Wildlife Film News

Issue 54

December 2003




News Contents:

1. Successful Monkey Business!!
2. Don't forget to contribute to the 'State of the Great Ape' online Quiz
3. 27th International Wildlife Film Festival ...the Journey Continues 
4. Nature for Kids is seeking support
Mike Pandey receives Prithvi Ratan Award-Vatavaran 2003
6. Strong International Interest for new High Definition production.
7. Southern Star announces merger of Oxford Scientific Films Libraries and Photo Library
8. Developing Ideas and Writing Proposals
9. Finalists at the Living Europe Festival of Science and Nature

10.Video Forum 2004- the UK's biggest technology event
11.Wishing you all seasons greetings and a very Happy New Year


1.Sucessful Monkey Business !!

Monkey Business goes down a storm!

Conservation films certainly didn’t seem a dull topic as nearly 100 people crowded into the ARKive theatre in Bristol last Thursday (27/11) as the FFC held their inaugral filmmakers event 'Monkey Business'.

The evening was a huge success with speakers, Brian Leith, Jeremy Bristow and Steve Greenwood revealing how they made their awardwinning films and dealt with the many issues they raised. Each film approached conservation in a completely different way, humourous, in depth investigation and revelation were all part of the mix.

Jeremy Bristow's award winning film 'Ape Hunters' powerfully explores the bushmeat trade from the viewpoint of those directly involved, this counter intuitive film highlights that the issues are not as simple as we may perceive them from the west.
Steve Greenwood then provided a humerous encounter, with a look back to the roles of the ape in movies. And how this Hollywood esq. style portrayal may have shaped our views,........ they are a dangerous womanising creature, who is likely to pinch your bride and run-off........
Brian Leith discussed his emotive film 'The Cultured Ape' (recently awarded Best of festival at Jackson 2003) –a revelatory look at who Apes actually are.
A far too short question and answer session was lively and there is obviously much more to discuss at the forthcoming events.

With many conservationists giving some species only decades before extinction films can have the potential to really change attitudes and educate people.

The Co-President of FFC Madelaine Westwood outlined some of the exciting new initiatives by FFC to help film makers ensure that their films have maximum impact, such as negotiating rights for films to be shown in local languages.

Our sponsors, National Geographic provided two subscriptions as prize draws, Kathaleen Hanna and Vintage Roots Organic Wine provided the free wine and The Wildscreen Trust donated the venue. Many people helped on the night tightly co ordinated by the organisers Caroline Whittome and Jackie Savary. Our thanks go to all of them for their generous support.Also, the FFC team were phenomenal and we couldn't have done it without them.

Future events are planned for the New Year to cover other issues. Details will be posted on the site and announced in future WFN issues.

For those of you who are not yet members or have colleges who are not then do please join as FFC has a strong collective voice and needs your support.


2.Don't forget to contribute to the 'State of the Great Ape' online Quiz
Are you the next Jane Goodall? Can you tell a pant-hoot from a Pan paniscus? Test your great ape knowledge in the 'State of the Great Ape' on-line quiz at www.stateofthegreatape.com

Not only will you be given a final score, rating your great ape expertise (including the moral dilema of whether we'd except a lifesaving blood transfusion from a chimpanze) but your answers will contribute to 'State of the Great Ape', a two-hour special for Animal Planet featuring Jane Goodall, for broadcast in 2004.

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3.27th International Wildlife Film Festival ...the Journey Continues. 

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Greetings from Missoula, Montana, home of the 27th International Wildlife Film Festival

