Jonny Keeling named BBCS Natural History Unit head
BBC Studios Productions has tapped Jonny Keeling as head of the Natural History Unit.
He takes over from outgoing head Julian Hector, who leaves after a five-year stint that saw the Bristol-based production house produce shows including Blue Planet II, Dynasties and the forthcoming The Green Planet for the BBC as well as its first original commissions for international broadcasters.
Reporting to Tom McDonald, BBC Studios’ MD of factual, Keeling assumes the role in December, and will be responsible for all of the NHU’s creative and commercial activity.
He is tasked with further developing the NHU’s presence in North America via NHU LA, and will play a leading role in the unit’s move to its new Bristol premises.
Keeling’s credits as producer, series producer and executive producer include such landmark series as Planet Earth, Planet Earth II and Seven Worlds, One Planet.
As former head of NHU Children’s, he executive produced Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures and Deadly Pole to Pole and developed and delivered projects across a wide range of genres including animation, comedy and drama.
The NHU’s recent commissions include Frozen Planet II and Chris & Megs’ Wild Summer, both for the BBC, as well as Apple’s The Year Earth Changed, National Geographic’s Ocean Xplorers, Endangered for Discovery and The Americas for NBCU.
McDonald said in a statement: “Jonny is one of the best blue chip Natural History executives in the industry – and has a depth of experience not just in landmark programming but in a huge variety of tones and forms. As well as being passionate about the quality of the NHU’s programming, he’s a brilliant leader: ambitious and inspiring, and I cannot wait to work with him to continue the NHU’s incredible growth.
Keeling added: “My ambition is simple – to produce high-quality content that’s original, ambitious and compelling and to ensure that the NHU remains the most respected maker of wildlife programming in the world.”
The 2021 Jackson Wild Summit to be Live-streamed ... Now an exclusively virtual event to be held from Monday-Thursday, Sept 27-30 2021
It is with heavy hearts that we share with you that this year’s Jackson Wild Summit will be shifting to virtual, due to the resurgence of COVID-19, with sessions from the Center stage live-streamed to a virtual audience. This action is being taken in the interests of your safety and well-being and that of our staff, volunteers and the entire global Jackson Wild community. But, there is still much to talk about—and so much to do as we accelerate new perspectives and new storytelling strategies to engage new audiences to connect with our planet and each other as we engage a broader and more inclusive global audience than ever before.
Knowing that no one has the stamina and time for more than a few hours of online convening, we will present a tight and incredible lineup of compelling live sessions and networking events for three hours Monday Sept 27-Wednesday, Sept 29 culminating in the Jackson Wild Awards Celebration on Thursday, Sept 30.
Sessions will be hosted live and in-person from the Jackson Hole Center for the Arts stage with a limited number of Fellows, Mentors, Speakers, Staff, Volunteers and VIPs in attendance. All other Summit registrants will attend virtually. Of course, everyone will have full access to the amazing finalist films, as well a collection of dynamic on-demand sessions!
We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience if you have made travel or lodging plans, and now have to undo them. If you end up having any nonrefundable fees that put you in any sort of hardship, please email firstname.lastname@example.org we can work with you to see what we can help cover.
If you are interested in being a live audience member for those sessions we will be streaming live from the Center for the Arts stage, please email email@example.com
Pass options & prices:
VIRTUAL SUMMIT PASS: $120 ... for a 20% discount to the Summit use this code: Virtual20
Your full virtual pass will give you access to on-demand sessions and films, as well as all live streamed and online programming during the 2021 Jackson Wild Summit. In addition, you will receive access to the Virtual Delegate Lounge throughout the week of the Summit.
Bad Comet Games’ Wild: Serengeti aims to raise awareness around wildlife conservation
A new board game designed to make wildlife conservation and environmental issues more relatable has hit the crowdfunding platform, Kickstarter, courtesy of Bad Comet Games.
Called Wild: Serengeti, the title transports players to the plains of the Serengeti, where they take on the role of wildlife documentary directors en route to film a one-of-a-kind documentary. It’s the latest project to spring from the mind of game designer, Gunho Kim, the brains behind the popular Shaolia.
The one to four player game acts to combine puzzle solving with elements of set collection and engine building to create a strategic game play experience billed as unique, while its ‘mesmerising artwork, 3D components and detailed animeeples’ is all geared towards making players more aware of the importance of conservation.
Kim, a big fan of wildlife documentaries, said that when designing Wild: Serengeti he “wanted to design a game related to the issue of wildlife conservation” and that he wished to “raise awareness about the beauty and marvel of these animals through board gaming.”
The game designer added that “maybe then players could find environmental issues that much more relatable.”
– Film wild animals in the Serengeti and direct your own inspiring wildlife documentary in this beautiful board game.
Discover the wildlife of the Serengeti and capture these moments to film the documentary of a lifetime.
WILD: Serengeti is a board game inspired by the endless plains of the Serengeti. This game combines the joy of puzzle-solving with elements of set-collection and engine-building to create a deep and unique strategic experience. The mesmerizing artwork, 3D components, and detailed animeeples will guide you straight into the vivid and breathtaking wilds of the Serengeti.
WILD: Serengeti follows simple rules that are easy to learn for beginners but also enough strategic depth for more experienced veterans. Accompanied by 168 Scene Cards, Variable Player Powers, and various events, it presents a fresh, re-playable experience for every game.
From the South-West of England to the very far North of Scotland shore birds search the mud and sand for food. They have all sorts of tools for the job, from the surface to deep down. This is a light-hearted look at how competition is shared out. Who will win in this lively contest?
Curlew Action is a charity dedicated to reversing the decline of the breeding curlew by advocating conservation efforts, developing and sharing resources for fieldworkers, and promoting wider natural history education.
One of the world's rarest seals, the monk seal, needs peace and quiet and somewhere safe to rear its pups. In the Mediterranean there are few sanctuaries left, where this is possible. On the beautiful Greek island of Corfu, wild places still exist, but changes threaten from a development company in New York. Can this paradise and its endangered seals survive in a classic conservation challenge, as Covid-19 wrecks the tourist trade in the Med?
Wildlife Filmmaking 101: Step One - Research – Filming The Wild with Alan Lacy
In this episode of Filming The Wild, Alan sits down behind the desk and talks about one of the most important phases of wildlife film production: research.
"This is Wildlife Filmmaking 101: Step One - Research. In this seven part series, I will take you through my process of making a wildlife documentary, and share all of things I think about and do when producing a film. In this first episode of Wildlife Filmmaking 101, we are talking about the research phase and development of the film and story you want to tell. There are so many ways to do this, and I share some of the ways that I develop an idea for a film."
We have been blessed by your patience, and we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. It's been a long five years, but time we truly think will have been worth the wait. At the start of this project, we could not have fathomed it would have taken this long with countless hours of blood, sweat and tears to get us to the finish line. But we are there!
We are so excited to finally announce that we are launching our advertising campaign before the film's release this September!
We would also love to announce that we have the incredibly talented Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet narrating the film. Having her voice will make this Cinematic Feature Documentary truly global, and certainly help spread the message of our Planet's climate crisis. Kate has been an immense help on the film and really got behind it and us, and in doing so has become an Executive Producer. We have also been working closely with James Wilks, Joseph Pace, and Susan Vitka, the Producers from The Game Changers Feature Documentary. They have also come on board as Executive Producers.
We've had one very large driving force to keep our team dedicated to keeping us moving forwards, and that is the reality of the vast devastation animal agriculture is having upon our Planet, and we knew 'the time we have on this planet, is ticking.'
We've had quite the adventure making this film and many a tale to tell, from being shot at by cattle farmers in the US…. to being chased out of the depths of the rainforest by Paramilitary.
We are hosting our World Premiere on the 8th of September at the famous Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square. We'd love to have you all there, but sadly with Covid, we've been given a very limited number of seats and having to prioritise these for cast, crew and press.
Our timing couldn't be more perfect with the release of this film, after this year's ever-increasing events of natural disasters, Covid and COP 26 in November. So any help with you all getting behind this project for Planet Earth, we will be truly grateful for.
Featuring COVID-19 Lockdown Bee Watching and Animal Favorites,
Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Beginning October 20 on PBS
– Features new documentaries about the Rocky Mountains, every known species of penguin, American horses, Animals with Cameras and more
Preview Season 40 at pbs.org/nature
The WNET Group’s Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning series Nature celebrates its 40th anniversary with new episodes Wednesdays at 8 p.m. beginning October 20 on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/nature and the PBS Video app. Season 40 premieres with My Garden of a Thousand Bees, which follows wildlife cameraman Martin Dohrn, who filmed all the bees he could find in his tiny urban garden in Bristol, England, during the COVID-19 lockdown. By the end of the summer, Dohrn saw more than 60 species of bees and unlocked new knowledge about the diversity of personalities in this insect family.
From the wild Rocky Mountains to the Pony Express Trail, witness some of North America’s most iconic wildlife in their natural habitat, including grizzly bears, bison, wild mustangs, Appaloosas, ospreys, bighorn sheep and many more. Using the latest filmmaking technology, Nature reveals new information about beloved animal favorites, such as elephants, penguins and wild horses, and the threats they face. Animals with Cameras returns for a second installment, featuring animals outfitted with lightweight, specially designed cameras that provide a glimpse into the inner lives of turtles, bats, koalas, sharks, kangaroos and more.
“Throughout its storied history, Nature has inspired millions of people to discover the wonder and beauty of our natural world,” said Paula Kerger, president and chief executive officer for PBS. “As issues of conservation and climate change become increasingly important, this iconic series will continue to educate and enlighten audiences through best-in-class documentary films.”
“It’s been an honor to be with Nature for four decades now,” said Fred Kaufman, executive producer for Nature. “From the beginning, our mission has been to be a voice for the natural world, and we will continue to be that voice for years to come.”
New Nature Season 40 documentaries include:
Nature: My Garden of a Thousand Bees (Season 40 premiere)
Premieres Wednesday, October 20 at 8 p.m. on PBS
A story of surprise and revelation. A veteran wildlife cameraman is bee-obsessed. Seeking refuge from the pandemic in a small city garden, he is filming the wild bees that live there with mind-blowing results. From giant bumblebees to scissor bees the size of a mosquito, he has seen more than 60 species of bee. But more importantly, he is developing a close relationship with an individual bee he follows through its entire life.
Nature: Season of the Osprey Premieres Wednesday, October 27 at 8 p.m. on PBS
A veteran pair of ospreys return home to a Connecticut saltmarsh. Over one summer they must battle their enemies, withstand the elements, and hunt hundreds of fish, all to raise the next generation of these consummate sea hawks.
Nature: The Elephant and the Termite Premieres Wednesday, November 3 at 8 p.m. on PBS
Witness the creation of one of Africa’s greatest wildlife meeting places and the site of extraordinary drama: the waterhole. From mighty elephants to tiny termites, an entire community of creatures call the waterhole their home.
Nature: Born in the Rockies (two-part special)
Premieres Wednesdays, November 10 & 17 at 8 p.m. on PBS
Journey deep into the wild heart of North America’s Rocky Mountains and experience this rugged land through the eyes of its iconic wildlife. Follow the drama as newborns make their way in one of the world’s most challenging and spectacular habitats on Earth.
Nature: Animals with Cameras (two-part special)
Premieres Winter/Spring 2022
Animals become wildlife cinematographers when they are fitted with lightweight, specially designed cameras in this two-part series that feature turtles, sharks, koalas, bats, kangaroos and more. Our animal “camera specialists” reveal behavior new to scientists.
Nature – Penguins: Meet the Family Premieres Winter/Spring 2022
A celebration of one of Earth’s most iconic and beloved birds, featuring footage of all 17 species of penguins for the first time, from New Zealand, Cape Town, the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica.
Nature: The Ocean’s Greatest Feast Premieres Winter/Spring 2022
New filming technology brings the story of South Africa’s annual sardine run vividly to life like never before. Between May and July each year, the sardine run sees billions of sardines spawning and travelling up the coast, providing a feast for an array of marine predators.
Nature: American Horses Premieres Winter/Spring 2022
Following the popularity of Equus: Story of the Horse, Nature turns its cameras to the uniquely American horse breeds that helped shape our nation, such as the Mustang, Appaloosa, Morgan and Quarter Horse.
Nature: Running with the Beest Premieres Winter/Spring 2022
It is one of nature’s most spectacular events – the million strong wildebeest migration across the heart of East Africa culminating in the dramatic moment they must cross the Mara River. See how this iconic wildlife event is a major moment in the life cycle for every predator, prey and scavenger involved.
Led by executive producer Fred Kaufman, Nature pioneered a television genre that is now widely emulated in the broadcast industry, bringing the natural world to millions of viewers. Consistently among the most-watched primetime series on PBS, Nature continues to innovate through original digital programming and a commitment to converting viewers into doers.
The series has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 19 Emmys and three Peabodys. Nature received two of the wildlife film industry’s highest honors: the Christopher Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award given by the Wildscreen Festival, and the Grand Teton Award given by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. The International Wildlife Film Festival honored Kaufman with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Media.
