The Japan Wildlife Film Festival was held from the August 8th to 11th in Toyama, at the Toyama International Conference Center.
35 films of the 46 nominated have been given awards.
Congratulations to all of the 2013 Winners!
1. Grand Award – River Dog
(James Muir, New Zealand)
This stunning film shows the river as a place of great beauty- it’s scenery, plants, insects and animals. Grants life style and his thoughts reflect this. It brings a new chapter to our world. We learnt how to live it nature and people felt it and were moved by it. We are very honored to give the grand prize to this piece of art.
Grant Muir - father of James Muir - for River Dog
and Natasha Bishop for Aboraceous, both from New Zealand!
2. Special Jury Award – ‘X’ Years Later (Ukki Productions, Japan)
We admire and respect the producers’ passion towards this film to show the truth of the thermonuclear tests on the Marshall Island and the exposure of radiation 35 years later. With the memory of Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster we have a strong bond to this issue.
3. Best Animal Behavior – Bats: Sovereigns of the night (WDR, Germany)
The beautiful and clear close ups of bats in the dark are amazing. Combining various locations and species of bat in combination with explanations of how it was filmed makes this an incredible wildlife film. It was interesting to hear the producers talk about their filming experience as well.
4. Cinematography – Green Universe (Nautilusfilm GmbH, Germany)
The plants that live in the rich forest, the stories of the insects and the larger animals are all well documented. Throughout the film the footage is beautiful and mysterious combined with incredible detailed descriptions. The footage from the time lapse and high-speed cameras as well as the sound effects and music give the film a magical feel.
5. Best Asia and Oceania – Great Flight (KNN, Korea)
This film is a poem of the earth, capturing the behaviour of a migratory bird which flies as far as the moon. It is presented with high quality camera work which deepens the film and makes it more dramatic. We applaud the team from the bottom of our hearts.
6. Best Series – Life in Hell (Mona Lisa Productions, France)
Since we are used to thinking that this world is built for us, this series gave us a shock. It has opened a new door on life made possible with filming challenges and careful preparation. We praise the teams passion and courage.
7. Best Japanese Wildlife Documentary – Goshawk: Using the water as their hunting tool (Core T9, Japan)
This is an important record of the unique hunting technique of the Goshawk which uses water to kill its prey. The film lets us see behavior we have never seen before. At the same time it brings attention to the environmental conservation of Satoyama in Japan. We give great applause from our hearts to the team.
8. Best Scientific – Super Spider (ZED, France)
The fascinating introduction of unknown ecologies and behavior of various spiders and newly found behavior are astonishing. The footage from the high-speed camera, scanning electron microscope, the close up footage and animations were beautiful and effective.
9. Underwater – The Surprise Salmon (Saint Thomas Productions, France)
This film reveals the behavior of salmon living in volcanic areas of Alaska with outstanding camera techniques. Beautifully and accurately shown, this film reminds us of the mysteries of life.
10. Plant Ecology – Invisible Nature: Power of Plants (Mona Lisa Productions, France)
This film shows us the ecology and power of plants, which we cannot normally see. It makes us feel that plants maybe more advanced than us human being.
11. Nature and People – Himalaya, Facing The Giant Bees (ZED, France)
The mountain village of India is a miracle and a hope in the ways that they risk their lives to protect something, and that they have a mission to pass it on to the next generation. We cannot help but hope for this boy with the filming crew.
Grant Muir recieving the Best Environmental Award for River Dog
12. Best Environmental – River Dog (James Muir, New Zealand)
We are impressed by the farmer’s strong feelings towards nature. How he is challenging and struggling to protect the natural world around him alone with his dogs, touches us. It reminds us that we need to protect our environment and nature.
Fei Xiang for Chinese Alligator
13. Educational – Chinese Alligator (Shanghai Science & Technology Museum, China)
This film follows the behavior of the almost extinct Chinese alligator with great close up footage. Every detail of them is carefully filmed. With the clear structure we admire this wonderful educational wildlife film.
Stefan Geier from Germany winning an award for Ant Wars
14. Environmental Issues – Ant Wars (BR, ARTE, Germany)
The invasion of foreign species is a problem around the world. The film shows a tiny but very powerful and great war of invasion. It teaches us the serious issue of native species being made extinct in their own land by foreign invaders and the loss of diversity.
Kim Jinman and Hyuna Park from MBC for Tears of the Antarctic
15. Asia and Oceania Environmental – Tears of the Antarctic (Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), S. Korea)
Due to excellent filming techniques and the producers’ great passion, the critical conditions of the nature of the Antarctic has been shown in a way never seen before. The beautiful footage reveals the reality and the measures of the approaching of the environmental destruction. We would like to pay respect to the crews for overcoming the critical conditions, completing their mission and creating an incredible film.
16. Global Issues – Raising Resistance (WDR, Germany)
Due to harsh words and aggressive tactics of wealthy landowners life is being lost. We were fascinated by this film and its point of view from the farmer’s perspective of the serious issues that gene modification is having.
17. Global Issues – The Pipe (Autlook filmsales, Ireland)
The people of a small village in Ireland have protected something that is irreplaceable with money. The nature has been kept close to their hearts and their history, but the greed of development is about to rip this to pieces. We send our deepest support to the team and the people of the village from around the globe.
18. Animal Rights – Unlucky Number (Public Television Service, Taiwan, Taiwan)
The cries of the dogs in the cages, the sadness in their eyes, a mouth that trembles with anger…all of these images are printed on our memory. The dogs in this film have taught us the meaning of life itself.
