The Forest Guardian selected for Jackson Wild 2023 World Wildlife Day Film Showcase

By Victoria Wangui

NAIROBI, KENYA, 3RD MARCH 2023: We are honoured to have The Forest Guardian, a documentary featuring Ssezi Mugisa and the Chimpanzee Trust in Uganda, selected for the Jackson Wild 2023 World Wildlife Day Film Showcase: Conservation Heroes - Partnerships For Wildlife Conservation. 

The Forest Guardian, a film by TonyWild and Ngoteya Wild with support from the Nature Environment and Wildlife Filmmakers (NEWF), takes viewers to a mythical forest. At the same time, Ssezi Mugisa explains the names, origins, the therapeutic benefits of several trees and the importance of growing trees. This recognition is a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved ie making the documentary, especially Ssezi and The Chimpanzee Trust.

Ssezi Mugisa, getting ready to do to work from his home in Hoima, Uganda. Photo by Anthony Ochieng/TonyWild


Through a global film festival, Jackson Wild and the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) worked together to inspire personal responsibility and stewardship for threatened endangered species. The World Wildlife Day Film Showcase is one of the global events accompanying the UN World Wildlife Day (3 March) celebrations and helps illustrate its theme, “Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation”. The films chosen for the World Wildlife Day Film Showcase will be shown throughout 2023 in free educational screenings.

TonyWild founder and co-director, Anthony Ochieng Onyango, emphasized the importance of consistent and persistent efforts in conservation. While many people share the desire to plant trees and keep oceans clean, he noted that taking action to address the effects of climate change, such as by growing and caring for trees or cleaning up the oceans, requires patience and perseverance. He expressed his desire to inspire others to take climate action for trees and biodiversity by sharing Ssezi Mugisa's story, which highlights the importance of partnerships and collaboration in wildlife conservation.

This year's World Wildlife Day Film Showcase includes a new feature, the Audience Choice Award, which allows viewers to engage with the films and rank their favourites. The film that receives the highest ranking will be awarded the 2023 World Wildlife Day Audience Choice Award, along with a Jackson Wild Laurel Trophy. We encourage everyone to vote for The Forest Guardian as their favourite and take part in this one-of-a-kind experience.

Several accolades for The Forest Guardian have been given both nationally and internationally. From the 2023 Kitale Film Festival in Kitale, Kenya, to Los Angeles, California, for the first Bloomberg Green Docs 2022 competition. Bloomberg provided free screenings of the film at the COP27 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022. The film was also shown at the first Africa Protected Areas Congress in Rwanda in July 2022, as well as at the NEWF Summit in South Africa in February 2022.

To empower children to support ecosystem restoration for biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and adaptation in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, TonyWild is screening The Forest Guardian in public schools.

Notes for editors: 

For more information or interviews please contact Victoria Wangui at

Watch The Forest Guardian here 


About TonyWild Foundation:

TonyWild is an African youth-led conservation organization whose focus is to promote conservation action by creating awareness of wildlife through photography, film and science. We envision a generation that will influence sustainable natural resource management. We work towards this by educating and showcasing the beauty and importance of nature and wildlife.

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