Nature’s award-winning website, pbs.org/nature, features full episodes, short films, digital series, behind-the-scenes content, news articles, educational resources and more. A new podcast, Going Wild with Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant, will also launch this fall. The series is available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. PBS station members can view many series, documentaries and specials via PBS Passport. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.
Nature is a production of The WNET Group for PBS. Fred Kaufman is Executive Producer. Bill Murphy is Series Producer. Janet Hess is Series Editor. Danielle Broza is Digital Content & Strategy Lead.
Support for Nature is made possible in part by the Arnhold Foundation, The Fairweather Foundation, Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, Charles Rosenblum, Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Klorfine Foundation, Sandra Atlas Bass, Colin S. Edwards, Gregg Peters Monsees Foundation, Koo and Patricia Yuen, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by public television viewers.
New six-part series Chris & Meg’s Wild Summer announced by BBC Studios Natural History Unit
"Megs and I have always been up for an adventure, some great wildlife and an ice-cream, so this sometimes hectic, always eclectic and wholly electric trip around our great-green backyard was bound to be a winner."— Chris Packham, Chris & Meg’s Wild Summer
BBC Studios Natural History Unit today (18 August 2021) announced its new series Chris & Meg’s Wild Summer.
Premiering on BBC Two and iPlayer on Sunday 29 August at 20:30, this 6x30’ series will see Chris Packham and his step-daughter Megan McCubbin embark on an epic summer roadtrip across the country with one mission in mind: amazing wildlife encounters.
Having been introduced to our screens during Springwatch at the height of lockdown, Megan became a much-loved new addition to the show with the pair becoming audiences’ new favourite odd couple. Growing up with her stepfather, Megan learnt to share his passion for the natural world from a young age inspiring her to become a naturalist herself. The roadtrip will prove to be the perfect chance to reminisce about the wildlife encounters they shared when Megan was young.
After living through lockdown together, the duo set off in their electric campervan going across the UK to travel through some of the country’s last untouched wildernesses, journeying through the untamed beauty of Wales, the North of England and Scotland.
As they explore these awe-inspiring landscapes, Chris and Megan will encounter puffins in Pembrokeshire, red kites and sand lizards in Snowdonia, swim with grey seals in Northumberland, and hope for a rare glimpse of orcas in the Western Isles. Along the way, the duo reflect on what these places mean to them and the need for conservation in these dwindling wild spaces that continue to face rapid change and increasing danger.
As two generations travel and spend time together, their journey becomes an exploration of not just our changing natural world and our place in it, but of their own stepfather-daughter relationship. Across the six episodes, Chris and Megan will explore the stunning natural beauty and wildlife of South West Wales, Snowdonia, the Lake District, Northumberland, the Cairngorms and the Western Isles.
With more people spending their summers in the UK than ever before, Chris & Meg’s Wild Summer brings a timely exploration of the natural wonders that the UK has to offer and the abundant native wildlife right on our doorstep.
Chris Packham said: “The UK is a remarkable place to find wildlife and it’s only a weekend away! Megs and I have always been up for an adventure, some great wildlife and an ice-cream, so this sometimes hectic, always eclectic and wholly electric trip around our great-green backyard was bound to be a winner. We go, we see, we eat vegan sarnies and we savour the best of the UK’s wild spots and wildlife. Throw in some punk rock, vintage summer wear and the binoculars and you’ve got a road trip with a recipe for success!”.
Megan McCubbin said: “I am so excited to share this series with viewers - it’s a 'wild summer' with a difference! With wildlife at its heart, Chris and I travel the length of the UK exploring its natural and cultural wonders and discuss important topics that make us who we are. Everything from modern families, neurodiversity and the health of our environment”.
Rosemary Edwards, Executive Producer, BBC Studios Natural History Unit said: “Both Chris and Megan are passionate about the Natural World but they rarely get an opportunity to see our Great British wildlife together away from their presenting commitments. So this trip was a special journey and the whole team loved seeing them ‘off duty’ and celebrating the wealth of flora and fauna we have within the British Isles”.
Chris and Megs Wild Summer begins on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer this Sunday at 8-30 . Unscripted and unsupervised Megan McCubbin and I take a madcap EV ramble around the UK’s wildlife hotspots in search of all the beautiful things that we love . . . poo , pellets , poodles . . . puffins ! We try to get close , and get photographs . Clad in tasty vintage sportswear (me) and listening to the sounds of the 70’s and 80’s (me) we are distracted by castles (me) and artisan gin (her) . We discuss some critical things (the future of life and growing up in a modern family) . . . and some not so critical things (wearing flip-flops and the best war films) . Wildlife and the whole wide world , from Pembrokeshire to Cumbria to the Western Isles .
Chris & Megan’s Wild Summer is a 6x30’ BBC Studios Natural History Unit Production for BBC Two and will premiere on Sunday 29 August. It was commissioned by Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History, BBC. The Executive Producer is Rosemary Edwards and Series Producer is Joanne Stevens. The Commissioning Editor is Sreya Biswas.
Today, 12th August, we celebrate the existence of the iconic Elephant, Happy World Elephant Day!
May they continue to live forever and a day.
We have been filming and photographing Elephants in the Selenkay Conservancy in Kenya for the last 6 months, using the Canon C300 Mark 3 and the 1 DX Mark 3. It has been an amazing journey, with lots of excellent content to sift through. Finally, the story has come together, and it is a beautiful celebration of Elephants.
On World Elephant Day 2021, we officially present to you the 1st trailer of “The Elephants Of Selenkay”… vimeo.com/586185009 Watch this space for the full-length documentary.
Feature documentary Escape From Extinction, narrated by Helen Mirren, isheaded to selected UK cinemas from 17th September.
Kaleidoscope Entertainment presents Escape From Extinction, a powerful feature documentary narrated by Academy Award winner Dame Helen Mirren, coming to selected cinemas from 17th September celebrating ‘Great Big Green Week’ (18-26 September). It will then be available on Digital platforms from 18th October and DVD 25th October.
Escape From Extinction explores the critical efforts of major zoological organisations to preserve millions of species on the verge of disappearing forever, through a unique mix of conservation, rescue breeding and environmental awareness.
The documentary features rare footage of endangered animals as well as interviews with leading animal welfare and conservation specialists. Not just focussing on the damage humans have done to wildlife around the world, the film aims to shine a light on the work of zoos and aquariums across the globe as they race to protect and preserve animals from all seven of Earth’s continents. These organisations may be nature’s last arks of hope in preserving the rich legacy of life on our world.
Escape From Extinction hopes to get the global engagement of the public. Without this help these animals may disappear forever within a generation.
Shortlist for the 20th Innsbruck Nature Film Festival
Around 50 films will be running in competition from 19-22 October 2021, including productions from all over the world and starring Nature and The Environment! Catch yourself a fine flick at the Metropol Kino in Innsbruck, the urban-alpine capital of Tyrol, embedded in the International Nature Festival.
340 films from 60 countries in every corner of the world were submitted for the anniversary edition. The 15-member preliminary jury were pressed hard to choose 51 works that will now compete in five categories in the international film competition and are eligible for prize money, worth €18,000.
In our now-time of video chats and conferences, home office and home schooling, the value of having films presented on the big screen is irrefutable and apparent in the gratitude of our esteemed audiences, as well as in the nominated filmmakers themselves. So from 19-22 October 2021, get your eyeballs rolling at the Film-Off in the Metropol Kino, down at the foot of the Nordkette mountain chain, next to the river Inn, in Innsbruck’s Old Town.
Striking nature films
In addition to the Short Films and the Young Talents sections, the nature film selections at the INFF hold their own with their beautiful, endlessly wide imagery and precise, honest close-ups. “The Wild Forest” (Der wilde Wald) by Lisa Eder belongs right here with the best of them; a refuge of biodiversity in the Bavarian Forest National Park. From the mainland we go into and under the water, “The Loneliest Whale”, directed by Joshua Zeman takes us on a quest for the world’s only 52-hertz whale. In “Cephalopods: Conquest of the seas”, world-renowned French science filmmaker, Bertrand Loyer, takes the whole family to the mesmerising and astonishing underwater world of the octopus and the cuttlefish.
Evocative environmental documentaries
Documented by Canadian Slater Jewell-Lemker from 2007 to 2020, “Youth Unstoppable – The Rise of the Global Youth Climate Movement”, shows the powerful vision of the younger generation for the future of our planet. The US production “Kiss the Ground” by Rebecca and Josh Tickell also sets a tone of positivity and finds the missing piece in a climate puzzle in the soil. Hollywood actor Woody Harrelson is convincing as the narrator, you can listen to him and hear him.
Hosting country Austria represented by four films in main categories
Two great Austrian co-production nature documentaries from Terra Mater are in the programme: snow leopards, bears, a yak and a wolf captivate us in their home in Tibet at over 4,000 metres in “Snow Leopards and Friends”. Diving below sea level “Witness is a Whale”, is a thrilling documentary about the giants of the seas, with a touch of thriller, thanks to the KGB.
Two independent films also enter the running for the Grand Prix: “What Fishes want” (Was Fische wollen) by Christoph Walder about the silent disappearance of fish shoals from the largest river in the Alps, the Inn – rushing right by the INFF Metropol Kino venue – it doesn’t get closer to home than this, folks, while “Shamane’s Nightmare” (Der Albtraum der Shamanen) by Natalie Halla moves us with a solemn promise from further afield and around the globe.
Festival curator Katja Trippel and festival director and founder, Johannes Kostenzer are eagerly awaiting a rainbow 20th anniversary edition of the Innsbruck Nature Film Festival in Tyrol’s capital – with an astounding array of hopeful, critical, illuminating, animated, electrifying, loud and quiet films.
New Film from Tania Rose Esteban, in celebration of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, for Panasonic Lumix!
Shot and produced by Panasonic Lumix ambassador and Assistant Producer Tania Esteban, "The Guardians of Ikigai" is a reflective journey about a young Tai Chi artist that explores our relationship with the natural world and our passion and purpose in life through the Eastern philosophies and concepts of Japanese culture. It looks at the imbalance we have with our modern day lives and how we can find purpose and meaning when we draw inspiration from nature.
Humans have always been a part of and connected with nature – but technology and rapid population growth, fuelling isolation, is changing that. In a city where over 38 million people live, how can people reconnect with nature? First they must learn to connect with themselves. By finding your Ikigai – reason to get up in the morning – this realisation and way of life can bring more than just personal happiness and allow people to reconnect with nature once more. People and nature have grown closer together through finding this link. In the past, Buddhist and Shinto philosophy showed how nature is an essential part of life. All around this beautiful country are signs of the natural world and its importance in modern day Japan, a juxtaposition of modern and traditional ways. Tai Chi is just one of those practices that allows this flow to be felt – where both mind and soul are aligned with nature.
Released online on July 23rd in celebration of the Tokyo Olympic Games, you can find this short film as well as other interviews, articles and photography about Japan over at Panasonic's social media/Youtube and Tania's vimeo/social media/website.
Congratulations to the 2021 Jackson Wild Media Awards, our annual international competition considered to be the highest bar of achievement in natural history filmmaking.
Reflecting the growing importance of media to combat the global climate change crisis, this year’s submissions included over 750 category entries from nearly 30 different countries competing for 24 content, craft and program awards, as well as the Best of Festival Grand Teton Award. Finalists were selected by more than 150 international judges who together screened over 3,000 hours of media.
Congratulations to the 2021 Jackson Wild Media Awards, our annual international competition considered to be the highest bar of achievement in natural history filmmaking.
Reflecting the growing importance of media to combat the global climate change crisis, this year’s submissions included over 750 category entries from nearly 30 different countries competing for 24 content, craft and program awards, as well as the Best of Festival Grand Teton Award. Finalists were selected by more than 150 international judges who together screened over 3,000 hours of media.
2021 Jackson Wild Media Awards Finalists:
Animal Behavior Film, Long Form Awarded to the program that most effectively explores animal behavior in a new, fresh, imaginative or illuminating way.
Soul of the Ocean
Howard Hall Productions in association with Mark Fletcher Productions
The Year Earth Changed
BBC Studios NHU, Apple TV+
Tiny World - Jungle
Plimsoll Productions for Apple TV
Tiny World - Outback
Plimsoll Productions for Apple TV
Animal Behavior Film, Short Form Awarded to the program (17 minutes in runtime or less) that most effectively explores animal behavior in an innovative and illuminating way.
Born Pregnant: Aphids Invade with an Onslaught of Clones | Deep Look
KQED, PBS Digital Studios
Searching for Language in Dolphins
Rebel Media Productions in association with Long Story Short Media. Supported by a generous grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation
Tadpoles: The Big Little Migration
A Maxwel Hohn Production with Seaproof.TV
Ecosystem Film, Long Form Awarded to the program that most effectively explores a habitat and its unique web of life.