The Filmmakers' Festival" as its known for its hands-on, down-home atmosphere is also the longest running film festival of its kind and promises to be just as exciting as ever.  For the 27th IWFF you can look forward to a rewarding film experience whether you're a veteran or a newcomer - everyone's welcome and we have something for all.
With daily workshops, exciting seminars and dynamic, ground-breaking panel discussions, the 27th annual festival will have significant emphasis on conservation efforts around the world and the ways in which film is making a dramatic difference.  Plus, some of the most unforgettable nightime events and field trips into the wilds of Montana, guarantee a not-to-be-missed festival May 1-May 8, 2004.
This is also a reminder that we are now accepting film entries until January 30, 2004.  This year our film entry and festival registration forms can be sent in online or you can download the entry form and send it in as an email attachment, via fax or by postal mail.  Should you have any difficulty downloading the form, please email us and we will get a full registration packet to you immediately.  Once again, the deadline for entries for the 27th IWFF is January 30, 2004.
For the 27th festival, just a few of the highlights to look forward to ---
A dayslong seminar and workshop on Conservation in Central America, led by award-winning filmmaker Rick Rosenthal now affiliated with the Maravia Foundation
Anatomy of Award-Winning Films with some of the leading names in the filmmaking field including representatives from Discovery, BBC, National Geographic, Sundance, National Wildlife Productions and Universal. 
Underwater Filmmaking Techniques straight from the Olympic size swimming pool at the nearby University of Montana.
Field and studio workshops in HD, DV and all of the emerging new technologies.
From Pitch to Program - How Do They Do It?  (Last year, several newcomers not only pitched their projects but walked away with solid contracts.  Hear from some of them, the ins and outs of getting your film project off the ground)
Award-winning screenings every day and evening at the historic Wilma Theater
Keynotes by Dr. George Schaller, Scientific Director of the world-leader, Wildlife Conservation Society and Tim Kelly, president of National Geographic Television & Film...
A Western Barn Dance and Barbecue, Fly Fishing, Floats, Horseback Riding and Rodeo Demos - the wildlife film festival in Montana is a festival to remember.
and this is just the beginning...so do join us next year, as The Journey Continues with the 27th IWFF - Missoula.
We look forward to seeing you May 1 - May 8, 2004!
Warmest Regards,
Janet Rose                                            Lisa Kerscher ("Kersch")
Executive Director                               Festival Associate
International Wildlife Film Festival
International Wildlife Media Center
Roxy Theater
718 S Higgins Avenue
Missoula, Montana 59801
Fax: 406-728-2881

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4.Nature for Kids is seeking support

Our not for profit organisation Nature for Kids (NFK) supports and assists conservation projects and organisations to increase awareness especially among local children on how to conserve and preserve their natural heritage and local environments.

The nature of support Nature for Kids offers to such educational projects and foundations, is in the form of Video Productions which can be used as educational tools to increase the impact of environmental education. Our projects are, however, not about classical wildlife documentaries, but about a truly unique and innovative way to bring alive local environmental issues to the children and their teachers and families.These videos will be placed in a broad educational programme which will include distribution to local schools.

Contrary to popular belief, a high percentage of Africans - both adults and children - have never seen a wild animal and of those that have, few have had the opportunity to view them in their natural habitat. Of those who do live together with their local wildlife, it is rare that the wildlife is appreciated or that they exist peacefully side-by-side with their fellow African species.

Nature for Kids has recently joined forces with The African Conservation Foundation (ACF), a not-for-profit organisation based in Tanzania and the U.K. We are in the process of setting up an integrated educational programme for 30.000 children in first northern Tanzania, that contains four components: Video Production, Educational Resource Packs, Internet and Field Work/Distribution.

The ‘Nature for Kids’ project aims to strengthen the knowledge base of children in an exciting and unique way that captures their imagination and results in a new awareness, understanding and respect for the environment.Central to the project implementation strategy is the development of two series of 6 educational video productions covering different environmental themes inTanzania, bringing the real world into the classroom.

 The Nature for Kids Education Project will also provide the means for two experienced teachers, employed by the project, to make visits and contact with schoolchildren in the more remote parts ofNorthern Tanzania, targeting primary schools and other institutions that currently have little or no access to this type of education programme.

The project's long-term objective is to contribute to long-term environmental protection, sustainable development and conservation of viable wildlife populations and natural habitats (now inTanzania)through education and awareness-raising among schoolchildren.

Our project needs support firstly to produce the educational videos, the starting component of the environmental project.

Each film will cost approx. Euro 15,000.00 (fifteen thousand euros). We have worked to the lowest budget, using only a small crew. Funding for the duplication and distribution will be sought once the material production is complete. We are looking for donors and sponsors for each film, perhaps incorporate an 'Adopt an educational Environmental Film for local Children'- format?

