We believe a planet on which people and nature both flourish is possible. As we hear of forests burning and species going extinct, it can be hard to remain hopeful. However, amongst the stories of loss, there are also many inspiring stories of hope that are awaiting to be shared, learned from and replicated.

Conservation Optimism is built on the belief that empowering everyone to make a difference for nature while also learning from the successes and failures within the conservation sector are key to securing our planet’s future. We are calling all filmmakers to send us short films featuring stories of hope from around the globe. Have you been inspired by someone taking action for nature in your community? Have you witnessed some conservation successes? Have you learned from conservation failures? We want to hear from you!

Our second film festival will take place at the amazing Oxford University Natural History Museum in May 29 as part of the Oxford Festival of Nature.

The evening will kick off with a panel discussion between our judges around the importance of film making to raise awareness of conservation issues. We will then screen a diversity of short movies belonging to the following categories:

- People & Nature: Communities, Heroes & Wellbeing

- Conservation Works: Learning from Success & Failure

- Animation

- Student film

Shortlisted films and winners of our first edition can be found here: https://summit.conservationoptimism.org/virtual-film-festival

1h to 1h30 mentoring sessions with experts!

Conservation Works Mentor: Damon Gameau, Director of the documentary 2040.
More mentors to be announced soon.

We strongly encourage you review the following carefully. By submitting your short film, you acknowledge that you have read and agreed to all of the following rules and terms. All short films that have been submitted by our final deadline and that adhere to the following terms will be considered for inclusion in the Good Natured: A Conservation Optimism Short Film Festival.

If you have any further questions, please contact Julia Migné at admin@conservationoptimism.org.


All short films must be uploaded directly to FilmFreeway. We won’t accept DVD or Blu-Ray screeners. In addition, we cannot accept screener links via email, they must be attached to your submission. To be eligible, the short films must be under five minutes and fit within one of our categories.


All foreign-language films must be submitted with English subtitles. If we discover a submission is missing subtitles, we will attempt to email the submitter for an update. Failure to provide working subtitles by the final submission deadline will result in disqualification.


Please review all submission categories carefully before submitting your project. If you believe you have submitted your film to the wrong category, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.

Submission of one film into multiple categories is not allowed but we allow the submissions of up to two films in different categories. Note that only one of your films will be selected so please read our category descriptions carefully to determine where your submission belongs.


All projects must have been completed on or after September 2017 to be considered for the 2020 Conservation Optimism Short Film Festival.


Please keep track of the deadline closely and note that all short films must be submitted by 11:59pm GMT on March 15th 2020.


All works selected must be available by March 15th 2020 for inclusion in the festival.

Should your short film be accepted in the Good Natured: A Conservation Optimism Short Film Festival, you grant Conservation Optimism the right to utilise a 30 seconds excerpt from any short film submitted and accepted for exhibition at the Festival for promotional purposes.

All shortlisted films will screen during the festival and if selected, filmmakers may opt-in so that films will be available to watch online as part of our virtual film festival if the filmmaker opts. All scheduling is purely at the discretion of Conservation Optimism.


Good Natured: A Conservation Optimism Short Film Festival does not pay screening fees for submitted short films. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that Conservation Optimism will not pay to present your work. The shortlisted participants will have to pay for their travel to reach Oxford but won’t have to pay any registration fee to attend the film festival.


By entering your film for consideration to the 2020 Good Natured: A Conservation Optimism Short Film Festival, you authorise that your work is cleared for festival exhibition and accept full legal responsibility for the intellectual property therein. The submitter and all filmmakers associated with the project shall indemnify and hold harmless Conservation Optimism and any representative or affiliates from and against any and all claims, liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses which may be incurred by reason of any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, publicity, screening, and loss of or damage to the screening videos entered.


Conservation Optimism reserves the right to disqualify any submission, even after a film has been invited or final programming has been announced, at the sole discretion of Conservation Optimism staff.

Overall Rating
  • Beth Francis

    Great festival, really enjoyed it :)

    June 2020
  • They pulled off a great and speedy adaptation to an online format for the coronavirus pandemic. I loved being a part of this, and it was amazing to see all the other films!

    June 2020
  • Serge Dentin

    Great festival! Very pleasant exchanges with the team, nice program. We just regret not being able to attend :( Another time, we hope!

    September 2019
  • Fiona McAndrew

    Although I wasn't able to attend the festival I followed some of it online and found the speakers and other films inspiring. Communication was effective with quick responses, it looks like it is a very well organised festival. I hope to be a part of it again in the future :)

    September 2019