BBC Studios Natural History Unit, SK Films
Tiny World: Reef
Plimsoll Productions for Apple TV +
Ecosystem Film, Short Form Awarded to the program (17 minutes in runtime or less) that most effectively explores a habitat and its unique web of life.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Fin & Fur Films, Explore Ranches
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Memories of the Future
a Mares Mexicanos production
Tadpoles: The Big Little Migration
A Maxwel Hohn production with Seaproof.TV
Conservation Film, Long Form (Sponsored by Doclights) Awarded to the program that most effectively relates conservation issues and/or solutions and the individuals, groups or projects dedicated to the protection of a species, ecosystem or some other aspect of the natural world.
After The Wildfires
Northern Pictures, Love Nature, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Conservation Film, Short Form
(Sponsored by: San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance) Awarded to the program (17 minutes in runtime or less) that most effectively relates conservation issues and/or solutions and the individuals, groups or projects dedicated to the protection of a species, ecosystem or some other aspect of the natural world.
Beyond The Boma
Wild Elements Studios
Living With Lions
Wild Elements Studios
An Ami Vitale and Passion Planet production, Conservation International
People & Nature Film, Long Form Awarded to the program that most effectively explores the interdependent relationship between humans and animals or the environment.
A Moniker production, in association with The Lozen Foundation
Kiss The Ground
Big Picture Ranch
Playing With Sharks: The Valerie Taylor Story
A Wildbear Entertainment Production with the assistance of Screen NSW in association with Dogwoof and TDOG for National Geographic
People & Nature Film, Short Form Awarded to the program (17 minutes in runtime or less) that most effectively explores the interdependent relationship between humans and animals or the environment.
Mother of the Sea
Alldayeveryday, Arch Film Studios and Blue Tongue Films in association with Humane Society International
An Ami Vitale and Passion Planet production, Conservation International
Our Human Planet - Long Form (Sponsored by: Smithsonian Channel) Awarded to the program that most effectively Illuminates the human forces affecting both our planet and society in relation to nature, including social and environmental issues, equity and justice, public policy, community conservation and sustainability in the face of climate change.
Our Human Planet - Short Form
Awarded to the program (17 minutes in runtime or less) that most effectively Illuminates the human forces affecting both our planet and society in relation to nature, including social and environmental issues, equity and justice, public policy, community conservation and sustainability in the face of climate change.
Greens For Good
Wild Elements Studios
Living With Lions
Wild Elements Studios
An Ami Vitale and Passion Planet production, Conservation International
Science in Nature Film, Long Form (Sponsored by Marco Polo Film AG) Awarded to the program that most effectively reveals science and scientific discovery into an understanding of any aspect of the natural world.
David Attenborough's Life in Colour: Hiding in Colour
A NOVA production by Terri Randall Productions for WGBH Boston in association with Arte France and NHK.
Nature's Fear Factor
A NOVA production by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios for WGBH Boston
The Witness Is A Whale
A co-production of Spindrift Images, Terra Mater Factual Studios and Mark Fletcher Productions
Science in Nature Film, Short Form Awarded to the program (17 minutes in runtime or less) that most effectively reveals science and scientific discovery into an understanding of any aspect of the natural world.
Breakthrough: The Slime Minder
Science Friday, HHMI/Tangled Bank Studios
Memories of The Future
a Mares Mexicanos production
Searching for Language in Dolphins
Rebel Media Productions in association with Long Story Short Media. Supported by a generous grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation.
If you were scanning the listings in TV Guide, as I do every week, you’d find a channel called National Geographic Wild. Yes, that National Geographic, famous worldwide, and very proudly pushing that fact. But what about wildlife conservation, so relevant these days? From Nat. Geo. you might expect a sympathy and support for the environment and threatened species of wildlife. But you won’t get it. That’s judging by the titles of their shows.
I’ve been monitoring the channel’s output, and its content is depressingly repetitive, especially for nature globally, which Nat. Geo. Wild claims it tries to help. Well it does not. These titles say it all.
Alaska Fish Wars
Monster Croc Wrangler
Animal Fight Club
World’s Deadliest Jellyfish
When Sharks Attack
The Shark Bite State
Fangs That Kill
Africa’s Deadliest, Best of
10 Animals That Will Kill You
Deep Sea Killers: Into the Dark
Cougar Vs Wolf
Wolf Vs Bear
Predator in Paradise
Ultimate Viper: Fear the Fang
Predator Fail: When Prey Attacks
Shark Vs Surfer
Africa’s Deadliest: Fangs That Kill
King Cobra: Cannibal Snake
When Predators Attack
Africa’s Deadliest: Search and Destroy
World’s Deadliest Bite
Venom: Nature’s Killer
The Lakeshore Killers
Africa’s Deadly Kingdoms
Kingdom of the Apes: Battle Lines
Africa’s Deadliest: Ganglands
Africa’s Deadliest: Best of Creepy Killers
Africa’s Deadliest: Cat Attack
Africa’s Deadly Eden
Africa’s Deadly Kingdoms
Man Vs Shark
Shark Vs Tuna
Shark Vs Predator Showdown
Scotland’s Killer Seals
Predator In Paradise
Africa’s Deadliest: River Rivals The Predators That Lurk
Africa’s Deadliest: Best of Savage Seas
Tiger Shark Terror
You get the idea. A case of limited vocabulary, I’d say.
No wonder some scientists won’t co-operate with Nat. Geo. any more, as the very subjects they are studying are under threat, not only to their survival, but from such really bad exposure – and, in effect, lies.
The demographic/ratings are driving down any respect or true understanding on the Nat. Geo. Wild channel. This is now known as, and despised, as “Fang TV”. Some even say that it reflects an aggressive, ruthless attitude of some Americans, the home base of National Geographic. It’s potentially a great force in global conservation. What a shame that opportunity has been wasted. Surely time to ”de-fang” the channel and help fragile nature?
At a meeting at the Wildscreen Film Festival, I put this to Janet Han Vissering who was senior vice president of development and production for Nat. Geo. Wild. In other words the flavour of the content is/was due to her and her team. She replied: “Well, sharks do kill people.” I said: “So do toasters, vending machines and cars for that matter.” But hang on! What’s this? Recently, listed as a new episode is “Secrets of the Zoo-Babies On Board: The baby animals at the zoo.” Has Nat. Geo. Wild de-fanged itself. At last!
Successful Wildlife Videography is a 2 hr 15 min video presentation presented by Mike Linley. Some of you might remember Mike as the producer and scientific advisor of Anglia Television's Survival wildlife series back in the 1980s. Mike also fronted the children's wildlife programme, Animals In Action.
Although Nigel Cooper's video production company filmed this back in 2007 most of the techniques for filming wildlife are still relevant today.
At one point this DVD was only available to purchase for £19.99, now it's been digitised and uploaded it to YouTube for wildlife filmmakers and videographers to enjoy for free!
These webinars are part of Wildscreens' plans to launch an Emerging Talent scheme, which sets to improve inclusion and diversity in the natural history industry across the world.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the next generation of wildlife filmmakers, conservationists and photographers have missed out on key opportunities; opportunities for work experience, education, up-skilling and with limited access to equipment. The impact of the pandemic has only heightened the barriers to entry for individuals from marginalised communities and underrepresented groups. So, we have plans to empower the next generation of wildlife filmmakers and conservationists with inclusive mentoring, masterclasses and internship opportunities. This will initially be trialled in Bristol and the UK with a view to making it accessible with our global partners, making it a truly international offering.
Listen and learn from professionals such as Dan O’Neill and Chloë Mnatzaganian.
Winners of the RTS Student Television Awards 2021 announced
The winners of the national RTS Student Television Awards 2021, sponsored by Kinetic Content, have been announced.
The winners were crowned during a virtual ceremony held this afternoon on the RTS website, which was hosted by broadcast presenter and award-winning radio host, Vick Hope.
For 2021, the National Film and Television School received the highest number of wins across the 17 UK institutions nominated, taking home seven awards, followed by the Universities of Gloucestershire and Salford with three apeice. The inaugural Young Filmmaker Award was presented to Max Tobin, Ed Whyte, Joe Luk, Oli Thomas and Almir Datoo for their film I Will Despise You. The jury described the film as impressively made and ambitious, with the script being a triumph.
The awards celebrate the best audiovisual work created by students across the UK at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. This year students submitted an original film of their creation of up to 30 minutes in duration, for categories including Animation, Scripted, Non-Scripted for undergraduate entries, and Animation, Scripted, Non-Scripted, News, Entertainment and Natural History for postgraduates. Awards were also presented today for craft skills for both the undergraduate and postgraduate entries, including Camerawork, Editing, Production Design, Sound and Writing.
Siobhan Greene, Managing Director, 110% Content and Chair of the RTS Student Television Awards, said: “This year the juries had difficult decisions to make, narrowing down an extensive line-up of entries from all over the UK; even more impressive as many were produced under restricted conditions due to Covid. It's with a real sense of pride we recognise and celebrate the talent coming into the industry this afternoon. Our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners.”.
Postgraduate Natural History
WINNER – Secrets of the Salamanders
"The jury were impressed by the story, the strong visuals, a great use of archive footage with a great voice and tone. A strong opening captured your attention and the great photography throughout kept it."
Prince William announces details of the first-ever Earthshot Prize Awards in London
On the 25th of June, we are excited to announce that our first-ever awards ceremony will be taking place on Sunday 17 October, hosted at the iconic Alexandra Palace in London, with other famous landmarks across the UK’s capital city also part of the historic event.
Over the past six months, The Earthshot Prize, in collaboration with its Global Alliance network of over 200 Nominators, has been searching the world – from businesses to governments, grassroots initiatives and more – for solutions to our Earthshot challenges and identifying a final set of astounding innovations from every corner of the globe.
During The Earthshot Prize: London 2021 on 17 October, viewers around the world will have the chance to meet the individuals and teams behind these ground-breaking solutions, and see the first five winners of The Earthshot Prize receive their awards. These winning solutions will have the power to help repair our planet and improve life for people everywhere and each awardee will receive £1 million to scale their solutions.
The historic event will be broadcast in the UK on BBC One and to a global audience with a major broadcast partner, featuring show-stopping performances and never-before-seen musical collaborations.
“The Earthshot Prize: London 2021 is an unprecedented opportunity to inspire all Londoners and people around the world to be part of this global effort to repair our planet.”
- Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan
The next 10 years will be critical for the future of our planet. Across the decade-long lifespan of the Prize, nine more international cities will be transformed into Earthshot venues, showcasing the worldwide impact of the Prize and profiling the incredible people working to repair our planet. By the end of the decade, 10 global ceremonies will award fifty incredible winners with The Earthshot Prize.
This announcement comes just ahead of London Climate Action Week, taking place between the 26 June – 4 July, where London will host the largest independent climate festival in Europe, bringing together world-leading climate thinkers, professionals and communities to harness the power of London for global climate action.
“The awards ceremony will be a truly global event, connecting people from all over the world to celebrate these inspiring leaders and their innovations to solve the world’s greatest environmental challenges.”
- Prince William.
After the success of Borneo Jungle Diaries 2, Scubazoo are thrilled to announce the release of our latest new series: ‘Borneo Ocean Diaries’.
Our series will be hosted by Sabahan actress and presenter Alexandra Alexander. Join Alex as she steps out of the Jungles of Borneo and dives into the surrounding Oceans to explore this equally biodiverse and breath taking marine environment.
The series begins with Alex literally ‘taking the plunge’ as she immerses herself into her PADI Open Water dive course, before her pan Borneo marine exploration can truly begin. PADI certified Alex is then guided by KK’s very own Marine Research Foundation Team, headed by Dr. Nicolas Pilcher. Alex’s underwater adventures take her around Sabah discovering its marine wonders, learning about the creatures, people and scientists that are all connected by the ocean and how we can all help to protect it for the future.
Borneo Ocean Diaries (BOD) kicked off with the launch of the series trailer premiering 23rd May 2021 in conjunction with World Turtle Day - proceeded by 8 action-packed weekly online episodes.
ITV Studios adds to natural history slate as it takes Great Barrier Reef worldwide
ITV Studios has added to its fast-growing slate of blue-chip natural history programming by acquiring the international distribution rights to the breath-taking Great Barrier Reef: The Next Generation, which follows a cast of young marine explorers on an immersive journey into the frenzy of life on the reef, showcasing one of the most incredible wonders of our natural world and how human intervention can aid its regeneration.
This new documentary from Northern Pictures has been developed following Reef Live, a television event broadcast last year on ABC in Australia over the course of the weekend of the coral spawn – the largest mass breeding event on the planet. It enabled viewers to experience the coral spawn live in their own living room and now audiences across the world will be able to immerse themselves in the highlights of this celebration of life, as well as the wider ‘summer of love’ on the reef, through this one-hour special.
Featuring stunning footage of coral spawning, fish breeding, birds and turtles returning to islands to nest, Great Barrier Reef: The Next Generation celebrates the reef at a time of regeneration and renewal, and looks at how ground-breaking research is helping to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the reef for the future.