Your input will be very much appreciated for this tremendously ambitious but much needed project, which can be re-produced to stimulate environmental awareness among children in other African countries. I very firmly believe that this project will have an incredibly positive impact on children and a great affect on their current knowledge, behaviour and the importance of their natural world.


For more information please contact Dagmar at:
Dagmar van Weeghel
Founder Nature for Kids
t: +31 (0) 6 23173674

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5.Mike Pandey receives Prithvi Ratan Award-Vatavaran 2003

The UN has honoured internationally renowned Indian filmmaker Mr. Mike Pandey with the prestigious International Award-The Prithvi Ratan (Son of the Earth).

The prestigious UN constituted international award for outstanding achievement in global conservation, the Prithvi Ratan was awarded to Mr. Mike Pandey for his outstanding contribution towards generating awareness which led to the conservation of a global heritage-the Whale Shark. On receiving the award Mike Pandey said, “with the award comes greater responsibility too”.

The specially constituted award was presented to Mike Pandey at the concluding ceremony of Vatavaran-2003 for his outstanding contribution in highlighting the plight of the endangered Whale Shark-the largest fish in the world. According to a foreign correspondent, “in the last 65 years no film anywhere in the world has been able to achieve what this film from India has in such a short time”.

His films on the Elephant and the Whale Shark were awarded the Indian Green Oscar in 1994 and 2000.

Speaking at the function the UN representative Mr. Tim Higham who had flown in from Thailand to present the award said "that it was a great pleasure for the United Nations to be associated in this Herculean effort to conserve wildlife, and the contribution of India has been a ground breaking example for others to follow".

He further said that this award highlights the importance that one individual’s single minded dedication and effort can result in changing the mind set of millions across the Earth, contributing to the conservation of a Global Heritage.

Said Alka Tomar, festival director—“it is a matter of honour and National Pride that an Indian film has been so effective globally, and the United Nations has honoured it with the highest award. Now is the time is for conservation of the Earth’s resources and well made films like these can successfully spread the message across the world and touch the hearts and minds of people”

Awards in 10 other categories were also presented. The 16-minute film 'In Troubled Waters' which focuses on the Lakshwadweep coral reefs, directed by Mitali Dutt Kakar won the Best of the Festival award. 'A brush with death' was awarded the Golden Tree award in the Documentary Promoting Wildlife Conservation category. The film features the mongoose which is brutally killed to cater to the paint brush industry and is on the brink of’ extinction. The Silver Tree award in this category was given to 'Timeless Traveller - The Horseshoe Crab'. directed by Gautam Pandey. 'Timeless Traveller' also won the award in the Revelation category. Gautam Pandey’s film 'Magic of Life' also won the Newcomer award.

Shekar Dattatri’s 'The Ridley’s Last Stand', focusing on the deaths of thousands of Olive Ridley sea turtles in Orissa was awarded the Golden Tree award in the Documentary Promoting Natural Resources category. The silver tree award in the same category was awarded to 'Kalpavriksha – Legacy of Forests' produced by Mike H. Pandey.

'Unquiet Flows the Chaliyar'which documents the struggle of a village to protect Kerala’s second largest river was awarded the best film in the Theme of the Festival: Water of life category.


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6. Strong International Interest for new High Definition production.

Underwater sequences for the new feature documentary Undersea Outbreak are currently being filmed on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Production is well underway for the documentary that is shot in High Definition by renowned cinematographer David Hannan (Sex on the Reef, Coral Sea Dreaming) and written and directed by Michael Beatty (Wild Life, Beyond 2000).

Undersea Outbreak follows Hannan as he joins last ditch attempts to save the reef. The reef is already under threat from Global warming and chemical pollutants, but now the infamous Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS) has returned in greater numbers than ever before. The film attempts to make sense out of the differing scientific opinion and political intrigue and in doing so presents a scientific mystery thriller that is as gripping as any X Files episode.

Larry Zetlin, Executive Producer of Gulliver Media Australia (Bilby Brothers, The Living Landscape-an Australian Ecosystems Series, Koalas-out on a Limb) who is producing the film, promises it will be visually stunning.

