Press Release

African Conservation Voices Media Lab Culminates in Premieres at 2022 Jackson Wild Summit

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Young African filmmakers from Kenya and Rwanda Showcase Six Powerful Stories of Africans’ Relationship with Nature

Partnership Between African Wildlife Foundation and Jackson Wild Trained 38 Fellows in Virtual Sessions and Brought 6 Filmmaking Teams to the Field in Africa in 2022

NAIROBI, Kenya / JACKSON, Wyo. / WASHINGTON, D.C. — African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and Jackson Wild will be faciliatating interactive sessions at the week-long 2022 Jackson Wild Summit featuring the African Conservation Voices (ACV) Media Lab Fellows and their short films created as a part of the 2021-2022 ACV Media Labs Program.

The films were showcased at the Jackson Wild Summit on Tuesday, September 27, 2022 with introductions to broadcasters, streamers, and commissioners that will elevate and amplify these stories and voices within Africa and on global platforms. Fellows will attend the event to discuss the films along with their career developments.

“As the largest international African conservation organization, we have a mandate to put people at the heart of conservation. The African Conservation Voices Media Lab allows us to elevate authentic voices that speak to the conservation choices facing Africans. AWF is actively engaging young African storytellers with a particular focus on stories from communities that live in wildlife-rich regions across Africa, because we believe conservation in Africa will only be successful when Africans have agency to shape -- and share -- the narrative” said Kaddu Sebunya, AWF CEO.

Launched in 2021, the African Conservation Voices Media Labs is a collaborative initiative between AWF and Jackson Wild providing mentorship, training, and resources for early to mid-career African storytellers who have a demonstrated passion for conservation.

Storytellers were invited to a series of mentorship workshop sessions, held largely online. The initial curriculum focused on pre-production skills, including research, treatment, visual storytelling, and style; creating a pitch deck and pitching; as well as discussion of various conservation models, challenges, and solutions. Selected participants were invited to see their proposal through to fruition with a stipend and an in-person production workshop in Maasai Mara, Kenya and Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda.

“Stories about conservation connect us to the planet and to each other. This collaborative, multimedia effort between AWF and Jackson Wild continues to help elevate local voices that bear witness to unique and authentic stories that will result in purpose-driven and sustainable global change,” said Lisa Samford, Executive Director of Jackson Wild.

National Geographic Content provided post-production guidance which supported the project through virtual mentorship sessions and robust post production workshop sessions with individual film teams.

The project was funded by Avatar Alliance Foundation and the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, with additional support provided by Sony and Adobe, as well as AWF trustees Heather Sturt Haaga and Maria Wilhelm. Shooting locations were facilitated by Cottar’s Safaris, Kenya, and the Rwanda Development Board, Rwanda.

The African Conservation Voices films delve into modern issues affecting conservation efforts in Africa, In Kenya, subjects of the stories include a reformed poacher who is now a safari guide, a Maasai pastoralist who is leading his community to embrace conservation, and a Kenyan biologist studying one of the most misunderstood, and essential, scavengers in the landscape. Subjects of the Rwandan stories include the first woman porter in Volcanoes National Park, a mother driving social and economic change in her village, and a Rwandan scientist studying a little-known primate. Find here the list of the filmmakers, films, and their description.

The Jackson Wild Summit is taking place till September 30, 2022 at Vila Vita Pannonia in Burgenland, Austria. For more information and to register, visit

About African Wildlife Foundation

The African Wildlife Foundation is the primary advocate for the protection of wildlife and their habitats as an essential part of a modern and prosperous Africa. Founded in 1961 during the African independence movement in order to build our capacity to steward our natural resources, AWF articulates a uniquely African vision, bridging science, education, public policy, and field programs to demonstrate the benefits of conservation and build a future for Africa where people and wildlife thrive.

About Jackson Wild

For over 30 years, Jackson Wild has been a catalyst for accelerating and elevating impactful storytelling at the nexus of nature, science, and conservation. Through innovative and collaborative community gatherings, skill-building initiatives, and mentorship programs, Jackson Wild creates an inclusive forum for storytellers to more deeply illuminate connections to the natural world and our collective responsibility to the wild.

Jackson Wild’s international board members include: African Wildlife Foundation, ARTE France, BBC Studios, Blue Ant Media / Love Nature, Borealés, Conservation International, Discovery, Doclights, GBH, Gorongosa Restoration Project, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, Humane Society International, International Fund for Animal Welfare, National Geographic Partners, National Geographic Society, Nature/WNET, Netflix, NEWF (Nature, Environment & Wildlife, Filmmakers), Off the Fence Productions, ORF Universum, PBS, Saint Thomas Productions, San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, Seeker, Smithsonian Channel, Sony Electronics, The Nature Conservancy, Terra Mater Studios, Wanda Films, and World Wildlife Fund-US.

MEDIA CONTACTS: To arrange interviews with AWF and Jackson Wild representatives, ACV Fellows, or other relevant individuals, please contact Nashipae Orumoy of AWF in Nairobi, Kenya at, +254 701864021, or Grace Bowie at