The Films for the Forest challenge began on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Filmmakers were given one week to produce a short film inspired by the theme ‘The Tree and I.’ In only three short weeks, RP received film submissions from four different countries. These films were then judged by Richard Linklater, Lisa McWilliams, Michel O. Scott, and Evan Smith. Rainforest Partnership presented the 1st Annual Films for the Forest event on May 13, 2010. The event raised over $10,000, which helped support new projects in both Sani Isla, Ecuador and Pampa Hermosa, Peru.
The festival’s tradition of excellence continued in 2011, as the event drew in several major sponsors, including presenting sponsor Reagan Outdoor Advertising, and another panel of distinguished judges. Held on June 16, 2011, the 2nd Annual Films for the Forest festival again featured a screening of the winning short films at a block party on Willow Street outside the RP Austin office. In addition to showing winning shorts, RP highlighted its short documentary Rainforest Partnership: Linking People to People for a Sustainable Future produced by award-winning filmmaker Michel O. Scott. (See the About page for the video.) The event successfully raised awareness and doubled fund-raising to aid Rainforest Partnership’s projects in Ecuador and Peru.