Green Lake's Freeland Film Festival Uses Power of Storytelling as a Weapon of Change

Freeland’s Molly Ferril will be featured at the Freeland Film Festival June 15-17. Photo credit: Molly Ferril/Freeland

Freeland’s Molly Ferril will be featured at the Freeland Film Festival June 15-17.
Photo credit: Molly Ferril/Freeland


Freeland | Green Lake, WI

Next week, across 15-17 June, the town of Green Lake, Wisconsin will play host to a truly unique international film festival. Over 50 new documentaries will be screened across 3 days, attracting local and international audiences. They are the stories of vulnerable people, wildlife and ecosystems that are making a comeback, against extraordinary odds.  Many films are already gaining attention on the awards circuit, some tipped as serious Oscar and BAFTA contenders.  More importantly, the films are inspiring positive changes in public behavior and in political and corporate decisions that are leading to recoveries of endangered wildlife, vulnerable communities, and ecosystems.  

The documentary, "A Last Stand for Lelu" documents a First Nation tribe's fight to save their bio-diverse rich land against a multi-billion dollar oil exploration project.  The film has now become a powerful tool of influence that helped score an incredible upset for the environmentally-damaging project and a victory for the preservation of pristine coastal and marine biodiversity in British Columbia.  

War photographer Kate Brooks turns an unsparing eye to wildlife trafficking in her feature-length directorial debut, "The Last Animals". Her highly regarded documentary examines the ongoing battle to stop the poaching of Africa's rhinos and elephants, and the clarity and urgency of her work is attracting attention and awards alike in its wake.  It is already being used by global counter trafficking NGO, Freeland, to positively advocate for regional and national governmental bodies to tighten the control and law enforcement of the illegal ivory trade. 

"Freeland learned long ago that fighting wildlife trafficking and human slavery is a battle that must be fought on multiple fronts, and storytellers are soldiers in this fight too,” said Steve Galster, Founder of Freeland.   “The best stories and the best storytellers have the power to take an audience on a journey from having little awareness of an issue to emerging a passionate advocate, ready to take action. They can transform and shift long-held attitudes in a way that few other activities can. The films we’ve selected to showcase at this festival were selected from a long-list of over 400 films, and all have that power to inspire and transform behavior. We are excited and honored to show them."  

Five films will receive festival awards this year, which includes travel support to other Freeland Film Festivals in Asia and Africa. 

Freeland is a frontline counter-trafficking organization working for a world that is free of wildlife trafficking and human slavery with their U.S. office headquartered at Town Square Community Center. Freeland's team of law enforcement, development and communications specialists work alongside partners in Asia, Africa and the Americas to build capacity, raise awareness, strengthen networks and promote good governance to protect critical ecosystems and vulnerable people.

For information about Freeland Film Festival, please go to: and discover the program at
For information about The Last Animals film, please go to: