Wildlife Film News (latest news from our acclaimed newsletter)
See our 'Features' and 'Interviews' pages for stories from around the wildlife film-making world!
Jackson Hole Science Media Awards Announces 2014 Finalists
From Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival
1st August 2014
The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival is delighted to announce the
finalists selected for its second biennial 2014 Jackson Hole Science Media Awards. This year’s saw more than 480 entries competing for 21 special awards.
More than 140 international judges screened
an aggregated 3000+ hours in order to select the finalist films. Finalists in the peer-judged Craft Categories (Visualization, Editing, Writing and Audioscape) and Special Consideration nominations will be announced August 15.
The 2014 Science Media Award-winners will be selected by a distinguished panel of judges preceding
the three-day Science Media Symposium, an industry conference hosted in partnership with WGBH in Boston, September 17-19, and will be announced at a gala Awards Celebration at the New England Aquarium, on September 17th.
Jackson Hole Science Media Awards Trailer from JH Wildlife Film Festival
Congratulations to members Brian Leith Productions and Montana State University, MFA Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program for their nominations...
Check out the list of finalists here...
The Demonising of Wolves by Animal Planet
By Richard Brock
22 July 2014
The wolf has had a bad press ever since the Little Red Riding Hood story broke…
“However, pressure from concerned citizens can sometimes make a radical difference. In May 2013, Animal Planet started promoting a new program called Man-Eating Super Wolves with this description: “Razor sharp teeth, killer instinct, and senses so precise they hear your beating heart, and your fear. They’re on the hunt, and now with numbers growing out of control, they’re threatening humans like never before.”
The environmental community was outraged. Jamie Clark, president of Defenders of Wildlife, told me, “At first I was so shocked. I actually thought it was a joke.” She described it as “reprehensible on so many levels.” In a letter to her members demanding that Animal Planet take the show off the air immediately, she wrote, “Animal Planet has sadly joined the legions of wolf-haters waging war on our struggling wolves…(It) is airing a lurid, factually absurd, and shameful special…(which) portrays wolves as bloodthirsty killing machines…This is pure tabloid sensationalism and just plain wrong…This despicable distortion of reality could not come at a worse time for wolves. Wolf-haters have mounted extermination efforts in Idaho and elsewhere, threatening to reverse two decades of hard-won progress for one of America’s most beloved wild animals.” Clark called the program a “shoddy tabloid pseudo-documentary.”
Criticism from the International Wolf Center, renowned wolf expert David Mech, and many others led Animal Planet to cancel the program, showing that public pressure on broadcasters can work.” (Excerpt from Chris Palmer’s upcoming book Confessions of a Wildlife Filmmaker.)
Except on 21st July 2014 Discovery’s Animal Planet showed that same wolf program at 10pm in Britain. And where else on world TV will they continue to desecrate wild animals in this way?
Discovery Promo Picture - Man-Eating Super Wolves - Sibera Hunter
I watched it and here are some comments:
… Based entirely on a false premise of there being insufficient natural prey causing wolves to attack humans. Not so… Claimed to be a “Special” = especially bad for the wolf… Huge exaggeration of a few selected over-dramatised cases (apparently)… Grotesque (undisclosed) reconstructions, unconvincingly, peppered with sub-standard amateur footage of snarling wolves… Endless, relentless “fang TV”… Frequent “deadly”, with emotive music stimulating American predilection for attack and aggression… Will do as much harm to wolves as Jaws has done to sharks, what the Benchley’s so regretted, as, surely, Animal Planet will, in this production which degrades the producers, the cameramen and all the wretched team that made it.
Discovery Promo Picture - Man-Eating Super Wolves - Sibera Hunter
I have made several films on wolves, as they are. For the BBC Natural History Unit, we made The Wolf Saga about the last female (with pups) killed in Sweden. Since then numbers have increased by helping farmers and educating the public. The situation is still very bad in next-door Norway whose farmers lose hundreds of sheep in the winter weather, but if one wolf kills one, probably dying, sheep, that wolf brings out the worse primitive revenge from a country considered to be very civilised.
Animal Planet’s Man-Eating Super Wolves will only inflame that attitude if their very misleading lie is shown there.
Since leaving the BBC, I’ve filmed Wolves across Europe – from Portugal and Spain to France and Italy, on eastwards to Scandinavia, Estonia and Russia. Apart from the wretched Norwegians, and despite despicable Animal Planet, wolves are now being accepted in nearly every European country. Indeed, they are seen as a tourist attraction in countries that need that income, such as Romania, a stronghold of wolves and bears in Europe. I also filmed there.
Discovery Promo Picture - Man-Eating Super Wolves - Wolf Pelts
If Animal Planet gets a People’s Award at Wildscreen this year, it should be for the most obscene two-faced (self-censored) and anti-wildlife show ever seen on world television.
See the full feature here...
Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest
By Alan Lacy
29 July 2014
Missing from the landscape of Mexico and the American Southwest for over thirty years, the Mexican gray wolf is once again roaming the wilderness in portions of Arizona and New Mexico. This species of wolf, often referred to as the lobo, came within one female of extinction in the 1970’s. Thanks to the dedicated hard work of individuals and organizations, this species is now on its way to recovery. However, fewer than 100 are in the wild today. Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest, is a film on this unique sub-species of wolf, and is intended to create more interest and awareness for this critically endangered species.
Mexican wolves once inhabited the Southwestern United States and throughout most of Mexico. After many years of extermination campaigns, wolves across America were effectively reduced to near extinction levels within the United States and Mexico. In 1973, the Endangered Species Act was enacted. The Mexican was listed as an endangered species in 1976, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service sent a trapper into Mexico to capture the last remaining lobos on the planet. He managed to capture 5 wolves in various regions of Northern Mexico, and found 2 more in a zoo; the entire species reduced to within 7 animals of extinction. The collaborative efforts between Mexico and the United States saved this species from extinction, and a captive breeding program began.
Read more and #FundThePack here...
Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest from The Last Pack
Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest is currently in production, and is scheduled to be released later in 2015. For more information on this film, and for ways you can get involved in this project, please visit their website at: www.grayareathefilm.com or go directly to this link to support by August 7, 2014: igg.me/at/fundthepack
Wildscreen Festival 2014 Tickets Available Now!
They are available here. Once you've bought your pass you will also be able to purchase your ticket to the glittering Panda Awards!
There's also a great selection of workshops for 2014! Whether you're a beginner or a pro, there's something for everyone. You can view the current list of 2014 workshops and buy tickets now. Make sure you keep an eye out as on Wednesday they will begin revealing their fabulous programme in earnest, and there are some very exciting announcements coming your way...
Pitch it to me!
Got an idea that will make the dragon’s jaws drop? Well then, you’ll be as excited as we are about the return of Speed Pitching for Wildscreen Film Festival 2014! The slots are available exclusively for Festival Pass holders, and for those who are not as experienced as others there’s a pitching workshop on Sunday 19 October to get your skills up to scratch.
Speed Pitching sessions offer an amazing opportunity to present your programme and project ideas to a host of both TV & Film executives in an exclusive one-to-one session. Read their full profiles online or view/download a PDF here to see exactly what they're looking for. The application deadline is Monday 8 September and we will contact successful applicants by Monday 6 October. More here: www.wildscreenfestival.org/programme/speed-pitching.aspx
Volunteer at the Wildscreen Fesival this October!
Wildscreen have now opened their volunteer applications and are on the hunt for friendly, enthusiastic and reliable volunteers to join their team! Volunteering at the festival is a great way to help you break into the wildlife film and TV industry while meeting like-minded people, networking and even getting the opportunity to attend festival sessions in your time off!
There's a variety of roles available to suit a range of interests and strengths. These include Event Assistants, Guest Liaisons, Press Office and Social Media Assistants, Photographers, and Videotheque Assistants plus many more. There's something for everyone! You can see the full list here and applications close on Monday 1 September. If you have any questions about volunteering with Wildscreen, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wildscreen are also looking for a Volunteer Coordinator
A Joint Role for both Encounters Short Film and Animation Festival and the Wildscreen Film Festival. Fixed term contract — 38 days split between the two at fixed rate of £2500. Role begins on Monday 18 August and finishes on Sunday 26 October. Exact working dates to be discussed. Closing date for applications is Wednesday 13 August. More here: www.wildscreen.org/about/jobs.html
Send your CV and cover letter to email@example.com.
Welcome to Wildscreen Film Festival... By member Sam Hopes
Welcome to Wildscreen Film Festival... from Wildscreen Film Festival
A sneak preview in to the kind of action you can expect at Wildscreen Film Festival 2014!