“There will be underwater sequences in this documentary that have never been seen before,” he said. “They’re chilling but they’re also very real and the impact of these extraordinary creatures will be felt by all Australians. This could well be the last chance to see the Reef, as we know it,” Larry said

“Coral spawning is always spectacular but even more so when filmed in HD. But as we see in the film, as the coral spawns so too do the COTS and this creates some startling imagery on the realities of life and death on the Great Barrier Reef,” Larry added.

Undersea Outbreak has already received considerable international interest at the recent Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival where Bilby Brothers was a finalist.

“The hour-long HD documentary has presales to The Science Channel, Discovery HD Theatre and ZDF and all the finances are now in place,” Larry Zetlin said.

Further information: Please contact Larry Zetlin. Phone +61 7 33670899,

Email: larryz@gullivermedia.com.au

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7.Southern Star announces merger of Oxford Scientific Films Libraries and Photo Library

Southern Star Group today announced that it has entered an agreement to merge its award-winning Oxford Scientific Films film and footage libraries with Photolibrary, a stills image library business.

Photolibrary, based in North Sydney, is the largest Australian-owned photo library servicing the advertising, corporate and publishing sectors.

Oxford Scientific Films comprises two library businesses: the photo library of 350,000 still images and the film library of over 2,000 hours. The libraries have a broad international range of clients including book publishers, magazines, design agencies and exhibition companies.

Photolibrary will, through its UK subsidiary, acquire the shares in Oxford Scientific Films Limited for which Southern Star will be issued further shares in Photolibrary, in addition Southern Star will acquire additional shares in Photolibrary for A$1M in cash so that Southern Star will have a 46.46% total interest in Photolibrary on completion.

The combined entity will have sales in excess of A$8 million per annum with an impressive growth rate. The combined entity will have offices in Sydney, Melbourne, London and Oxford and a network of agents and distributors in 30 other countries.

Photolibrary will assume responsibility for new expenditures needed to rapidly digitise the OSF library and will assume responsibility for all existing employees.

Southern Star will continue to own and operate its existing Oxford Scientific Films natural history and documentary production unit, which will continue its supply of high quality images to Photolibrary.
Announcing the merger, Executive Chairman of Southern Star, Neil Balnaves, said:

Southern Star is now in partnership with Photolibrary, the pre-eminent Australian owned-company in stock image libraries with a world class catalogue of images. Photolibrary’s commitment to digitisation of the Oxford Scientific Films libraries will expand its loyal customer base and enhance the access and quality of service to our customers.

Tim Moore, Managing Director of Photolibrary, said:

The Oxford Scientific brand is well known throughout our industry for high quality content in the nature and wildlife area. The supply of imagery and footage is a very high margin business but increasingly requires digital delivery to customers. With our extensive experience and in house digitisation and image management technology we have been able to complete this transformation process and are now enjoying over 40% sales growth and higher margins. We fully expect that we can transform the Oxford Scientific business and substantially improve its growth prospects.

4 December 2003

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8.Developing Ideas and Writing Proposals

Wildeye introduce a new course for January 2004:
Developing Ideas and Writing Proposals for wildlife film productions (23-25 Jan 2004)
Where do ideas for new wildlife films come from? How do you turn an idea into a workable proposal that will interest a broadcaster? If your proposal is one of hundreds received by a broadcaster every week how do you make yours stand out from the crowd?

These are crucial issues to be tackled if you want to make a wildlife film and have it broadcast on television - and all are explored in depth on this weekend course in the UK for aspiring producers and film-makers. You will learn how to come up with ideas and develop them into winners, and then how to create a 'killer page' proposal that can't be ignored...

See www.wildeye.co.uk/ideas.html for full details and contact Piers Warren on info@wildeye.co.uk for place availability.

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9.Finalists at the Living Europe Festival-the Swedish film festival of Nature and Science

The Living Europe Festival is well under way, this week at Helsingborg in southern Sweden, the winners will be announced on Saturday the 7th of December. ( Full details in next months wfn).

