holly driving

Holly looking forward, Dec 2010. Photo Cathy Fitzgerald

“Making films is the contemporary art form really, essentially you can put across a lot of facts about anything but its how you ‘move’ people that matters, how you tell stories. That’s what ultimately matters. Someone I heard recently said ‘what we think leads to conclusions, what we feel leads to actions’ – Oscar winning filmmaker Nick Park, the magician behind Wallace and Gromit announcing UN global short film contest for forests 2012.

Every single one of us, all 7 billion, has our physical, economic and spiritual health strongly tied to the health of our forest ecosystems’- quote from UN International Year of forests video, 2011


A Global celebration of forests

21 March has been declared as the International Day of Forests by the United Nations General Assembly –United Nations Forum on Forests, 2013

IntDayForests_Logo_homeToday is the first international day to globally celebrate our worlds forests. While we are all aware of the need to attend to our forests urgently, today is about the stories we create about our forests, the values we hold dear. The UN has since the International Year of the Forest in 2011 been reaching out to people across the world to ask them to show and tell us all about the forests that support their local environments.

The UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) has supported online short-film and photography competitions, opening these competitions to fantastically  experienced nature cinematographers as well as perhaps more intimate, everyday views from amateurs with their video mobile phones.

All of this is enabled by the power of social media so we can see a global picture of the different and important realities that forests have for some many different peoples and species.

I was delighted to see that Wallace and Gromit have long been fascinated by forests, see the clip below. This short video  announcing the call for entries for the recent 2013 UN forest film competition (the call for entries closed last month for this year).

This is because I’ve always noticed that when my dog ‘Holly’ plays a role in my films or photographs, that I have lots of responses – and not only from children. Some of the comments have been from from experienced filmmakers, leading foresters and senior art lecturers who have enjoyed and sensed that Holly (who already knew this long ago) is a compelling element of the  ‘Hollywood diaries’, the story of one small conifer plantation becoming a permanent and vibrant, continuous cover forest in rural Ireland.

Enjoy and share the clip below with the children and adults you know and take part too – there are loads of sites asking us today to upload photos to celebrate the forests that support us in our local environments.

PS Holly and Gromit went to the same acting academy but went into different areas of film-making, obviously 😉


One thought on “First International Forest Day: social media and films show how 7 billion of us tied to health of our forests

  1. Reblogged this on Science on the Land and commented:
    argylesock says… Today (21st March) is the International Day of Forests. We’re all invited to tell about our local forests. Here in Britain, we’re about to enter the season in which bluebells carpet many of our woods – an indication of ancient woodland, and so very beautiful. Last week I invited Visit Woods to add my local bluebell wood to their guide to Walks in Bluebell Woods http://visitwoods.org.uk/en/visit-woods/things-to-do/nature/Pages/bluebell-walks.aspx and they agreed 🙂 I’m not going to name the particular wood here, but if you’re in Britain, I hope you’ll admire your local bluebells a few weeks from now.


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