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 most trafficked animal in the world. 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 selected one Special Prize-winning film per country, as well. Ten films were also chosen compete on the festival’s Facebook page for the Viral Prize, which was awarded to the film with the most shares over a month-long period.
FIRST PRIZE:The Children of the Jungle by Sonepasith Phanphila
SECOND PRIZE:Chasing Wildlife by Souksamlan Laladeth
THIRD PRIZE/SPECIAL PRIZE – MYANMAR:Bo Bo & Mo Mo by Zarchi Damloup
VIRAL PRIZE/STUDENT PRIZE:Breath by Phan Lê Hạ Long
SPECIAL PRIZE – CAMBODIA:Untrapped by Polen Ly
SPECIAL PRIZE – LAOS:A Letter to My Dad by Vilayphong Phongsavanh
SPECIAL PRIZE – VIETNAM:In Zebedee's Memory by Linh Luyen