:
In Zebedee’s Memory
by Linh Luyen (Vietnam)

A bear in the Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre remembers his unfortunate encounter with illegal wildlife poachers.

#IWTMekong