Operation Game Change & WildFest

Operation Game Change

Vietnam and the United States have teamed up in Operation Game Change (OGC) – an alliance aimed at ending wildlife crime, especially rhino horn trafficking. OGC works to positively influence millions of Vietnamese by raising public awareness and sparking a reduction in demand. OGC presents a unique opportunity to make a real difference on this urgent global issue. By working together we can stop wildlife crime, bolster the rule of law, and preserve animals on the brink of extinction.

OGC was officially launched in Vietnam on March 3, 2015 with support from H.E. Cao Duc Phat, Minister, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), H.E. Bui Cach Tuyen, Vice Minister, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) both of whom were panelists at the launch event alongside: the U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam, Ted Osius; celebrity and wildlife activist MC Vu Anh Tuan; and Steven Galster, Executive Director of Freeland, OGC’s lead implementing agency.


WildFest was a festival held in Hanoi, Vietnam, to create awareness surrounding wildlife crime and the consumption of endangered species, especially rhino horn. The festival featured an amateur short film competition, screenings of professional films about rhino horn consumption and wildlife conservation, as well as several musical acts. The festival also featured many local NGOs working to stop wildlife trafficking, and youth activities such as face painting and demonstrations of apps to report wildlife crime.

A series of workshops targeting aspiring filmmakers were held in Hanoi, Danang, and HCMC on June 22, 24, and 26. These workshops aimed to engage and sensitize filmmakers about issues related to the illegal wildlife trade and rhino horn consumption, and provide essential information and insights to help them develop creative film concepts. We’d like to thank and congratulate all the participants who put a great deal of effort into producing their films and helping protect rhinos in South Africa. 

The winners of the WildFest film competition were announced on Sunday November 8th 2015 at the historic Thang Long Citadel in front of an over 3,000-strong audience.

Grand Prize:
Lê Bình Giang, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam “Nhật ký trong chuồng / Day by day
Special Jury Prize:
Nguyễn Mỹ Dung, Sabah, Malaysia “Khi khu vườn im lặng / When our gardens grow silent
Press-Critics Choice Award:
Phạm Hoàng Phúc, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam “Không tên / Untitled

An 8 years old boy”– Poly
Dear B”– Pham Thu Thuy
Our heritage”– Huynh Nguyen Dang Khoa
Rhino mission” – Duong Minh Loc
Guardians of the pangolins”– Katrina Kaufman
The interview”- Nguyen Minh Huy
Where’s the animals, daddy?”– Mai Dinh Khoi
“A Rhino horn story” – Hoan Nguyen

Vietnam’s chance to save the rhino”– Vic & Ness
Horn”– Nguyen Cong Danh
A stranger war”- MZung

Invited Filmmakers:
Nightmare”- Nguyen Quang Dung
Who is alive, hands up!”– Nguyen Hoang Diep
Rhino man”– Bao Nguyen

Freeland would like to thank all the partners and individuals that made WildFest possible: U.S. Ambassador to Vietnam Ted Osius, British Ambassador to Vietnam Giles Lever, South African Embassy to Vietnam and Embassy representative Mr. Mat Matiwane, Deputy Director of CITES MA Vietnam Mr. Vuong Tien Manh, Deputy Director of BCA Ms. Hoang Thi Thanh Nhan, Director of the National Volunteer Center Mr. Vu Minh Ly, Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, celebrities from the film industry of Vietnam, Rhino Ambassadors from South Africa, U.S. and Vietnam, Vietjet Air and Love Frankie.

Latest Operation Game Change News


Wildlife Demand Reduction Efforts in Vietnam: What’s Working?

Numerous wildlife consumption behavior campaigns have been conducted in Vietnam over the past few years, so it is time to take stock of where time and financial resources are best spent.

Operation Game Change, Vietnam

New Allies Fighting for Peace – for Wildlife

November 8th in Hanoi, the Governments of the United States of America, Vietnam and South Africa will unite against a new common enemy: wildlife crime.


‘Buy No Rhino’ Bike Tour

Designed to raise awareness on the plight of the rhino, the ‘Buy No Rhino’ Bike Tour, has the sisters setting-out from South Africa, and journeying through China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and, finally, Singapore urging consumers to stop buying rhino horn.


Vietnam and USA Team up to Protect Wildlife

Top officials from Vietnam, the United States and the international wildlife community joined forces today to launch “Operation Game Change” in Hanoi, coinciding with World Wildlife Day. “OGC” is bringing governments, NGOs, students and celebrities together from Vietnam, USA and South Africa to stop the illegal trade in rhino horn, while encouraging everyone to stop buying all endangered species. OGC will culminate with a nationally televised event and concert in September 2015 to coincide with World Rhino Day.