As the leading producers of natural history film-making in Australia, Northern Pictures is also behind another of the hit shows on ITV Studios’ slate, the multi award-winning blue-chip series Magical Land of Oz, co-produced with Oxford Scientific Films, part of ITV Studios. The series, which takes viewers on a journey from the country’s highest snowy peaks to the depths of its wild southern seas, has aired in 125 territories worldwide.
Cecilie Olsen, SVP, Global Content, Non-Scripted at ITV Studios said: “This is a truly wonderful documentary which will bring the Great Barrier Reef to life for viewers across the globe. The reef faces a difficult future so it’s fitting that we are able to introduce this show to the market on World Oceans Day and reveal the remarkable scientific research which has led to mankind giving it a helping hand with its regeneration.
“The show offers our buyers a unique story about this amazing natural structure, equally attractive as a standalone acquisition or as a logical fourth episode of Magical Land of Oz, which also explored Australia’s incredible coasts. It’s another stellar addition to our diverse and spectacular natural history offering.”
Great Barrier Reef: The Next Generation is produced and directed by Karina Holden, Head of Factual at Northern Pictures, and narrated by actress and co-host of Reef Live Brooke Satchwell (Seachange; Mr Inbetween).
Great Barrier Reef: The Next Generation joins ITV Studios’ ever-growing collection of spectacular natural history programming in its catalogue, which includes the forthcoming, highly-anticipated A Year on Planet Earth, Magical Land of Oz, India’s Wild Karnataka, Wild Tokyo, Attenborough’s Journey and Judi Dench’s Wild Borneo.
Nat Geo Sets High Bar for Diversity and Inclusion. Releases Detailed Production Standards and Benchmarks
Courteney Munro, National Geographic President Content released Nat Geo’s Content Inclusion Standards on June 8th.
The standards apply to feature docs, specials, series and scripted programs.
The Nature category is broken out for detailed coverage.
Our mission is to inspire, support, and elevate diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our daily work, storytelling, and content and product offerings, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Collectively, these Inclusion Standards provide benchmarks upon which our inclusion efforts and progress can be measured, and they serve as a vital expression of the value we place on inclusion as an organization.
Cover letter sent to producers:
I hope this note finds you doing well and staying safe and healthy. I am writing to share with you our newly established Inclusion Standards.
As you know, National Geographic has an over 133-year-old legacy of using the power of storytelling to change the world. But our story is only complete when everyone’s voice is included.
I believe it is important to use the influence we have as leaders in the entertainment industry to not only utter words, but also to make a commitment to act on them. To that end, we have established a new set of Inclusion Standards that we’re implementing across all of our Nat Geo owned and produced programming content to ensure multidimensional representation across the entire creative and production process.
These new guidelines are intended to make our content and productions as inclusive as possible, serving as a catalyst for real and sustained change. They also aim to increase the provision of training and development opportunities for underrepresented group members, and our engagement with under-served audiences. Our mission is to inspire, support, and elevate diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our daily work, storytelling, and content and product offerings, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Collectively, these Inclusion Standards provide benchmarks upon which our inclusion efforts and progress can be measured, and they serve as a vital expression of the value we place on inclusion as an organization.
While the Nat Geo Inclusion Standards apply to content owned and produced by Nat Geo, we strive to partner with external content creators whose own efforts similarly promote inclusivity for underrepresented groups in the industry. These Standards will be used as one reference point for whether those partners’ values are aligned with ours. To that end, we invite you to learn more about the Standards (attached), our commitment to inclusion, and ways that you can share your own inclusion efforts and progress with us. Should you choose to engage in efforts similar to these Standards, we would be happy to share resources and learnings from our journey with you.
We are committed to working with you to ensure our yellow border is a symbol of inclusion and truly represents diverse voices – behind the camera and in front – and is reflective of the audience that we aim to serve.
Our team of National Geographic creative executives is available to help you with any questions you may have.
Courteney Monroe President, Content National Geographic.
Also see The Climate Crisis Film Festival ... it bridges the knowledge-action gap, providing a systemic perspective behind the raw human stories of climate change.
Join in later in 2021
for the COP26, November 4th - 7th – We will be back for in-person screenings across three venues in Glasgow. We have something truly special lined up this year so watch this space!
November 1st - 12th
– In parallel with our in-person Glasgow festival, we'll be running a digital program on our online platform, open to audiences worldwide.
Historic moment as BBC Studios in Bristol announces a new home 28 May 2021
Natural History Unit and Factual Entertainment Bristol, known for some of the BBC’s most popular programmes will leave its Clifton site for a new home in the City Centre.
BBC Studios, the principal commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group has announced it is leaving its Bristol site on Whiteladies Road in Clifton and moving to a new home in the city centre.
Staff from the world-renowned Natural History Unit (NHU) and Factual Entertainment Bristol, which make some of the BBC's most popular programmes, including Antiques Roadshow, Countryfile, Gardeners' World and Bafta-award winning DIY SOS, will move to Bridgewater House in Finzels Reach, close to Temple Meads railway station.
Ralph Lee, Director of Content for BBC Studios, said: "Moving to a new production base in the centre of Bristol will enable us to continue to support and celebrate the creativity of the Natural History Unit and Factual Entertainment, build on our legacy and invest in our future.
"Bristol is the largest BBC Studios production base outside London and its indisputable success and ambition has empowered us to make this commercial investment. We want to grow our production business significantly and retain our position at the pinnacle of programme-making in a highly competitive global market."
Julian Hector, Head of BBC Studios NHU, said: "I'm so proud of the Natural History Unit's 64-year heritage, which has firmly established Bristol as the wildlife content production capital of the world.
"Our promise has always been to bring audiences emotionally closer to the natural world through story-telling craft and state of the art technology. In doing so, we show our responsibility to protect it.
"Now we are moving into a 21st century sustainable base in Bristol city centre, which will give our teams the best possible creative environment. For people who dream of giving the natural world a voice, our new home will become a beacon to join us."
BBC Studios Natural History Unit currently has more than 25 projects in production for clients such as BBC, Apple, Discovery, Nat Geo and NBCUniversal. It has been based on Whiteladies Road since its formation in 1957. During that time, the NHU has made pioneering series and awarding winning programmes such as Planet Earth and Blue Planet II, which have transformed the way global audiences see the natural world.
Also moving to the new production base is Factual Entertainment Bristol, which alongside long-running TV favourites is also the creative force behind BBC One’s Countryfile, Nigella: Cook, Eat, Repeat for BBC Two, Inside the Duchy for ITV, Party at the Plaza for Channel 4 and a growing digital business producing content for clients including Pinch of Nom and YouTube.
Sallie Bevan, Head of Production, Factual Entertainment Bristol, said: "Our incredible teams make programmes which are watched by millions of people every week, and it is more important than ever for us to represent and be relevant to our audiences.
"Our new home in Bristol city centre will allow us to do our best creative work and bring us closer to our audience and enable us to connect with new and diverse talent from across the region.
"We have many fantastic memories of Whiteladies Road but moving to the new building will allow us to carry on growing our business."
BBC Studios Bristol will lease three floors of Bridgewater House in Finzels Reach. A refit of the office will begin as soon as possible, and staff will start to move at the end of the year or early 2022.
The rest of the BBC's staff in the city, including teams working on Radio Bristol, Points West and programmes for Radio 4, will remain at Whiteladies Road while future options are explored.
Greta Thunberg in New Film: If We Don’t Stop Exploiting Animals, “We Are F*cked”
Vegan climate activist Greta Thunberg’s new short film For Nature urges viewers to go plant-based to save the planet.
On May 22nd, animal-rights group Mercy for Animals (MFA) debuted For Nature, a new short film starring vegan climate activist Greta Thunberg. In the hard-hitting five-minute film, Thunberg explains all of the ways in which human exploitation of animals and the planet have led to health crises such as COVID-19 and environmental catastrophes. Thunberg’s narration, supplanted with gripping images of destruction, points to the interconnectedness of the way humans treat animals and the planet and the consequences they face as a result.
Thunberg is known for her unapologetic approach to educating the public about the urgency of fighting the climate crisis and the 18-year-old vegan does not hold back in For Nature. “The climate crisis, the ecological crisis, the health crises, they are all interlinked,” she says in the film. “We no longer see the links between them … I would like to connect the dots because let’s face it, if we don’t change, we’re f*cked.”
Thunberg on animal agriculture
In For Nature, Thunberg points out that while fossil fuels are seen as the “villians” of the climate crisis, animal agriculture—which contributes to one-fourth of total greenhouse gas emissions—is often ignored.
Approximately 30 percent of the world’s ice-less land mass is used for animal agriculture and 33 percent of all cropland is used to grow food for those animals. Thunberg explains that if everyone were to adopt a plant-based diet, we would save up to 8 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually and use 76 percent less land.
“The climate crisis is just one symptom of the sustainability crisis we face: We have industrialized life on Earth and broken our relationship with nature,” she said. “More frequent and devastating pandemics, biodiversity loss, and the climate crisis are all connected to this root cause. This is why we need to rethink how we value and treat nature in order to safeguard future and present living conditions for life on Earth. We all, of course, have different opportunities and responsibilities, but most of us can at least do something—no matter how small.”
For Nature is Greta Thungberg’s idea
Released in honor of International Day for Biological Diversity (May 22), Thunberg conceptualized the film and script herself and MFA supported the costs of production, donated footage, and provided research to support Thunberg’s vision. To create the film, Thunberg approached award-winning filmmaker Tom Mustill who previously worked with leading conservationists such as Sir David Attenborough.
“Mercy For Animals is proud to partner with Greta to raise awareness of the interconnectedness of all beings on our planet,” John Seber, Senior Vice President of Advocacy at MFA, said. “Every single one of us can be part of transforming our food system and repairing our relationship with nature. For those of us with food choices, we can eat like our world depends on it. We can stop subsidizing unhealthy and environmentally destructive animal products and help farmers transition to a plant-based farming model that is better for their livelihoods, local communities, the environment, and the animals. We are all part of nature and can be part of nature protecting itself.”
According to Greta Thunberg, the cost of an industrialized food system is clear—the destruction of our planet. In a new video, sponsored by Mercy For Animals, Greta raises the question, will we take action before it's too late? Visit: fornature.earth
“The climate crisis is just one symptom of the sustainability crisis we face: We have industrialized life on Earth and broken our relationship with nature.” Environmental activist Greta Thunberg is teaming up with Mercy For Animals to speak out about animal agriculture and highlight its connection to the environmental crisis.
As part of Peter Brownlee's "Chew Valley People" series, Chew Magna's Richard Brock gets interviewed at home.
"Richard worked for the BBC Natural History Unit for 35 years producing among other things David Attenborough's Living Planet and Trials of Life. But he became increasingly concerned that wildlife shows were not telling the whole story. When he left the BBC he set up the Brock Initiative and began making his own films about the growing crisis he saw in the natural world. He has now published a book called Planet Crunchwhich brings together his views and ideas about where we are now. Filmed in April 2021."
Peter Brownlee is an editor at the BBC NHU. His personal production company is called Chew Valley Films … See: chewvalleyfilms.com
New book Hidden shows why animal photojournalism really matters right now
This emerging genre focuses on humankind’s relationship with nature – and these images are not for the faint-hearted
“Animal Photojournalism is extremely urgent and relevant to the issues of today,” says Jo-Anne McArthur, an award-winning Canadian photographer, journalist and campaigner.
She has coined the term Animal Photojournalism (APJ) for an emerging genre of photography that focuses on people’s relationship with nature and highlights the suffering of billions of animals on the planet from human activities, including factory farms, breeding facilities and animal experimentation.
The abuse of nature isn’t just bad for animals; it’s impacting all of our lives, from climate change to the global pandemic (said to have come from bats or pangolins in China’s wildlife markets). McArthur is also the author of Hidden: Animals In The Anthropocene and the founder of We Animals Media.
We sat down with her to discuss animal photojournalism, and why it is so important.
How do you define Animal Photojournalism?
I call it an emerging genre, coming out of a number of different kinds of photography. Wildlife photography became a lot more about conservation photography, but conservation photography still excludes a number of animals, namely domestic animal and the billions of animals in labs and factory farms.
Because these animals are sentient and relevant, Animal Photojournalism likes to include all of them. That’s why we call them the ‘hidden’ animals, - they’re hidden from the public conscience, hidden from the media. We’re trying to bring those animals and stories forward.
It's also a mix of a bit of conflict photography and street photography.
"When I travel I love exploring galleries and exhibits. For obvious reasons I haven’t done that these last 14 months, and was so pleasantly surprised with our recent collaboration with f³ - freiraum für fotografie, who created a 360° virtual photography tour for HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene. Taking the tour felt like I was immersed in a trendy exhibition in Berlin."
For the project HIDDEN– Animals in the Anthropocene, 40 photographers have joined forces, including some of the world’s best-known wildlife photographers, such as Daniel Beltrá, Aaron Gekoski and Britta Jaschinski. 5€ (free on Mondays) and about 15 minutes. Go on Tour >>
Today (21/5/21) is Endangered Species Day and we want to shine a light on the passionate people dedicating their lives to saving them. One person truly can make a difference to the fate of the world's wildlife. One person who has proven this is Carl Jones.
