Protecting great apes and their environment

through the power of film and television

The Great Apes Film Initiative

The Great Apes Film Initiative (GAFI) is an innovative, grass-roots based organisation that aims to promote the conservation of great apes and their habitats by engaging and inspiring people to create local and sustainable solutions to the problems facing great apes and their environments around the world.

GAFI uses cinema and television to help save endangered animals in their vulnerable habitats in places like Africa and South East Asia. Reaching millions of people whatever the culture or country, television is foremost media touching our lives.

To Madelaine Westwood (Founder of GAFI) and her team, television is an obvious tool to use to reach everyone from state president to agricultural farmers, army officers and school students, young and old. Through the targeted screening of wildlife documentaries to people that share great ape habitats, platforms are created that present opportunities for the co-creation of mutually beneficial joint solutions for both endangered species and the people they share their habitat with.

The Great Apes Film Initiative (GAFI) is registered in England and Wales (company number 05852943)

Address: 86 Somerton Drive, Erdington, Birmingham B23 5SS, UK




Gorillas and Chimpanzees in Uganda
The Great Ape Adventure (A Wildeye / GAFI Project) November 2016

Trek to see/film wild mountian gorillas and chimpanzees in the forests of Uganda, whilst learning about and participating in conservation projects to protect our close relatives.

A unique itinerary is planned to give participants an incredible opportunity to see wild great apes and engage in their conservation – highlights include: mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, visiting the Ngamba Chimp Island Sanctuary, several game drives featuring lions, elephants, monkeys, buffaloes and more, boat cruising, learning about and participating in conservation projects such as tree-planting, teaching local people about the value of wildlife, and the Pedal Powered Cinema Project, staying at Dian Fossey Lodge.

Accommodation will be in a variety of hotels and lodges. Full board is provided throughout. Single supplements are available.

As well as local guides and specialists you will be accompanied throughout by Madelaine Westwood (founder of GAFI (The Great Apes Film Initiative) and the Pedal Powered Cinema Project) and Piers Warren (Principal of Wildeye).

Dates: 14-25 November 2016
For full information, itinerary, costs and booking please see



The GAFI Schools programme has been busy! Read our latest newsletter : Gafi Newsletter February 2015

GAFI featured in First News!

GAFI was recently featured in an issue of the National UK children’s newspaper First News. Read the article written by the pupils from two of our GAFI Twinning Schools Programme below:

The Great Ape Film Initiative (GAFI) is an inspirational project, working to save the Great Apes. GAFI sends pedal powered cinemas (PPCs)  to countries such as Uganda to educate the children about how to protect these wonderful animals. Denis Agaba from the GAFI project visited our schools with the “Pedal Powered Cinema ” Schools Tour, to raise awareness of how some of the Great Apes are on the verge of extinction. He told us that the Great Apes are Bonobos, Chimpanzees, Gorillas, and
Orang-utans. The fifth Great Ape is a human!
The cinema is powered by pedalling a bike and we all had the chance to try it out. Denis takes the PPC the heart of the remotest communities in Uganda, to show local children films about the importance of conserving their  local environment, in particular the habitats of the Great Apes. Many of these children have no idea that these endangered animals live in so  close to their homes and villages and have never seen a Great Ape before. Watching films through PPC allows them to realise that they have a vital responsibility to protect their local environment and the  endangered creatures that live within it. We have raised money to send to Uganda to help to buy more pedal powered cinemas and our schools are now going to twin with two schools in Uganda.  GAFI are currently buying a UK Pedal Powered cinema and offering the School Twinning programme to schools across the UK.
By Emily Bolton, Sam Whyte and Owen Reynolds


Uganda Twinning Project

Denis Agaba has worked hard  with Nicky Bolton and Emma Tyrell to develop excellent links between 10 schools in Chester and the Kisoro District of Uganda. Schools have exchanged letters and are now busy developing environmental projects together. Overleigh St. Marys Primary School in Chester have already generated over £300 to sponsor tree planting with their twin school Rubuguri Primary. Have a look at out “Twinning Schools” cartoons for more information.

A big thank you to all the children who chose to sponsor a tree to be planted in Uganda for £5 instead of having an Easter egg this Easter. They include….

