WildlifeDirect Commissions Six Local Filmmakers for the “Justice for Nature” Film Initiative


(Posted 23rd May 2024)


WildlifeDirect, a leading Kenyan conservation organization, is thrilled to announce the commission of six groundbreaking short films dedicated to advocating for justice for nature. This initiative, funded by the Whitley Fund For Nature, follows a successful pitch competition that drew 50 compelling proposals, of which 45 were pitched in person at the WildlifeDirect offices and the rest virtually. The competition
attracted a fantastic array of ideas with topics ranging from deforestation and human-wildlife conflict to marine protection, pollution, poaching, animal welfare, and climate change. The panel of judges included award-winning novelist Yvonne Owuor Adhiambo,


Film industry experts Nimo Mathenge (Walt Disney, OWN), Pauline Njau (UNIHCR award-
winning filmmaker, and Dr.Paula Kahumbu.

The winners were selected unanimously. They demonstrated an understanding of the issues,
capability, and compelling ideas for bringing the stories to life through film.
The winners of the competition are:


Pauline Kyalo
“El Nyuki – The Bee Man”
A documentary about bees in Kenya and Nepal


Albert Nyakundi
“Coral Keeper: Whisper of the Waves”

3D Animation about the pollution of rivers and its impact on the sea


Musyoki Kivindyo and Dancurf Brown

“Blood Ivory”
A drama about ivory trafficking

Thige Njuguna
“Nyoka Mpenzi”

A documentary about the welfare of snakes

Lornah Sharon Wambui
“Balance Unmatched”

A documentary about deforestation on Mt Kenya


Kiki Cheptoo Ng’ok
“A Sky With No Vultures”

A documentary about the poisoning of vultures


The diverse selection of winners included two students who are currently pursuing a Masters
degree in wildlife filmmaking at the University of West England, seasoned drama
filmmakers Musyoki Kivindyo, Dancurf Brown (Villains of the Metropolis on Netflix), and
animator Albert Nyakundi. Newcomers to the film include documentary filmmaking, including
Lornah Sharon Wambui and Kiki Cheptoo Ng’ok.

The production kick-off was held from 2nd to 4th May 2024. It included comprehensive
training for the teams in story development, logistics in film production, film contracts, legal
and environmental legislation, taxes, film insurance, and financial management. This
preparatory phase facilitated a vibrant exchange of ideas, fostering a supportive community
among participants. Each team has been awarded KES 500,000 to produce their film.
Speaking for them all, Nyakundi, inspired by the collaborative atmosphere, asserted, “We are
not just going to meet your expectations, Paula; we’re going to go way above it”.

The actual value of these films extends far beyond the screen. The transformative experience
of the filmmakers involved catalyzes a broader explosion of content creation. Through their
participation, these storytellers become crucial voices for African nature, the environment,
climate change, and heritage. This initiative elevates their technical and creative skills. It
deepens their commitment and ability to influence public perception and policy concerning
critical environmental issues such as pollution, climate change, deforestation, land degradation,
marine conservation, and biodiversity protection.

The six films will be shot in locations around Kenya and beyond. These films aim to craft
compelling narratives that resonate deeply with African audiences, making a crucial
contribution to environmental advocacy and cultural appreciation throughout the continent.

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