Filmed and edited by Sam Hopes - www.samhopes.tv - Winner of the Focus 12 Competition, sponsored by Films@59 and Panasonic.
Post-production support from Films@59.
Audio post-production support from Rich Caola.
Footage filmed at Wildscreen Film Festival 2012
Enter the Eden Shorts Competition!
Wildscreen have teamed up with UKTV to bring you an amazing opportunity to get your short film seen! They are looking for one minute films that display the wonder and beauty of the natural world. The judges are a top panel of experts, including Michaela Strachan, and will be looking for quality in filming technique and editing, thoughtful communication and relevant subject matter. Winners will have their films aired on Britain’s leading natural history channel, Eden, screened to live audiences at the Festival, and will win a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1KEB!
Enter Our Eden Shorts Wildlife Film Competition! from Eden Channel
Your film must be:
- Exactly 1 minute long - no longer, no less.
- Your own work. You can't use anything filmed or edited by anyone other than you - only one person can win the prizes.
- Commercial music free.
Eden Shorts How To Guides from Eden Channel
The competition is now open - find out how to enter here: eden.uktv.co.uk/eden-shorts/article/entry-eden-shorts
Multi-Award Winning Wildlife Evolution Series Returns!
4 July 2014
The second season of the multi-award winning and critically acclaimed series, Life Force, premieres on the Science Channel in the USA on Monday 7 July, at 10PM ET/PT under the title Mutant Planet.
Life Force 2 builds on the worldwide success of Life Force, a six part series that explored evolutionary hotspots around the world. The series has been co-produced with NHNZ, NHK and CCTV9, and will premiere in several nations over the next six months.
This blue-chip evolutionary wildlife science series follows the dramas of the daily lives of animals found in biodiverse global ‘hot spots’, unravelling compelling science mysteries, and showing how strange ties and curious connections bind our mutant world. The series sets itself apart from traditional natural history shows by carefully crafting a blend of genres, combining exceptional wildlife photography by world-class crews with CGI, cinematic-style narratives and cutting-edge science.
Read more here...
Life Force 2: India's Western Ghats from NHNZMedia
Japan Wildlife Film Festival 2015 Call For Entries Open!
The JWFF opened their call for entries quietly on the 2nd of June and they've already recieved 244 entries from over 46 countries at last notification for the 2015 film festival!
Entry is free!! For those who haven't entered yet, you may do so by following this link: www.filmfreeway.com/festival/JWFF Regular Deadline: October 31, 2014
Opening & Highlight Reel From the 2013 Festival from JWFF
And they have moved office to a new location in Shibuya, their address is now:
Nature Film Network,
Japan Wildlife Film Festival,
Phone:+81 (0)3 6419 7504
For those people in Japan!
Ueno Zoo + National Geographic Channel + JWFF have a special screening event coming up in August from 12th-15th at Ueno Zoo.
It is part of the mid summer nights zoo event, which actually starts on the 9th until 17th.
We will screen "Night Of The Lion" on the 12th, 14th and "Wild Congo: River of Monsters" on 13th and 15th from 18:30 on a big screen at the Shinobazu terrace.
Check out and 'Like' their Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/japanwff
Mark Your Calendar: 2015 JHWFF Dates Announced!
The 2015 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival dates are:
- Jackson Hole Conservation Summit: September 26-29
- Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival: September 28-October 2
- WILD Nature: October 2-4.
JH Conservation Summit
- Focused on ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE, the 2015 Summit brings together conservation & wildlife advocates, public policy experts, range state leaders and program funders. Topic-driven meetings on focused areas of concern aim to propose solutions for stronger protection of
wild animals and habitat.
WILD Nature - Showcasing JHWFF's award-winning films, filmmakers and special guests to the Jackson Hole community in a popular series of public screenings and keynotes.
The 2014 Science Media Symposium is coming!
Join visionary thinkers in science and public media for three full days of provocative panels, immersive workshops and casual networking, Sept 17-19 in Boston, the hub of the nation's scientific, research and technological community. On September 17th, we will announce the 2014 Science Media Awards winners at a gala celebration. Register here: www.jhfestival.org/registration.html
Jackson Hole Science Media Awards Trailer from JH Wildlife Film Festival
Rhinos Without Borders appeal by the Jouberts
"Right now more rhinos are killed each year than born. In 2013, 1,004 wild rhinos were killed in South Africa alone. As the days march on, we lose individual rhinos at a shocking rate. The future does not look secure for this majestic species. One rhino is lost every 8 hours due to poachers!