Meet the maverick
Carl is Durrell's Chief Scientist. He has been working to save endangered wildlife on the islands of Mauritius and Rodrigues for over 40 years, and is responsible for bringing at least nine species back from the brink of extinction. Not only has he saved five bird species, but he is also responsible for 19% of all avoided bird extinctions globally. Watch this inspirational short film about Carl – The Birdman. Watch now
Carl has directly saved more endangered species from extinction than anyone else. In addition to the birds he has saved, he has also rescued three reptile species, helped to restore nine degraded offshore islands, and led the recovery of the Rodrigues fruit bat from just six to over 10,000. In 2016, Carl was deservedly awarded the Indianapolis Prize – the Nobel Prize of conservation. Hear Carl's story in his own words. Watch now
Education has the power to improve the health of our planet and drive widespread change for nature. The Carl Jones Scholarship enables the brightest conservationists to achieve their full potential and make a difference to the fate of the world's rarest wildlife. We need more Carls in the world. Together, we can empower the next generation of conservation leaders. Support now.
Wasteminster: A Downing Street Disaster – Greenpeace
The UK government wants to be seen as a leader in tackling plastic pollution. They keep saying the right things but what they’re doing is harming people, wildlife and our oceans.
We’ve made a video that washes away all of their plastic hypocrisy, can you help expose the UK government and watch and share this video?
The UK is still the 2nd biggest producer of plastic waste per person behind the USA. Because the UK can’t deal with all the plastic waste we’re producing, the government is dumping it on other countries who can’t cope either.
But plastic isn’t just harming wildlife and our oceans, it’s causing a health emergency for people too. The plastic waste offloaded onto other countries is often dumped and burned in the open air. Nearby communities in Malaysia are reporting serious health problems like respiratory issues, nosebleeds and headaches. While we have all lived through a health emergency over the past year, our government has been fuelling another for longer.
Less than 10% of the UK’s household plastic packaging is actually recycled in the UK. And today, a new Greenpeace investigation has found British waste - British supermarket brands - being dumped and burned in the open air in Turkey. It’s illegal for the government to send plastic waste to countries if it’s not going to be recycled. This is happening while the government claims to be a leader in tackling plastic pollution.
The UK government must act like the plastic leaders it claims to be and stop dumping our plastic waste on other countries, and fix the plastic crisis. Can you help pile the pressure on them by watching and sharing this video?
The government knows plastic is a popular issue, that’s why they want to be seen as leaders on tackling it. By watching and sharing this video we can put the pressure on, and show them that we see through their empty words and want meaningful, proper action on plastic that protects people, and the planet.
Discovery’s EMMY NOMINATED Series SERENGETI Returns this Summer by Discovery
13 May 2021
ORIGINAL CREATIVE TEAM IS BACK INCLUDING EMMY-WINNERS SIMON FULLER AND JOHN DOWNER AND ACADEMY AWARD WINNER AND EMMY NOMINATED STORYTELLER LUPITA NYONG’O
This summer, Discovery journeys back to the vast, nearly untouched plains of Tanzania revisiting some of our favorite faces and meeting new ones along the way in SERENGETI II. The ground-breaking series highlights the majestic animals who call the Serengeti their home and their day-to-day lives living together. Created and produced by Emmy®-winner Simon Fuller (“American Idol,” “So You Think You Can Dance”) and directed and produced by Emmy®-winning wildlife filmmaker John Downer (“Penguin: Spy in The Huddle”), the continuation of the six-part series gives unrivaled access to one of the most pristine and unspoiled corners of Africa. Featuring a lush original score and narrated by Academy Award®-winning and Emmy® nominated actress Lupita Nyong’o, the revolutionary series follows the heartwarming stories of a cast of African wildlife including lions, zebras, baboons and cheetahs over the course of a year, showcasing the dramatic moments that make each day of survival on the Serengeti a feat. The upcoming season will air across Discovery platforms later this summer.
When it launched in 2019, the premiere episode of SERENGETI debuted as the highest-rated nature documentary on all of television since Discovery’s North America in May 2013 among P25-54, earning a 1.20 L+3 rating on Discovery. In addition, the premiere episode of the series reached 6.3 million total viewers across all airings on all Discovery networks including Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel and Discovery en Español. The series earned two Emmy nominations including one for Nyong’o for Best Narrator.
“We are thrilled to be traveling back to one of the most magical places on Earth. It is an honor to be part of these animals’ lives, following them a year later and to be introduced to new friends along the way,” says Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer, Factual and Discovery. “Simon and John are renowned storytellers and they have once again delivered the next level of this one-of-a-kind series.”
It is the following year, and many of our loveable familiar faces are back – Kali, Sefu, Nalla, Tembo, Bakari and Shani – are living their lives in their beautiful world. And as the world turns, so does the circle of life as we are introduced to Aiysha, daughter of season 1’s KiKay and her cubs along with Shani’s stallion Punda, the leader and protector of the family and father to all of the babies.
Fuller and Downer continue their collaboration on the second season of SERENGETI and have welcomed the entire team back including composer Will Gregory and serene storyteller Lupita Nyong’o. Their work captures the experience of Africa’s unimaginable beauty with its equally unforgiving brutality, highlighting daily challenges of life on the Serengeti.
“Making season one with our partners at Discovery was a dream come true and now with season two, the dream shines brighter than ever. John Downer’s extraordinary filmmaking has captured even more incredible footage and with the inspirational voice of Lupita Nyong’o the storytelling touches your soul like never before. I can’t wait to share the stunning beauty of the Serengeti once again with the world,” says Simon Fuller.
Director John Downer adds, “It is a thrill to share with the world the lives of these incredible creatures and even more rewarding to present them to audiences around the globe. Many of us have been unable to travel for quite some time but we kept filming. We can’t wait to bring the majestic scenery and the daily dramas of these beautiful animals to people’s homes.”
In SERENGETI II, the world’s most captivating animals try to survive in the beautiful, demanding lands of Eastern Africa, stopping at nothing to protect their offspring and prove their worthiness to their families.
SERENGETI is made by XIX Entertainment and John Downer Productions. It was commissioned for the BBC by Jack Bootle, Lead Commissioning Editor. BBC Studios is distributed globally.
Synopsis: during a whole year of observing the bears, we will show the hidden connections between a lone tree, an animal and the whole ecosystem. The viewer will be given an opportunity to peek into the ancient home of thousands of beings, to experience the pace of the inhabitants' lives, to feel the rigidity and delicacy of its construction. Our film will tell the story of the challenges in the demanding life of the Asiatic black bear. We will visit the remaining intact Ussuri forests of Russia where the species is still considered a common occurrence.
Synopsis: old-growth forests are among the most important unaltered areas that have been with us since prehistoric times. Such untouched islands of forest, rather moderate in their size, are located in a few nature reserves and national parks in Russia, where a common visitor may not be able to enter. Our film provides a rare opportunity to observe the forests that have not suffered from hundreds of years of human disturbance. We will travel through the main types of Russian forests to understand how they control life on our planet: through oxygen production and carbon fixation, soil formation and water retention they affect the climate and preserve biodiversity. As landscapes and seasons change, we encounter numerous inhabitants of the forests — mammals, birds, insects, other invertebrates, plants and fungi.
Film-maker and naturalist Craig Foster, over the course of a year, follows a wild common octopus in a South Africa kelp forest.
By tracking her movements daily, Foster develops a deeper understanding of the sea creature and her environment and relays the impact of this experience on his life.
Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday spoke with My Octopus Teacher directors Pippa Ehrlich and Jim Reed.
Uncovering undersea mysteries in My Octopus Teacher
Netflix’s My Octopus Teacher, a nature documentary chronicling the incredible friendship between a filmmaker and an octopus, charmed audiences across the globe. The insightful and fascinating film brought people together last year during an unprecedented and uncertain time. The film has won multiple awards this season, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, ACE Eddie Award for Best Edited Documentary (Feature), and BAFTA Award for Best Documentary.
Watch the Untold Story from Oscar and Bafta Award-winning My Octopus Teacher
On WaterBear, watch an exclusive interview with Oscar winners Ellen Windemuth and Craig Foster. Find out more about the untold story of My Octopus Teacher. Craig and Ellen reflect on their 20 years of friendship - from how they met to the projects they worked on together, culminating with the creation of the film.
The news that My Octopus Teacher had won an Oscar for the Best Documentary at the 93rd Academy Awards was met with elation in the Cape Peninsula’s Deep South where naturalist, film-maker and co-star Craig Foster lives and freedives. But underpinning the film was his relationship with two University of Cape Town (UCT) marine biologists, Foster’s science and marine tracking mentors.
They are friend and fellow seashore explorer Charles Griffiths, now an emeritus professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, and UCT alumnus Dr Jannes Landschoff, who is listed as scientific advisor on My Octopus Teacher.
Some years before Foster encountered his octopus co-star, he’d learned how to track and understand marine life in False Bay’s rich intertidal region in the company of the scientists. Foster is involved in the Sea Change Project, a not-for-profit organisation with a mandate to conserve the oceans and human origin heritage. In an interview with UCT News in 2017, Foster recounted how his job as a wildlife film-maker and advocate for the oceans came from his ability to communicate science in “pictures and stories”.
But it was while he was living and hunting with the San that he realised his access to the ecosystem and its biology was very limited.
“They track with sound, so they can find animals kilometres away. Because their hearing is phenomenal and they speak the languages of animals, birds and insects, I felt I was in a silent world and they were in a world of gigantic symphony.
“But I wasn’t able to speak that science language very well and Charles kindly offered to let me join him and Jannes,” he said.
And with Griffiths’s 50 years of scholarship and big-picture thinking, this was immersion of a different kind. The San also taught him that there were no shortcuts to deep connection.
Swati Thiyagarajan, the environmental journalist and production manager of My Octopus Teacher talks about the Oscar Award-winning documentary, how an octopus helped her husband and the protagonist-producer of the documentary Craig Foster overcome a tough phase in his life.
Directed By Pippa Ehrlich & James Reed
Produced By Craig Foster
Director Of Photography Roger Horrocks & Craig Foster
Executive Producer Ellen Windemuth
Sound Design Barry Donnelly
Original Music Kevin Smuts
Consultant Editor Jinx Godfrey
Editors Pippa Ehrlich & Dan Schwalm
Colorist Kyle Stroebel
Underwater Photography Craig Foster
Topside Photography Warren Smart
Aerial Photography Tom Foster
Additional Photography Pippa Ehrlich & Dave Aenme
Written By Pippa Ehrlich & James Reed
Additional Music Mathew Dennis, Tom Foster & Ronan Skillen
Sound Recording Louw Verwoerd, Hilton Auffray & Tom Foster
Production Manager Swati Thiyagarajan
Scientific Advisers Emeritus Professor Charles Griffiths, Dr Jannes Landschoff & Professor Jennifer Mather
Associate Producers Swati Thiyagarajan, Ross Frylinck & Carina Frankal
Production Assistant Faine Loubser
Production Finance Foster Brothers Film
For Off The Fence
Head Of Production Karen Meehan
Production Manager Stuart Hoole
Production Secretary Charlotte Kingdom
Co-executive Producers Allison Bean & Andrew Zikking
Associate Producers Sam Barton-humphreys & Ludo Dufour
General Counsel Michelle Bruce
Production Finance Marcel Derksen, Menno Fennema
Graphics & Titles Max Phillips
FOR REFINERY POST PRODUCTION
Digital Imaging Producer Jade Kohler
Post Supervisor Lauren Van Rensburg
Mastering Technician Armien Baradien
Conform Editor Danielle Nel
Online Editor Lamees Martin
AUDIO POST PRODUCTION FACILITY
Foley Artist Charl Mostert
Technical Support Lynne Brennan, Michael Brennan, Tom Osborn
ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE & PHOTOS COURTESY OF:
Foster Brothers Film
Sara Edelson, Michael Raimondo, Parker Family, Mapula Trust, Prannoy Roy, Rhadika Roy, Louis Herman, Anthony Mitchell, Brian Bergman, Friedl Le Roux, Yvette Oosthuizen, Deirdre Sims, Michael Sims, Scott Ramsay, Jerry Lemba Lemba, Toren Wing, Jason Boswell, Miguel Oliveira, Aimee Kuhl, Danielle Ehrlich, Lisa Beasley, Mike Duffet, Erik Meijer, Georgia Thompson, Ian Mcallum, Mike Nortje, John Chambers, Monica Rorvick, Craig Fraser, Libby Doyle, Christopher Henshilwood, Colin Bell, Diana Foster, Keith Foster, Natasha Dryden
In a year of finding unique solutions, the International Wildlife Film Festival announced the award winners for its 44th festival as part of a Pop-up Installation. Winning titles were projected onto the First Montana Bank building in downtown Missoula on Friday evening under the big Montana sky.