Bev Atherton, Olivia Baudet, Barney Bowen, Ellen Bryson, Hannah Bryson, Max Bryson, Ruby Chaloner, Rosin and Patrick Clark , Erica Cowley, Emilie Crisp, Harry Crisp, Oliver Davies, Drew Davis, Joseph Dawber, Craig Duggan, Georgina Duggan, Harry Dunmore-Mitchell, Penny Dutton, Hugo Essery, Harley Evison-Jones, James Fawcett, Nathan Fawcett, Andy Forrest, Ben Forrester, Madison Gandy, Jonny Hancock , Ali Hancock, Isabelle Hutton, Rory Jones, Meika Kilgannon, Zoe Knapp, Phoebe Mack, Constantino Maoudis, Loyus McCarry, Daniel McDermott, Emily Mc Dermott, Felix McLaughlin, Daisy McLaughlin, Ella Miller, Elisha Mosley, Teresa Owen, Sam Owens, Alice Pearson, Fletcher Pearson, Matthew Phelan, Julie Randles, Cosmic Canteen, Lillie Robb, Ruby Rodden, Gareth Rogers, Pan Rouhani Manesh, Niamh Shapland, Emma Shorthall, Khara Smith, Sienna Taylor, James Townsley, Dougal Warwick Davies, Andy Hill, Anna Whiteley and Jane Webb

Also planted in memorandum for Tom and Dorothy Kirby and James and Eileen Burton

Please contact Nicky Bolton- GAFI UK Schools Coordinator, if you would like your school to raise money for tree planting. Every child will receive a certificate and a pencil inscribed ” I planted a tree for the Gorillas”

Download the certificate for gorillas- Bright valley

British Ironworks Event

GAFI are delighted to be working alongside the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry. Uri Geller, famous TV personality and illusionist has asked the Ironwork Centre to create a gorilla sculpture from a mixture of iron and spoons collected from schools around the country. The gorilla will be unveiled on Saturday 17th May at the Ironwork Centre and then airlifted to Uri Gellar’s garden, where it will be a special feature for his charity open days. To support this venture GAFI (Great Ape Film Initiative) will be joining Uri Geller with our new UK Pedal powered cinema, showcasing a series of films about the conservation of the gorillas. Clive Knowles, Managing Director of the British Ironwork Centre said ”Creating the British Spoon appeal has been so rewarding , without the spoon appeal we would never have known about GAFI , now we are working to support each other, their cause is so important and we are quite literally honoured to be fortunate enough to assist.

British Ironworks visit Overleigh St. Marys Primary to collect spoons

Click HERE for the full story!

Download the news article: Gorilla Spoons


“Hope4Apes At The Savoy” was a hugely successful charitable event on the 27th September 2013. Hosted by Sir David Attenborough, this once in a lifetime event celebrated the power of apes on screen with clips from defining moments in natural history film using Pedal Power. Culminating in an auction at the end of the night, money raised will help selected projects around the world working tirelessly for Ape Conservation.

Click here to watch the video of the spectacular night

GAFI Schools Tour

GAFI has been involved in outreach activities across schools in the UK. With money raised through the GAFI Schools Project, more Pedal Power cinemas can be established in Uganda.






PASA Report from Uganda

Pedal Powered Cinema in Sumatra

Pedal Power success in DR Congo!

How pedal power is helping Uganda’s mountain gorillas

Uganda Pedal Power

GAFI Pedal Power Uganda, ©Colin Tonks

During the month of August, Pedal Power screenings were extended to Kabale district where some few schools were visited and screened though part of the month was a holiday. Read the full article GAFI has sent it’s 2nd Pedal Powered Cinema to the Sumatran Orangutan Society in Indonesia. We’ll keep you posted with any updates from SOS. The pedal powered cinema will be an absolute boon to Virunga National Park, DR Congo. A cinema kit was delivered to Rumangabo, Park HQ, in March 2012.After the first film screening at Rumangabo school (with 721 children) the pedal powered cinema was described by Park staff as ‘an awesome piece of kit’. A better endorsement would be hard to find…… The Guardian | David Hewitt | 14 December 2011Bicycles are powering films that teach communities about the plight of the gorillas and their natural habitatRead the full article

GAFI in collaboration with Electric Pedals


GAFI would like to introduce, a group of people who are spending their lives trying to save chimpanzees.

GAFI Videos

Dear Mr. President

Great Apes Film Initiative working with the Young Ambassadors for Great Apes

The Bike That Saves Gorillas