Project that exposes the environmental drama of the Amazon, ‘The Refugee Jatoba’ wins ‘Golden Lion’ at the Cannes 2022 Festival

Bruno Pacheco – from Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – The project “The Jatoba Refugee”, an initiative created by Africa Agency for the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (Apib), won this Monday, 20, the Golden Lion award, in the Outdoor category, on the first night of Cannes 2022 Festival. The campaign, which exposes the Brazilian environmental drama in a short film and makes an appeal about the Jatoba tree, also took the silver and bronze lions at the international creativity event, considered the world’s largest film festival.

The awards from Africa Agency and Apib were received by the indigenous activist Txai Suruí, from the Suruí people. Wearing a headdress and traditional indigenous paintings, the young woman took to the stage of the Palais des Festivals with a banner protesting for the salvation of the Amazon.

“We won the Golden Lion! Our film ‘The Refugee Jabotá’, which was competing in Cannes Lions 2022, has just been awarded! I couldn’t be happier and more honored to help tell the story of this tree symbol of resistance. It’s the fight for the forest echoing around the world”, celebrated the indigenous leader Sonia Guajajara, executive coordinator of Apib and one of the one hundred most influential people in the world in a list made by Time magazine.

Sônia Guajajara celebrated the award (Reproduction)


The Cannes Film Festival 2022 takes place from June 20 to 24 this year at the Palais des Festivals, in Cannes. Brazil alone has registered 1,930 pieces of work, being the Latin American country with the largest number of entries. The categories with more Brazilian campaigns are Direct (184), Social & Influencer (180) and Outdoor (154 campaigns).

In this first night of the event, Brazil won 13 trophies in four different categories, being four awards in Outdoor, four in Health & Wellness, three in Print and two in Audio & Radio. Africa Agency, which took home three lions, was competing in the Outdoor shortlist in the areas of Displays, Special Build, Transit, Standard Sites and Ambient Outdoor and Corporate Purpose & Social Responsibility. In all, there were 174 finalists ranked from a total of 1,809 entries in the category.


The Refugee’ Jatobá is a project that calls for the protection of the Jatobá tree, native to Brazil, which can reach a height of 40 meters and a diameter of two meters, being considered sacred by native people and fundamental for the evolution and survival of animals. In the campaign, a tree decides to leave its native territory, because of deforestation and burning, to seek refuge in foreign embassies.

The campaign warns that the species is under double threat and, if deforestation is not combated, the region will cease to be a tropical forest within 15 days. Because of this, the project promotes a petition against the destruction of the environment and also lists five lines of action to be implemented in an emergency to save the Amazon.

On the list are the prohibition of deforestation for at least five years in the Amazon; the increase of penalties for environmental crimes and deforestation; the immediate resumption of the Action Plan for Prevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazon (PPCDAm); the demarcation of indigenous and quilombola lands and the creation, regularization and protection of Conservation Units; and the restructuring of the Brazilian Environmental Institute (Ibama), the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio) and the National Indian Foundation (Funai).

Read also: ‘The situation is very serious’, says extractivist leader on crimes against environmentalists

Check out the campaign’s video:


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