The winners of the festival were chosen from over 300 submissions. The sixty-five 2021 films were selected by an international jury consisting of filmmakers, producers, field biologists, conservationists, cinephiles, teachers, and University of Montana graduate students specializing in environmentally-focused or wildlife biology studies. A jury of three Final Judges made the final decisions for 11 categories, the Best of Festival award, and any special consideration awards. The 2021 Final Judges--Janet Han Vissering, Senior Vice President of development and production at National Geographic Wild, Ami Vitale, Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic Magazine photographer and filmmaker, and writer and curator Pipaluk Lykke--selected the winners.
For the first time in IWFF’s 44-year history, a student film was selected for the Best of Festival Award. UK filmmaker George Pretty's Life on the Rocks short film tells the important tale of an ancient volcanic island, home to the world’s largest colony of gannets: the Bass Rock. For three years in the 1960s, June Nelson and her late husband Bryan called it their home, studying the birds and their behaviors. The short film is built around June's reflections on experiences with her late husband among the gannets.
“This film encompasses so much of what IWFF stands for in its homage to impactful scientific research while grounding the film in the humanity of June Nelson's stories of the past,” says IWFF Artistic Director Carrie Richer. “The impeccable black-and-white cinematography is a testament to the many years George Pretty put in as a camera assistant before getting his Masters.”
All winning films from the 44th International Wildlife Film Festival are listed below. Viewers can watch Life on The Rocks including a conversation with George Pretty, among other IWFF selections, until May 15th. Single tickets, 5-punch,10-punch, and Full Passes are available. The festival closes with one more Pop-up installation at Caras Park on May 14th, 8-10pm.
WINNER: Life On The Rocks Directed and Produced by George Pretty – NFTS – for the first time in IWFF's 44-year history, a student film was selected for the Best of Festival!
At the mouth of the Firth of Forth in Scotland sits an ancient volcanic island, home to the world’s largest colony of gannets: the Bass Rock. For three years in the 1960s, June Nelson and her late husband Bryan called it their home, studying the birds and their behaviors. June reflects upon their time together and the catastrophic loss of global seabird populations in the years since.
Short-Short - A short film under 10 minutes in length.
New Vision - Any program that displays an innovative, forward-thinking interpretation of filmmaking within this traditional genre offering a new vision of what wildlife filmmaking can be and how these stories are told.
Living with Wildlife - Any program that focuses on the complex and interdependent relationship between humans, animals, and the environment.
WINNER: Home For All Directed by Wasis Wardhana and Produced by Fahrul Amama
Animal Behavior - Any program that includes especially notable footage of animal behavior that is rare, impactful in terms of our understanding of the natural world or was captured using innovative techniques.
WINNER: Leopard Legacy
Directed by Will Steenkamp & Lianne Steenkamp and Produced by Kurt Mayer and Will Steenkamp
Wildlife Conservation - A program with a strong conservation message that follows the future of a species, highlights newfound biological research, represents the scientific process accurately and presents solutions for the betterment of wildlife sustainability.
WINNER: After the Wildfires Directed by Cian O'Clery and Produced by Karina Holden for Northern Pictures
Sustainable Planet - A program focused on our current climate crisis and its impacts on our natural world. Films may address growing public awareness and education, experimenting with innovative solutions or profiling activism toward a more sustainable planet.
Directed by Jacob Morrison and Produced by Jacob Morrison, Kurt Kittleson, and Sam Furie
Special Jury Awards
The 2021 Final Jury awarded two films special recognitions beyond the established IWFF categories for their displays of excellence in the field.
From the Jury: This short film is a powerful reminder that a small group of individuals can change the world. Sonam and Tshiring lead a new generation of filmmakers capturing our world's imperiled landscape with the hope that resilience can affect the natural world. These filmmakers are asking some of the biggest and most important questions and deserve to be recognized.
The Condor and the Eagle
Directed by Sophie Guerra and Clement Guerra and Produced by Douglas Blush, Alexandra Johnes, and Janet MacGillivray Wallace
From the Jury: From Alaska to the Amazon, this film reminds us all that the impacts of climate change are felt first and most profoundly by indigenous groups and women. In an era of ever-present stories of environmental decline and catastrophe, this film reminds us that the greatest source of hope is found in ordinary people speaking in unison to demand that the health of our planet, our home, be made a priority.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL!
IWFF exists to champion wildlife filmmakers and inspire a new generation to challenge conventional expectations about how we conserve wildlife and habitat. Founded in 1977 at the University of Montana IWFF is the first and longest-running event of its kind. In 2002, the festival purchased the historic Roxy Theater as its home. In 2013 The Roxy launched its year-round screening series and began an extensive collaboration with the university, businesses, and community, serving a diverse, all-ages population with broad programming. IWFF embraces its home inside The Roxy Theater and as the heart of the Missoula community.
Emerging Talent Breakthroughs: Getting In and Getting On in the Natural History Industry
This webinar is part of Wildscreen's plans to launch an Emerging Talent scheme, which sets to improve inclusion and diversity in the natural history industry across the world.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the next generation of wildlife filmmakers, conservationists and photographers have missed out on key opportunities; opportunities for work experience, education, up-skilling and with limited access to equipment.
The impact of the pandemic has only heightened the barriers to entry for individuals from marginalised communities and underrepresented groups. So, we have plans to empower the next generation of wildlife filmmakers and conservationists with inclusive mentoring, masterclasses and internship opportunities. This will initially be trialled in Bristol and the UK with a view to making it accessible with our global partners, making it a truly international offering.
British Bangladesh ornithologist, environmentalist and campaigner for equal rights, Mya-Rose Craig, aka Birdgirl opens the event with a pre-recorded video. You can watch this here.
Joining the panel was Dee Hassan, who recently joined renowned Bristol based independent production company, Icon Films as a Runner earlier this year, followed by Emilie Ehrhardt, who is an international student currently studying an MA in Wildlife Filmmaking at the University of the West of England and is actively working on her own wildlife filming and photography projects. Finally, we had established wildlife presenter, independent filmmaker and PhD candidate biologist, Dan O’Neill, who recently directed and presented a 4-part series for BBC Earth exploring the conservation of snow leopards in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan.
What a Wonderful World: Showcasing the planet in a time of Crisis
At the end of 2020, Filmmakers for Future: Wildlife conducted a survey - The Big Discussion - to better understand the views of wildlife filmmakers on their role in communicating the climate and biodiversity crises - with 90% believing that Natural history programmes have a duty to report on the true current state of the natural world.
So what does this mean for our programmes going forward? Can we engage audiences with the enormity of the climate crisis without them turning off? Should there be space to just make beautiful stories about the natural world? Is it possible to make responsible, impactful, engaging creative content that manages to deliver everything?
Speakers: Tom Mustill - Gripping Films (Chair)
Tom Coveney - BBC Commissioning
Editor - Science & Horizon
Wendy Darke - Founder & CEO - True to Nature
Fredi Devas - Producer / Director
Faith Musembi - Producer / Director - Faimus Films
Cherique Pohl - Founder & Director IMPACTWILD
Lisa Rose - Head of Impact, WaterBear
Their aims are to collaborate on ways of reducing the environmental impact of wildlife filmmaking and to encourage content that raises awareness of the climate and biodiversity crisis, and which inspires real change.
albert is the screen industry authority on environmental sustainability. Founded in 2011, the project supports the industry in eliminating its environmental impact as well as developing on-screen content that is compatible with a sustainable climate.
A BAFTA, indie and broadcaster backed project, albert is proudly industry funded, meaning all our activities are available at the lowest possible cost to organisations and zero cost to individuals.
With events, online tools and training, practical guidance and thought leadership, albert is enabling all screen industry professions to identify and act upon opportunities on and off screen, for effective climate action.
To learn more about albert and what they're doing to help the industry head to wearealbert.org
The first Mammalz Community Spotlight was a success!
Watch a few of the magical moments that happened when 15 creators from 5 continents came together this on Sunday April 18th, to share the power of community and the potential of live storytelling to make a difference for the natural world. Together, we laughed and learned and were inspired to connect to the natural world and each other. Plus, we exceeded our goal and raised $1,150 for Cool Earth to support Food Sovereignty and Sustainable Farming in their Ashaninka Project in Peru. That's pretty powerful.
‘King’s Speech’ producer Gareth Ellis-Unwin takes crowdfunding route for wildlife drama ‘Cheetah’
Gareth Ellis-Unwin’s Bedlam Film Productions is gearing up to shoot wildlife drama Cheetah and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to support pre-production.
Ellis-Unwin is the Bafta and Oscar-winning UK producer of The King’s Speech and has partnered with environmental and arts organisation Oustanding.Global on the feature, which is set to begin filming in the Middle East and Balkans this autumn subject to Covid-19 restrictions.
The script has been written by playwright and conservationist Ric Edelman. Inspired by true events, the dramatic thriller follows a poacher turned conservationist who fights to protect the rare Asiatic Cheetah, of which fewer than 50 remain in the deserts of Iran.
A Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign has now launched to raise funds for the project, with an initial target of £75,000 ($100,000), which will support location scouting, further development of the script and casting. Fortnightly insight sessions will be held between the filmmakers and supporters, who will be granted access to follow the progress of the film throughout the process.
It’s not inevitable that the Asiatic CHEETAH will become extinct, but it is highly likely unless mammoth action is taken NOW including changing the hearts and minds of the local men who poach the cheetah’s dwindling prey. In 2014 their estimated number stood at around 70.Today it’s believed the surviving number of the Asiatic cheetah has dropped to fewer than 50.
Sir David Attenborough: did you mislead me? by Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski
14 April 2021
Those stories you told; of smoky jungles filled with exotic animals, of untouched coral reefs overflowing with life, of African plains dominated by millions of migrating animals and awaiting predators. These weren’t fictitious lands. This was real: this was planet Earth. Or so I thought.
In 2009, seduced by these visions, I bought a cheap camera and left behind corporate life in London and headed to Africa on a one-way ticket. My goal was to document the beauty of the natural world and share it with as many people as possible.
It turned out that things weren’t always as they seemed on those BBC documentaries. Everywhere I turned, wildlife was under pressure. Animals were losing their homes to deforestation, targeted for body parts or to create bogus medicines, hunted unsustainably, or kept in cages for our personal amusement or financial gain.
Documenting these stories became my focus. I would spend the next decade travelling to some of the most remote places on the planet, often working undercover, writing about, filming, and photographing human-animal conflict.
I lived with shark fishermen in Mozambique, trained as a wildlife ranger in Zimbabwe and Borneo, and went on a military-style mission to expose Namibia’s annual seal cull. There was a trip to track the ‘tortoise mafia’ through Madagascar’s sacred forests, and another to document the dog-drowning dungeons in Cambodia.
I’ve spent recent years working to expose cruelty in the exotic pet trade and Wildlife Tourism industry, and been subjected to scenes that no one should witness; images that are burned into my brain. In the process of working on these projects, I’ve seen the worst of humanity, and also the best.
The stories contained within ANIMOSITY provide a snapshot of human-animal conflict in today’s ever-changing world; complex, multifaceted issues that often lead to more questions than answers.
Would you fin a shark to support your family? Is killing and eating dogs any worse than chickens? Why does one animal make a suitable pet and not another? Can we condemn ancient traditions and practices that involve the sacrifice of critically endangered animals?
It is the role of photojournalists to document and then to broadcast the truth, without judgment. Well, mostly without judgment. I look at the photograph as a modern day fossil: a permanent reminder of a planet in flux, and a record of what may soon be lost forever.
Animals have always been viewed as commodities to eat, exploit or enjoy. It’s going to take a monumental effort to change perceptions and reverse the statistics. But we cannot continue on the path that we’re on, because sometimes - as we are witnessing in the face of a global pandemic - the animals bite back.
So sit back, enjoy, shed a tear, and be repulsed or inspired by some of the stories contained within AMIMOSITY.
And to Sir David – who has shifted focus from celebrant of the natural world to its fierce defender – you’re my hero.
This is Environmental Photojournalist Aaron 'Bertie’ Gekoski's Introduction to his latest book ANIMOSITY – Human-Animal Conflict in the 21st Century.
We say: ANIMOSITY is a brilliant title for this book ... "Human-Animal Conflict in the 21st Century" is an huge problem in our ever-expanding human world but it is mostly out of our sight, hidden away in far-flung places as we continue to encroach on the natural world, using and abusing it until it screams and breaks. Aaron is really an hero for shining a light on these atrocities, born out of wildly different cultural perspectives and complex socio-economic situations. Those that choose to read this stunning book will undoubtedly encounter feelings of "animosity" but also a greater understanding of our dire impacts on animals, the natural world and a keen desire to do something about it. JP
Richard Brock's PLANET CRUNCH is here! by Jason Peters
7 April 2021
PLANET CRUNCH The Life (or Death?) of Planet Earth by Richard Brock is ambitious project of 3 x 25-minute films on YouTube and Vimeo, plus a book. It's another attempt to draw attention to the challenges we all face; especially involving biodiversity. Uniquely…all…together. Now.