There has been plenty of talk of saving South Africa’s rhino from extinction due to poaching, but there’s been little action. We do not seem to be winning this war.
As concerned conservationists, Great Plains Conservation has committed alongside industry partners to undertake a relocation of a magnitude never done before – to relocate no less than 100 rhino from South Africa to safe havens in Botswana. By mid-2015, this relocation operation will take place with an assertive and elaborate anti-poaching force and strong commitment to save this species.
Our fundraising campaign, Rhinos Without Borders, will ensure this relocation initiative is a success; striving to rescue this treasured species from spiraling to extinction." Dereck & Beverly Joubert
Rhinos Without Borders from WLCFilms
Visit and contribute: www.trevolta.com/rhinos
Is Dubai Doomed? trailer from Member Richard Brock
This film takes an unusual look at the world famous city of Dubai, apparently unstoppable in its growth. This is certainly not a typical travelogue and includes some testing questions to its leaders about its future from a ecological point of view. Consumption of natural resources is a focus, combining smuggling, fisheries, trade, tourism, oil, flamingos, and changing marine life on a massive scale. Has Dubai gone too far? We offer solutions as climate change and sea level rise could prove to be crucial to a currently confident city which seems to defy the laws of nature. So far.
Is Dubai Doomed? from brockinitiative
Visit: www.brockinitiative.org & www.facebook.com/BrockInitiative & @BrockInitiative
Questionnaire looking at ways in which natural history footage could potentially be used to study animal behaviour scientifically from new member Elsa McKee
Complete this brief survey for Elsa McKee, How Could Archived Natural History Footage be Used to Study Animal Behaviour?
"This is a survey for an MSc research proejct under the supervision of Dr. Andrew Kennedy at the University of Bristol. Results will be published in a final write-up on August 29th 2014 and potentially in a scientific journal at a later date.
The aim of my project 'How Could Archived Natural History Footage be Used to Study Animal Behaviour?' is to explore the ways in which natural history footage could potentially be used to study animal behaviour scientifically. I have investigated a number of methods that can be used to study animals via video, including softwares which can be used to identify individuals and record animal behaviour events digitally. I am now looking into the opinion and interest level of people within the documentary industry on future research employing these techniques."
Chris Watson Sound App to be released in September by The Nimbus Group.
Free sonic paintbox app featuring Chris Watson’s sound recordings – available from September.
Chris Watson has been working in collaboration with arts collective The Nimbus Group to create a new immersive sound painting app featuring Watson’s precise and stark sound recordings of the natural world.
Nimbus uses experimental approaches to transport users to places and experiences including: the inside of an animal carcass as it is being eaten, a Mozambique Nightjar singing on the banks of the Zambezi, and a family of elephants sleeping in grassland on the Massai Mara.
Nimbus will be available for free download from The Nimbus Group website from 10 September 2014.
You can read more here: The Wire & FACT
A very warm welcome to our new full members of July!
Elsa McKee - MSc Global Wildlife Health and Conservation student at the University of Bristol, with passion for wildlife and conservation. Aspiring natural history documentary researcher/presenter.
Alan Lacy - Producer/Researcher specialising in project management, overseeing the entire production process from initial concept through distribution.
Clive Huggins - Consultant Entomologist and Photographer... For Insects & Spiders Worldwide, (Terrestrial Arthropods). Royal Entomological Society Fellow.
There's basic FREE membership for all here or for a much more comprehensive listing and additional benefits, become a full member: Wildlife-film.com/freelancers or Wildlife-film.com/companies
See 'Kit For Sale' for items from members/subscribers!
Since the late 1990s Wildlife-film.com has been the leading source of information for the wildlife filmmaking industry worldwide. For over twelve years the site has been Google's number one ranking site for 'wildlife film' and related searches. Our site is viewed in over 175 countries. Our newsletter, Wildlife Film News, is read every month by thousands of people involved in wildlife filmmaking - from broadcasters and producers, to cameramen - we encourage readers to submit their news. We also serve as an online resource for industry professionals and services. Find producers, editors, presenters and more in our Freelancer section, and find out about festivals, training and conservation in Organisations. We encourage amateur and professional freelancers to join our network and welcome all wildlife-film related organisations to join our team.