Sark A Secret Sea 25 Sue Daly Channel Islands
Spirit Of The Mountains... 50' Erik Fernström Sweden
E-mail From A Shark 26' Shark Bay Films UK
Close Encounters With A Brown Bear 23'32 NRK Norway
With Beak And Claw 53' TVP Poland
The Mystery Of The Greenland Shark 26' Armin Mück Sweden
Bears and Men 30' HRT Croatia
Hare Tales 41' Wild Doc Germany Nature
Puszta- The land of salt and sand 50' ORF Austria
Alien Insects - Praying Mantis 51' ORF Austria
30 degrees 27' Film i Västerbotten Sweden
Lynx in Germany 31' VOX TV Germany
Swimming With Robo Shark 58'40 BBC UK
The Last Goose Keeper 56'41 Metronome A/S Denmark
The Larkspur & The Nectar Thief 15' Eidos Wildlife Denmark
Pelican Odyssey-Home or Away 50' EO Int. Israel
My Halcyon River 49' BBC UK
Close to the soil 10' China Åhlander Sweden
Hands In Water 17' Spegelfilm Sweden
Diagnosing Darwin 47' Icon Films UK
November 10' C.Å. Hägglund Sweden
Vikng Voyages- Wings of the Dragon 52' Scandinature Sweden
Coasts/Blue Planet 52' BBC NHU UK
Latvia-Wilderness between Russia&Riga43 NDR Germany

Wild Reindeer 29' Asgeir Helgestad Norway
The Reef Beneath 35' Pointe Canon Prod. Mauritius

Ants In Your Pants 26' SVT Sweden
Play The Game 26' Paneikon Italy
Seahorses 05'02 Marco Polo Film Germany
Zoo Vet Apprentice 18' DR TV Denmark
The Beaver 07'44 YLE Finland
China Bears Special 24'50 BBC UK
Ants 03' Triq Prod. Sweden

Cod Wars 70' TV2 Denmark
Shapes Of The Invisible 1 3'x22 Altomedia France
Fire Mountain 51'09 Cicada Films UK
Cloning a Cow's egg 20' DR TV Denmark
Who's Coming From The East? 44' 2 "U" Russia
A Dog In Space And A Man On The Moon 09'54 UR Sweden
Like Nothing On Earth 43' WDR Germany
In Memoriam 54' Hugmyndaflyg Iceland
Stonehenge Rediscovered 50' Parthenon UK
Born To Survive 57'30 BBC UK
The Mystery of Easter Island 49'05 BBC UK
The Laboratory Rat 27' Oxford University UK Science

All the best from the team at Living Europe 2003.
Sven Jansson, Festival Director sven.jansson@svt.se
Carina Möllerberg, Festival Coordinator carina.mollerberg@livingeurope.org
Nilla Hedlund, Press & Marketing nilla.hedlund@livingeurope.org
Sue Lion, Festival Consultant sue-lion@blueyonder.co.uk

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10.Video Forum 2004-The UK's biggest technology event

Knowing of your interest in video, I want to let you know about February's VideoForum exhibition.

VideoForum is the UK's biggest technology event for production, post, new media, FX and streaming. It's your best chance to check out all the latest breakthroughs in TV, video, DVD, 3G and web video.

And, following the success of last year's seminars, the programme has been massively expanded - there are now nearly 6,000 FREE spaces! Here's an outline...

· Production & Post Seminars - from camera, sound & lights to editing & HD
· DVD Workshops - the tools and the business
· IP Seminars - corporate streaming, mobile video, Net TV
· Avid Masterclasses - hands-on tutorials
· Sony Workshops - go tapeless, go HD, go pure audio!
· Production Skills Centre - hear from the UK's lighting & camera gurus
· ViZFx Seminars - 2D/3D software fest
· Picture Quality Sessions - producing to the highest quality
· 5.1 Surround Sound - see www.sounds-expo.co.uk for details

And these are just the official sessions! Look out for exhibitor presentations at the show from Adobe to Ulead.

Entry to VideoForum is free. The event runs from 10th to 12th February at Wembley - put the dates in your diary now and whether you've got a couple of hours or even a couple of days, make sure you get to the show.

You can register now at www.videoforum.co.uk

I look forward to welcoming you.

Kieron Seth

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Please keep sending in your news items and check the site regularly for updates, as new sections are under construction.
I would welcome suggestions/ ideas for what you would like to see on the site.
That's it!  Send YOUR news for the next issue and for the site to Karen Barber at info@wildlife-film.com.

This newsletter goes out to thousands of people in the wildlife film-making industry world-wide.
Best wishes to you all
Karen Barber