Planet Crunch – The Life (or Death?) of Planet Earth is a unique perspective on planet Earth at crunch-time. Based on how the media have lifted the natural world to the front-page headlines, the book is richly illustrated, packed with commentary on wildlife, natural resources, impacts of global politics, population, climate change and our future.
Richard Brock, filmmaker, author and publisher, has created a book for everyone. He describes it as political, challenging, cheeky, significant, educational and even rude! A publication that is both up-to-date and down-to-earth.
It’s for all those who are concerned about the future at this time of “Planet Crunch”.
Pre-order a FREE copy for your bookshelf or give as a gift. And please extend the project – pass on this offer to friends and contacts and like/share on all your social media.
Donations to charity will be welcomed. If you would like to contribute – say £10 – to Richard’s preferred charity local charity, the Avon Wildlife Trust, based close to where he lives, near Bristol, or to a charity of your choice, please do so. These days many charities need income to help continue projects around the world.
Uniquely ... Altogether ... Now ... The Life (or death?) of Planet Earth - Planet Crunch covers Nature and Us, Population, The Media, Tourism, Money, Waster and Plastic, Climate Change, Conservation, Energy, Water, Food, Biodiversity, Shopping, Farming, Forests and Fishing.
Introducing Ralph, the new spokes-bunny of the global campaign to ban animal testing for cosmetics. #SaveRalph is a powerful stop-motion animation short film produced by Humane Society International, featuring an all-star multinational cast including Taika Waititi, Ricky Gervais, Zac Efron, Olivia Munn, Pom Klementieff, Rodrigo Santoro, Tricia Helfer and more. hsi.global/SaveRalph
Save Ralph is a powerful stop-motion animation short film featuring Oscar winner Taika Waititi as the voice of Ralph, who is being interviewed for a documentary as he goes through his daily routine as a “tester” in a lab.
HSI’s #SaveRalph? campaign tackles the cruelty of animal testing in an original and unexpected way—using the story of one bunny to shine a light on the plight of countless rabbits and other animals in laboratories around the world.
While Ralph is animated, the miseries he endures in the short film are far from made up. As Spencer Susser, the director of Save Ralph, says, “It's so important that Ralph feels real because he represents countless real animals who suffer every day.”
Susser, known for his film Hesher, is among a slate of powerhouse celebrities and influencers who collaborated with Humane Society International on the making of Save Ralph. In addition to Waititi as Ralph and Gervais as the interviewer, the film has Zac Efron as Bobby, Olivia Munn as Marshmallow, Pom Klementieff as Cinnamon and Tricia Helfer as Cottonballs.
Producer Jeff Vespa (Voices of Parkland) teamed up with the Arch Model studio of puppet maker supreme Andy Gent (Isle of Dogs, The Grand Budapest Hotel) on the production.
Sign the #BeCrueltyFree pledge for a global end to animal testing for cosmetics: hsi.global/SaveRalph
The submission period for this competition is open until Saturday 15 May. You can submit as many films as you wish. Free registration can be done with the online form on our website.
The 27th edition of the Festival International Nature Namur will be taking place from Friday 15 to Sunday 24 October 2021. It will propose public shows with a selection of films dedicated to Nature and Wildlife in optimal conditions:
Comfortable cinema theatres
The latest audio-visual technologies
Within the frame of these public shows, the Festival is organising a Professional Film Competition. This competition is open to films dedicated to the discovery, the observation, the protection and the conservation of Wildlife and also to environmental problems.
What are the terms to participate? This competition is reserved for professional films produced after the 1st January 2019, dedicated to nature and the environment. Find all the terms in the rules of the competition.
A COMPETITION DEDICATED TO FILMS OF 1 MINUTE MAXIMUM!
Competition open to ultra-short films dedicated to Nature and Wildlife in different forms : humorous, poetic, sequence shot, report, advertising, animation, fiction, etc.
Originality is preferred!
The submission period for the ultra-short film competition 2021 is open until Sunday 15 August.
Registration for this competition is free and is done online on our website.
The “ultra-short” category is open to professional and amateur filmmakers for movies with a maximum length of one minute. For this section, the Festival also accepts publicity films, humorous sequences and clips that respect the theme of nature. Find all the conditions in the rules of the competition.
DISCOVER OUR 4 INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS
AND APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2021 FESTIVAL
The competitions and the applications for the 27th edition are open on our website.
The International Nature Namur Festival organizes four major international competitions, films and photos, dedicated to nature and the wonder it arouses. The film competitions are divided into three categories: professional films, amateur films and ultra-short films (max. 1 minute). The Namur International Photo Nature Competition invites amateur and professional photographers to provoque emotions with their most beautiful images.
FINN is also launching applications to photographers to exhibit at the Village Nature, including a Young Photographers Grant for young under the age of 21. Two other applications offer the opportunity for associations to occupy a stand at the Village Nature and for students to be a member of the 2021 youth jury. Visit: festivalnaturenamur.be/competitions
Apple TV+ announces “The Year Earth Changed,” an uplifting wildlife documentary special narrated by David Attenborough, heralding Earth Day 2021
Timely special highlighting nature’s resiliency is set to premiere globally, along with new seasons of “Tiny World” and “Earth At Night In Color,” Friday, April 16, on Apple TV+
In celebration of Earth Day 2021, Apple TV+ will debut “The Year Earth Changed,” an original documentary special narrated by Emmy and BAFTA Award-winning broadcaster David Attenborough, along with the second seasons of documentary series “Tiny World” and “Earth At Night In Color.” Set to premiere globally in more than 100 countries on April 16, 2021, each of these groundbreaking originals will captivate and inspire viewers to herald Earth Day, the world’s largest annual environmental movement.
“During this most difficult year, many people have reappraised the value and beauty of the natural world and taken great comfort from it,” said Attenborough. “But the lockdown also created a unique experiment that has thrown light on the impact we have on the natural world. The stories of how wildlife responded have shown that making even small changes to what we do can make a big difference.”
Showcasing exclusive footage from around the world after an unprecedented year, “The Year Earth Changed” is a timely documentary special that takes a fresh new approach to the global lockdown and the uplifting stories that have come out of it. From hearing birdsong in deserted cities, to witnessing whales communicating in new ways, to encountering capybaras in South American suburbs, people all over the world have had the chance to engage with nature like never before. In the one-hour special, viewers will witness how changes in human behavior — reducing cruise ship traffic, closing beaches a few days a year, identifying more harmonious ways for humans and wildlife to coexist — can have a profound impact on nature. The documentary, narrated by David Attenborough, is a love letter to planet Earth, highlighting the ways nature bouncing back can give us hope for the future. “The Year Earth Changed” is produced by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, directed by Tom Beard, and executive produced by Mike Gunton and Alice Keens-Soper.
Returning for season two, “Tiny World,” narrated and executive produced by Paul Rudd (“Ant-Man”), grants viewers a unique perspective into the natural world, illuminating the ingenuity and resilience of the planet’s smallest creatures. With over 200 species filmed and 3,160 hours of footage, the six-episode docuseries shares surprising stories and spectacular cinematography that spotlight small creatures and the extraordinary things they do to survive. Captured on film for the first time are anemone shrimp, which clap to signal their intent as cleaners of predatory fish; the “biting” behavior of fang blenny fish, filmed in slow-motion with unprecedented use of phantom high-speed cameras; and Etruscan shrews, known to be the hungriest mammals on earth. “Tiny World” is produced by Plimsoll Productions and is executive produced by Tom Hugh Jones, who also serves as writer with David Fowler. Grant Mansfield and Martha Holmes also serve as executive producers on behalf of Plimsoll Productions.
The groundbreaking original series “Earth At Night In Color” also returns for a second season with six all-new episodes narrated by Tom Hiddleston (“Avengers”). With the use of cutting-edge cameras and a revolutionary post-production process, “Earth At Night In Color” presents nature’s nocturnal wonders with striking new clarity. Some never-before-seen behaviors of animals after dark, captured using low-light cameras and light from a full moon, include elephants battling hyenas around starlit waterholes and kangaroos embracing under the cover of darkness to find a mate. Other animals in the new season include pumas, polar bears, manta rays, and tiny planktonic life at night in the ocean. “Earth At Night In Color” is produced by Offspring Films. The series is executive produced by Alex Williamson and series produced by Sam Hodgson.
“Tiny World” and “Earth At Night In Color” will be featured in a special Earth Day room on Apple TV+, showcasing a curated collection of content that embraces the theme of preserving the planet. Also included are the Cinema for Peace International Green Film Award-winning movie “The Elephant Queen” and “Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth,” which debuted last year on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The animated short film, based on the best-selling children’s book by Oliver Jeffers, is narrated by Meryl Streep. Jacob Tremblay stars as a precocious 7-year-old who, on the eve of Earth Day, learns about the wonders of the planet from his parents (Chris O’Dowd, Ruth Negga) and a mysterious exhibit at the aptly named Museum of Everything.
Young filmmakers battling to save the planet tell their stories in brand new series Planet Defenders
Planet Defenders feels like a brand new way of bringing natural history to a young audience - a fresh, diverse, global team of passionate filmmakers with a very informal, self-authored style, who invite the audience along on their mission to help endangered species.— Melissa Hardinge
Across the globe there are passionate and charismatic young filmmakers battling to protect the planet. This empowering new six-part series for CBBC follows them as they discover more about the threats faced by endangered animals and wildlife and what can be done to conserve and protect them.
Made by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, each film is self-authored and features a specific animal story or wildlife issue that the young filmmakers want to share with the world. Addressing serious issues in an engaging and digestible way, Planet Defenders embraces the individuality and personality of each filmmaker as they take young viewers along with them on their personal and inspiring journeys.
Visiting conservation projects and sanctuaries, the film makers meet the dedicated people helping endangered wildlife as they tackle the difficult questions about the state of the planet. With laughter and tears along the way, the series aims to empower audiences with the knowledge to understand more about the world around them and feel inspired to make a difference to the natural world through the choices they make.
The filmmakers featured are Ashwika Kapur, who is passionate about protecting India’s only ape, the hoolock gibbon, the population of which has decreased by 90 percent in just 30 years; Erin Ranney, a wildlife camera operator and adventurer from the US, who is on a mission to find out why the charismatic rockhopper penguins are facing serious threats to their survival; Jahawi Bertolli, an underwater camera operator, who is passionate about preserving the coastline of Kenya and one species in particular: dolphins; Megan McCubbin, a wildlife expert who is on a mission to look into the threats facing sharks in British waters and around the globe - from the deadly fin trade to industrial fishing; Malaika Vaz, a wildlife filmmaker and conservationist, investigates why elephants are in such danger as she goes undercover to find out more about them and the tourist trade; and Jack Harries who investigates the impact of re-wilding projects in the UK including the return of the native beaver, an animal which is re-engineering river systems and creating rich habitats for many other species.
Ultimately the series, which starts on CBBC on March 26 is about hope for the future and how we can all make a difference to the planet in our own way.
Jahawi Bertolli says: “You guys are the future and you are going to take this world and create a much better place. And do you know what? It starts with little steps, you build, you build, you build, you can see what you can do in your local environment. I’m so positive about the future, of the archipelago, of the world, I think we really can do it, if we do it together.”
Senior Commissioning Editor, CBBC Independents, Melissa Hardinge, says: “Planet Defenders feels like a brand new way of bringing natural history to a young audience - a fresh, diverse, global team of passionate filmmakers with a very informal, self-authored style, who invite the audience along on their mission to help endangered species.”
Executive Producer, NHU, Jo Shinner, says: “We are very excited to work with such an amazing, diverse, talented and inspirational group of young filmmakers sharing with us their passion for the natural world and helping us navigate a way forward to find positive solutions to the global environmental crisis.”
Planet Defenders is part of Our Planet Now, the BBC’s ongoing commitment to programming which explores the environment and the challenges facing the natural world. Planet Defenders kicks off a collection of special content from BBC Children’s across 2021 inspiring children to reconnect with the outdoors. This includes a week of programming from Sunday March 28 with a Blue Peter Green Badge initiative, new series Maddie: Plants and You as well as returning series Let’s Go For a Walk, Ferne and Rory’s Bugs & Beasties, Tiny Wonders and more.
The BBC’s Our Planet Now wider programming includes Extinction: The Facts; Climate Change: The Facts; Drowning In Plastic; Tigers: Hunting The Traffickers; 7.7 Billion And Counting; and War on Plastic with Hugh and Anita; the recently announced partnership with The Earthshot Prize; and Countryfile’s Plant Britain project to get the nation planting..
2021 Jackson Wild™ Media Awards Call for Entry now open!
22 March 2021
Media today deepens understanding of the world around us, inspires commitment to protect and restore the natural systems upon which all life depends and empowers the radical changes that will be required to do so. Nature film’s equivalent to the Oscars®, the Jackson Wild Media Awards™ celebrate excellence and innovation in nature, science and conservation storytelling.
