WA’s south-west forests are part of one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet and are recognised for their ability to capture and store carbon. They are vital to slowing run-away climate change yet instead of preserving them we are cutting them down at an alarming rate for charcoal, firewood and woodchips. Forests play a crucial role in the water cycle but the streams that once bubbled through these ecological communities are drying up and the critical habitat they provide for endangered species is shrinking.
Cry of the Forests takes viewers to the heart of the forests to see first-hand the beauty of these towering ecosystems and the life they support. We meet the activists armed with go-pros and dressed in camouflage gear risking their lives to bear witness to the logging and we meet traditional custodians, tourist operators & farmers on the frontline of the battle to protect our forests. This film seeks to change perceptions about native forests and their true value.
UPDATE: Cry of the Forests was released on November 1, 2020 and has since been playing in cinemas across WA. It has been selected to screen in more than 25 international film festivals and has picked up three awards for Best Documentary. The film is also now available to schools via the ATOM platform and for cinema screenings via the Fan Force cinema-on-demand platform. The film's education package includes a comprehensive study guide for teachers. DVDs of the film are also available. All links to screenings, festivals, the education package and streaming can be found on the film's website https://cryoftheforests.com.au
A massive thank you to everyone who has donated to the project so far. We are continuing to fund raise in order to keep the film's social impact campaign moving forward.
BEHIND THE SCENES
BEHIND THE SCENES
BEHIND THE SCENES
BEHIND THE SCENES
BEHIND THE SCENES
A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing
WA’s unique south-west forests have stood for millennia and are a key part of one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots, yet we are cutting them down at a rate of 10 football fields every single day. More than 80 per cent of the trees felled will be turned into woodchips, charcoal or firewood and burnt or decay within two years of being cut down. A successful battle to save WA’s old-growth forests in the 1990s led to a public perception that our forests had been protected but increasing pressures and continued logging and clearing are taking their toll.
Endangered animals like numbats, mainland quokkas and black cockatoos rely on the forests, but their habitats are shrinking. This film seeks to help audiences understand the intrinsic worth of these forests and their value for climate change mitigation, carbon storage, water, eco-tourism, cultural significance and industries like bee keeping. It asks whether woodchips, firewood and charcoal are appropriate uses for our forests.
What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?
The film seeks to start a statewide and national conversation about the real value of our native forests as carbon stores and for carbon sequestration. It puts the case for halting further logging of native forests; and for a speedy transition into agroforestry. It argues for greater protection of the northern jarrah forest from further clearing for bauxite mining and for greater action on dieback. This film aims to engage the public to act to help protect what is left of our majestic forests.
What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?
Short term: Audience is moved to act
Greater understanding and education about the value of forests in WA
Increased interest in the topic
Increased sign-ups for the campaign, petition signatures, postcard sign-ons
Engagement in the Forests for Climate campaign & donations
Public screenings of the film & conversations about the issue
Audience acts on the film’s 4 calls to action
Medium term: Forest protection becomes an issue in the March state election
The current moratorium on logging mature karri forests is extended beyond December 2020
All political parties articulate & discuss their forest policies
Increased interest by public in visiting & experiencing the forests
Long term: An end to all native forest logging
Logging industry transitions to agroforestry
Shift in values to greater awareness of the value of forests as carbon stores & sequestration
Action on dieback
An end to bauxite mining in native forests
Real action on climate change.
How will this documentary achieve its outcomes?
This documentary will include a wrap-around social impact campaign (SIC) that will initially engage audiences in 4 calls to action. These include engagement with the campaign & calls for political action. This in turn will pressure political parties to respond to calls for an end to native forest logging. The release of the film late 2020 is timed to coincide with the run up to the March state election. The SIC will target climate groups to bring them into the Forests for Climate campaign. It will focus climate action on forest protection and an end to clearing and logging. Resources including info graphics, leaflets, a suite of short films for social media, websites, regional screenings, discussion points and teacher’s guides will complement the film and help reinforce and amplify its message. DVDs, a climate ambassadors program for the film, town hall screenings, email blasts with links to the film will further amplify its impact. Central to the SIC is the existing WAFA partnership
How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?
Cry of the Forests is a collaboration with partner’s WA Forest Alliance, an umbrella group for more than 20 groups working on forest protection in WA including the Conservation Council of WA, the largest environmental group in the state.
WAFA convenors acted as consultants in the production and development of the film.
Additional partners are also being approached for support in producing and distributing the film including the wider climate movement in WA, nationally and internationally and forest protection groups world-wide.
WAFA has helped develop and roll out the film's social impact campaign to ensure it meets the community's need for forest protection and a transition out of native forest logging.
Audience Engagement and Social Impact
What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?
It is hoped that viewers will fall in love with their forests all over again and feel a connection that will move them to act to protect what is left of these magnificent ecosystems. They will want to visit their forests and experience the wonder that is nature. This in turn will inspire them to act.
Viewers will be asked to take four actions after seeing the film. These will be outlined at public talks following larger screenings and via email. At larger screenings viewers will be given recycled paper leaflets explaining the campaign with four clear calls to action. These include engaging with the campaign via direct contact and/or through social media; writing to Ministers and MPs; signing up to join the campaign; and donating.
Viewers will help grow the conversation around the film and build the Forests for Climate campaign. The conversation will be relevant not only to WA but to native forest protection Australia wide and around the world.
Measurement and Evaluation
What is the projects indicators for success?
Analytics surrounding the film will give an indication of its success. These include, in the Short term: sign-up numbers, petition signatures, bums on seats at the screenings, number of people volunteering to host screenings, number of emails sent to MPs, letters to the paper.
Mid-term: Have the political parties been pushed to respond to the public outcry? Have we achieved an agreement to extend the moratorium on logging mature karri forests past December 2020?
Have we achieved greater awareness and conversations around bauxite mining in our northern jarrah forests? Are MPs now talking about forests for climate? Is the wider climate movement now looking more closely at forests for climate?
Social media likes and engagement metrics.
In the Long term: Do we achieve an end to native forest logging?
Do we achieve an increased awareness of the value of forests and the need to protect them? Have we seen a shift in attitudes?