19. Outstanding Contribution to Wildlife Filmmaking – Park Sooyong Hunt for the Russian Tiger (Terra Mater Factual Studios GmbH, Austria)
We would like to express our respect and admiration for Sooyong Park who patiently waited 5 years for the tigers under dangerously severe conditions. All of Park’s footage is beautiful and it is amazing to see so many different angles of a tiger filmed by only one cameraman. This film tells us that filming wildlife requires tremendous time and patience. We were touched to see park’s pure delight when he was able to capture a crucial moment.
20. Outstanding Contribution to Nature – All the President’s Elephants
(NHU Africa, South Africa)
This film tells us what problems elephants are facing in Zimbabwe. It is very moving to see how closely people and elephants can be mentally connected. We would like to express our respect and appreciation for Ms. Sharon Pincott who dedicates her life to protect these elephants.
21. Outstanding Contribution to Nature – Elephant Whisperer (Profilm, Iceland)
With the forests decreasing and the work changing, this film shows us the situation that Asian elephants and treats them as if they were her family. We would like to express our respect and appreciation for Lek.
Natasha Bishop during a seminar
22. Newcomer – Natasha Bishop (Arboraceous) (Connected Media Trust, New Zealand)
We are all impressed with the filmmaker’s power of expression and creation, telling us the importance of protecting our earth with minimalist animation. We would like to see and hear more of her messages about nature and wildlife.
23. Children’s – The Invisible Wildlife Photographer (Filmjungle.eu, Hungary)
No matter how much the technology of camera has developed, the joy of completing and overcoming the difficult task of filming animals in the wild is everlasting. Through the eye of the camera, this is a documentary that shows the difficulties that the filmmaker faces in the wild and will inspire young people.
24. Wildlife Research – Strandwolf (Terra Mater Factual Studios, Austria)
It is the first time to capture the behavior of the rare strandwolf. The approach and method of research is very interesting, especially the fact that global warming is affecting these hyenas.
25. Underwater Cinematography – Hot Tuna (Wild Logic, L.L.C., USA)
The habits and behavior of the Blue fin Tuna, which you normally cannot see, have been documented very well. We were overwhelmed by all of the beautiful and rare images filmed underwater. We would like to compliment the cameraman for his courage.
26. Environmental Conservation – Elemental (Go Project Films, USA)
It is a documentary about 3 heroes who risk their lives to face the tragic destruction of the environment in various parts of the world. We express our greatest support from Japan.
Grant Muir and Ai Nihongi
27. Best Theatrical – The Last Lions (National Geographic Entertainment, USA)
This film is a beautiful reflection made with excellent filming of the events that occur in the life of the lions. We were left speechless. We greatly appreciate the hard work done by the crew.
28. Best Historical – Elsa: The Lioness That Changed The World (Brian Leith Productions, UK)
Few have forgotten the legendary story that questioned the definition of the ‘wild’, “Elsa the lioness”. No matter how much our world evolves, we will still continue to think what the ‘wild’ truly means, like the Adamson’s. This is because the wild is the source of life. We pay respect and show appreciation to the Adamson’s who are no longer with us today.
29. Best Historical – Queen of Tigers (Mike Birkhead Associates, UK)
This is an excellent film with a lot of wonderful footages of one tiger, which were filmed by one cameraman for 14 years. It is also an interesting film from the point of view that it is a record of 14 years of one wild life cameraman. Through the images of the tiger collected over the long time of period, we can sense the emotions of the tiger.
30. Animation – Arboraceous (Connected Media Trust, New Zealand)
We only have one earth; therefore we should protect and take care of our planet. It is a simple message but a very serious one that has been expressed well through animation. The design and the colors are simple but beautiful.
Raptor research group for The Black Eagle: Phantom of the Forest
31. Asia and Oceania Encouragement Award – The Black Eagle: Phantom of the Forest (Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, Taiwan)
This is a very rare and valuable documentary that teaches and researches the ecology and behavior of the scarce black eagle that lives deep inside the forest of Taiwan. The interaction of the black eagle and other animals and the message that the eagle’s habitat is diminishing is presented well.
32. New Media – Jungle Gremlins of Java YouTube (BBC, UK)
It is an excellent film to show that YouTube, one of the new media sites, can put a unique and interesting animal like the Loris into dangerous situations, even bring it to extinction. This rare animal's ecology was also introduced in an interesting way. We strongly wish that the media will do the opposite and encourage people all over the world to protect this rare animal.
33. Best Japanese Environmental Documentary – Grandma’s Eternal Forest
(NHK ASIA Documentary Productions Company, Japan)
The grandma that has become the last one to protect traditional Japanese methods of farming and the creatures of the woods is documented delicately and beautifully. We must not let this story become a fable and we give applause to this story that is as beautiful as a jewel.
34. Toyama Ptarmigan Award – Serengeti (NDR Naturfilm DocLights GmbH, Germany)
Using high quality filming techniques the Serengeti, one of the last wildlife paradises, was introduced beautifully, dramatically and with great force. This award is a symbol of respect that is presented to the film with the most votes from the audience and is given to the talented crew.
35. Best Translation – Green Universe (Nautilusfilm GmbH, Germany)
Although plants exist all around us, their mysterious wonders are very great. This film has clarified the ecologies of the plants that take an important role of supporting all life on earth, with incredible camera work. Your translation was very clear and made into well paced subtitles. We appreciate your dedication to this festival.
Mr Shishido with the Gratitude Award
Volunteers and Guests
Wildlife-film.com congratulates all of the winners, especially member NHU Africa!
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