F3 audience

Niyanta Spelman and Michael Cain one of F3 judges

SXSW is a time when people of all ages and all backgrounds come together to enjoy a wide array of culture through the expressive mediums of film and music.   

Our 9th annual Films for the Forest provoked inquisitive thought and deeper understanding of why our theme this year is “Because the World Can’t Wait.” The screening was at Rollins 

Theatre at the Long Center this year. We showed 12 short films from 7 countries, including Peru, Brazil, India, UK, USA, Ecuador, and Russia.

RP Team

We had three categories of short films that covered a wide range of topics. They varied from the Shipibo Conibo community of Peru using innovative technology to eliminate deforestation caused by illegal coca growers to the Panamanian Golden Frogs facing extinction in Panama.

Thanks to our sponsors


There was a tie for the winner of the short film category (4 – 20 mins) and JP’s Peace, Love, & Happiness award. Those awards went to A Living Legacy by Taira Malaney and Person of the Forest by Melissa Lesh. A Living Legacy is a heartfelt love story about a couple that has dedicated their lives to conserving a 300-acre private wildlife sanctuary in the Western Ghats of India. Person of the Forest tells the story of wild orangutans in the disappearing lowland rainforests of Borneo.

There were six filmmakers at the event, including our film partners from Brazil, Duo2, promoting their film, Forest People, a documentary about Chico Mendes’ legacy.

Michael Cain and Niyanta Spelman

After the screening, the audience was able to partake in a wide assortment of food including popcorn from SkinnyPop, cheese bread from Lua Brazil, and quinoa burgers from Quinoa Grill. There was also coffee from the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and refreshing kombucha from our partner company, Holy Kombucha.

We could not have had such a successful outcome without the help of our generous sponsors. Thank you to everyone who helped make this event possible, and we hope to see you at our 10th annual Films for the Forest!