Vietnamese Student-Created Short Film Wins Award in the United States

Two students have used their award-winning film, Safari, to send a powerful message of conservation to a global audience.


The short film Safari by Vietnamese students Nguyen Hoang Phuc Nghi and Nguyen Cat Vu has won the prestigious Award of Excellence in the Animation category at the Nature Without Borders International Film Festival (NWBIFF) held in the United States. This remarkable achievement is a testament to the creative talent of these two budding filmmakers.

This prestigious award was presented to entries that demonstrated exceptional artistic and technical excellence.

Safari is a powerful reminder of the beauty of nature and the need to protect it. It captures the viewer’s attention by taking them on a vivid journey through stunning landscapes and showcasing the destruction of habitats due to human interference. Through the traveler’s narration, the film emphasizes the importance of preserving the environment and shows the devastating effects of deforestation and hunting. The animation is captivating and the message is clear: humans must take action to protect the environment or face dire consequences. Safari is a must-see for anyone interested in conservation and the natural world.

Safari is an enchanting stop-motion animated short film that takes viewers on a breathtaking journey through some of the world’s most stunning natural habitats. Through beautiful animation and the captivating narration of the traveler, the film illustrates the devastating effects of deforestation and hunting, and the urgency of protecting the environment. While the film paints a vivid picture of the destruction caused by human needs, it also serves as a powerful reminder of the beauty of nature and the need for conservation. Safari is an essential viewing experience for anyone interested in preserving the environment and the natural world.

The short film will also be submitted to other international film festivals in an effort to propagate its potent message.

 “Safari” is a stop-motion animated short film that takes viewers on an exploratory journey through natural habitats. Photo: RMIT

Nghi and Vu developed the film as part of the Pixilation Animation course, one of the specializations offered by the Digital Media program at RMIT Vietnam. This course provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to create high-quality animation films, using both traditional and modern techniques. As part of the course, Nghi and Vu worked on storyboarding, character development, and sound design, as well as the animation itself. Through their effort and dedication, they were able to create a unique and captivating film that is sure to draw the attention of viewers.

Using a combination of paper cutouts, shadows, and pixilation animation techniques, the project was both challenging and time-consuming, demanding meticulous attention to detail.

Nghi explained: “Most of the objects used in this project were crafted using the paper cut-out technique. This technique was chosen to illustrate the adverse effects of human activities on the environment.”

To emphasize this point, we added texture to the paper. The cut paper was used to create shadows, which are the main focus of this project. These shadows are meant to represent the detrimental effects of inhumane activities on the environment, as Nghi explained. By incorporating this element into their artwork, the team was able to emphasize the severity of the situation and the need for change.

Vu remarked that shooting special effects in the dark was immensely challenging. He highlighted the difficulties they experienced, including limited time, poor quality of the sequences that necessitated reshoots, and a workload that was already overwhelming.

Lecturer Ricardo Arce-López, the project’s mentor, said the result is an outstanding artistic and technical achievement that serves as a reminder of the effects of deforestation and wildlife hunting. He commented that Safari highlights the power of creativity in addressing environmental issues.

 Nguyen Hoang Phuc Nghi (L) and Nguyen Cat Vu (R), authors of the short film Safari. Photo: RMIT