2021 Call for entry is open TODAY. Enter before May 1 to lock in "early bird" entry fees. Final deadline to enter is June 1. Any film completed since June 1, 2020 is eligible to enter.
Awarded to the program that most effectively explores animal behavior in an innovative and illuminating way.
Long Form, over 17 minutes
Short Form, under 17 minutes
Awarded to the program that most effectively explores a habitat and its unique web of life. ?
Long Form, over 17 minutes
Short Form, under 17 minutes
Awarded to the program that most effectively relates conservation issues and/or solutions and the individuals, groups or projects dedicated to the protection of any aspect of the natural world.
Long Form, over 17 minutes
Short Form, under 17 minutes
PEOPLE & NATURE
Awarded to the program that most effectively explores the interdependence between humans and animals or the environment.
Long Form, over 17 minutes
Short Form, under 17 minutes
OUR HUMAN PLANET Awarded to the program that most effectively Illuminates the human forces affecting both our planet and society in relation to nature, including social and environmental issues, equity and justice, public policy, community conservation and sustainability in the face of climate change.
Long Form, over 17 minutes
Short Form, under 17 minutes
SCIENCE IN NATURE
Awarded to the program that most effectively reveals science and scientific discovery into an understanding of any aspect of the natural world.
Long Form, over 17 minutes
Short Form, under 17 minutes
EDUCATIONAL & INFORMATIONAL
Awarded to the film that most successfully educates its audience on some aspect of the natural world. This includes projects created by independent filmmakers as well as government agencies, NGOs, universities and other institutions.
Awarded to the limited series that most effectively advances a natural history theme. Individual episodes may be entered into other categories. Entrants submit two episodes that best represent the series. Click Here for special entry requirements for this category.
Awarded to the program that makes the most effective use of a host or presenter in communicating an appreciation and understanding of the natural world.
Awarded to the most effective and compelling project under five minutes in length (including PSAs, music videos, and campaigns) that best advances an appreciation or understanding of the natural world.
Awarded to the program, more than 75 min. in length that best advances an appreciation or understanding of the natural world.
Presented in recognition of the program that best communicates an appreciation or understanding of the natural world, produced by a student currently enrolled or no more than 2 years out of an academic program. Entrants must submit documentation to support their eligibility.Click here for special entry requirements for this category.
Awarded to the best Podcast series that conveys a message of conservation or environmental importance and encourages listeners to explore and appreciate the natural world in a new way. Entrants submit two representational episodes. Click here for special entry requirements for this category.
SOUND Sponsored by: Television Academy Sound Peer Group
Awarded for the combined contribution of sound editing, production mixing and post-production mixing that most enhances the natural history story of which it is a part. Click Here for special entry requirements for this category.
CINEMATOGRAPHY Awarded for the cinematography that most enhances the natural history story of which it is a part.
EDITING Awarded for the editing that most enhances the natural history story of which it is a part.
ORIGINAL MUSIC SCORE Awarded for the original musical score that most enhances the natural history story of which it is a part.
WRITING Awarded for the writing that most enhances the natural history story of which it is a part through the union of imagery, storyline, dialog and narration. Entrants must submit a .pdf of the script. Click Here for special entry requirements for this category.
Special Jury Recognition
Jackson Wild is committed to elevating impactful storytelling at the forefront of nature, science and conservation. We are a global community motivated by deep reverence and urgent concern for the natural world, with a shared belief that through collaboration, and deep commitment we can address the critical challenges we are facing collectively as a result of climate change.
New in 2021, Jackson Wild's Special Jury Recognition welcomes nominations for both people and film projects pushing the boundaries of storytelling to create authentic engagement about the wild that achieve global impact. There are no entry fees to nominate individuals or projects.
We are accepting nominations for the following Awards:
The NFTS runs the only MA course of its kind in the UK, designed to fast track you into the industry. Run in partnership with BBC Studios, the course aims to give students the skills and expertise needed to direct science and wildlife productions, the know-how to produce and direct entire shows and the ability, confidence and knowledge to generate and pitch ideas and formats to commissioning editors.
The course includes masterclasses from industry experts, including the world-renowned BBC Natural History Unit, and work experience is available at major wildlife production companies. Our graduates have the opportunity to build a brilliant list of industry contacts and relevant skills for a career as a Producer/Director.
“I definitely feel that the course rewards those who are able to work independently and think on their feet. For all the benefits of working in larger crews at the NFTS there’s certainly something to be said for the more solitary nature of the Science and Natural History MA; it teaches you to become a jack of all trades.” – George Petty, 2020 graduate. George’s graduation film Life on The Rocks, won the Best Emerging Filmmaker category at the prestigious Jackson Wild 2020 Awards, the Newcomer Award at Germany’s Naturvision Film Festival and was selected as a Panda Award nominee in the ‘Emerging Talent’ category at Wildscreen Festival.
“We don’t have time to waste in terms of addressing the climate emergency and I’ve always seen film as a great tool to act as a catalyst for change. The Science and Natural History MA at the NFTS really lets you fully immerse yourself in film for two years while getting to meet and collaborate with other like-minded people in all fields. It’s really helped me gain an understanding of the intricacies of the entire film process from conception all the way through to post.” – John Davies, a current student of the course. John has already had industry success, even before graduating with his first year film, The Flying Gold of Arabuko, receiving a special mention in the Short Film category at the Naturvision Film Festival 2020.
To follow in George and John’s footsteps and #StandOut in the film and television industry, apply at nfts.co.uk by Thursday 6 May.
First established in 1971 and due to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021, the National Film and Television School (NFTS) has evolved to become a leading global institution, developing some of Britain and the world’s top creative talent. It is widely acknowledged to be the top school of its kind in the UK and one of the best internationally.
In 2018, the NFTS was awarded both the BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema and the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. With a graduate employment rate of over 90%, the NFTS runs more behind-the-camera courses than any other film school in the world.
Supported by key industry partnerships, students benefit from world class tuition and an outstanding programme of exclusive Masterclasses. All courses are designed to equip students with the essential skills needed to make an impact in the industry as soon as they graduate.
2021 UN World Wildlife Day Film Showcase
Winners announced by Jackson Wild
3 March 2021
The Winners of the 2021 World Wildlife Day Film Showcase were unveiled during the
first-ever virtual World Wildlife Day Celebration at UN Headquarters.
The CITES Secretariat, Jackson
Wild™ and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), announced today the winners
of the 2021 World Wildlife Day Film Showcase on the theme of “Forests and Livelihoods:
Sustaining People and Planet.”
The eleven award-winners were picked from 38 finalists, out of a total of 275 entries in five categories, four of which comprised both long form and short form winners. In addition to the
finalists, 12 programs were selected for recognition as “Honorable Mentions.”
The winning films were unveiled during the high-level virtual event marking the World Wildlife Day celebrations, in the presence of representatives of UN Member States, UN System
organizations, major civil society groups and representatives of Indigenous and local
Winners and finalists submitted films that helped shed further light on the state of the planet’s forests, the impacts of global challenges like biodiversity loss on the livelihoods of communities
that rely on them and their species, and the ongoing efforts of groups around the world to
preserve these livelihoods and restore endangered forest habitats and conserve their wildlife.
CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero said: "The laureates of this year’s Film Showcase
have provided us with a deep insight into the profound relationship between people around the
world and forests, forest ecosystem services and forest species. By recording the stories and
experiences of people involved in all manner of efforts to preserve their forest-based livelihoods
and to conserve endangered forested areas and wildlife, our outstanding laureates will help
inspire our own work and that of all stakeholders involved to steer our relationship with nature
Jackson Wild™ Executive Director Lisa Samford added: "The power of personal storytelling to
inspire individual, community and systemic change has never been more important. As we’ve
been increasingly isolated during this pandemic, the global impact of media to share these
compelling stories has helped connect each of us to our planet and to one another to address the
massive impacts of climate change and accelerate equity in our world."
Midori Paxton, Head of Biodiversity, UNDP said: “The 2021 World Wildlife Day Film
Showcase highlights the importance of forest ecosystems for indigenous peoples and local
communities, as well as for our broader societies and economies. The stories captured by the
winners of this year’s Film Showcase offer powerful examples of the critical role that forests
play in helping countries accelerate progress on the 2030 Agenda, including goals to eradicate
poverty, reduce inequalities, protect biodiversity, and mitigate the risk of climate change.”.
The Man Who Planted a Forest 101India Digital Services
For artfully expressing the healing power of forests, a lifelong commitment to conservation and
reminding us all that each individual person can make a difference in the fight to protect nature
and the resources it provides for future generations.
Honorable Mention films include:
Alianza Ceibo: Equator Prize Winner of 2020 (UNDP Equator Initiative, What Took You So Long), Can Farms and Forests Coexist? (Produced by
Spotzen for PBS Digital Studios), Clatter (Rémi Rappe), Eeya (House Tiger Productions), If We
Plant 1 TRILLION Trees Can We Stop Climate Change? (Produced by Spotzen for PBS Digital
Studios), Jungle Guardian (Doclights GmbH / NDR Naturfilm), Moss Man (Tilapia Film, Topic
Studio), Primary Forests (Rojo Visuals and Wild Heritage for IntAct - International Action for
Primary Forests), Rearing Giants (Green Hub (NEN - DFF)), Rise of the Warrior Apes (KEO
Films for Discovery Network International), Sungai Utik -The Fight for Recognition ( If Not Us
Then Who), The Ogieks; Guardians of the Mau Forest (Maurice Oniang'o)
Watch the full World Wildlife Day Film Showcase Awards:
Conservation Optimism is built on the belief that empowering everyone to make a difference for nature, while also learning from successes and failures within the conservation sector, is key to securing our planet’s future.
We are calling all filmmakers to send us short films featuring stories of hope from around the globe. Have you been inspired by someone taking action for nature in your community? Have you witnessed some conservation successes? Have you learned from conservation failures? We want to hear from you!
Our third film festival will take place in Autumn 2021 at the Oxford Museum of Natural History (date to be confirmed closer to the time). We will be selecting short films for the following categories:
Wildlife Filmmaking Courses in 2021 by Wildeye
24 February 2021
Go wild with us (safely) in 2021
The last 12 months have been a very strange time indeed and we’ve changed the way we run our popular weekend courses to mitigate risks as much as possible and keep you safe. We are starting to plan courses for later in 2021 and would love for you to join us. We have moved all of our courses outside and will be using open sided marquees as classrooms (in case of bad weather) and to help us all get back to nature we’ll spend the nights camping. For more information on how we’re making Wildeye safer than ever please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Introduction to Wildlife Filmmaking
Our most popular course, running for over 20 years! Our introductory weekend continues to inspire, launch careers and has given thousands of students their first insight into the world of wildlife filmmaking. During our time together we take a look behind the scenes and in front of the camera to understand what the crew members do and how they all come together to craft amazing programmes. Working together and with specialist tutors you will get hands on with the latest cameras, try your hand at presenting, record natural sounds and gain valuable knowledge of all parts of the process of pre-production to distribution.
DSLR Filmmaking 2021
DSLR, mirrorless and hybrid cameras have revolutionised video production. Their cinematic look, small size, quality and relatively affordable price have allowed more people to start producing amazing content. Whilst focussing on wildlife and conservation filmmaking this weekend is also ideal for those looking to produce travel and adventure films. We will introduce you to the many functions and settings and get you shooting in the manual mode, whilst explaining when and which automatic functions you can rely on to get you out of a jam. You’ll get hands-on with camera gimbals, sliders and a range of lenses including specialist macro probes and microscope attachments. We’ll also take a look at editing solutions both computer and iPad based!
Camera Course 2021 (basic)
Maybe the most fun you’ll ever have over a weekend in Norfolk! Our camera course is absolutely jam-packed with technology. We bring along the latest full-frame 4K professional video cameras, infrared, thermal, high speed, camera traps, timelapse cameras and lots more. We start off gently and explain all the settings and functions of professional video cameras before gradually taking it to the next level with a selection of more advanced technology that you’ve seen used in wildlife films. We’ll share tips and tricks, you’ll get to test out some of the latest filmmaking tech and you’ll fall asleep under a Norfolk sky to learn even more the next day. Our camera course will leave you confident to go away and understand all of the manual functions of your camera. You’ll understand sequences, shot sizes, camera moves, lens filters and much more. This weekend is the start of your wildlife and adventure filmmaking career.
We will make course pricing and dates available just as soon as we know that we are able to safely run again, in the meantime to express interest please send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org make sure you let us know in the email which course you are interested in.
Environmental Film Festival Presents THE FALCONER Profiling DC Native Master Falconer Rodney Stotts by DCEFF
23 February 2021
The 2021 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (March 18-28) will present the East Coast premiere of The Falconer, a story of empowerment through nature that profiles the work of Washington, D.C. native Rodney Stotts, one of very few Black Master Falconers in the U.S.
Directed by D.C. native Annie Kaempfer, the film follows Stotts as he strives to provide his community’s underserved youth and endangered raptors with a safe haven for mutual healing and growth. Rodney Stotts never planned to become an environmentalist. Growing up in Southeast Washington, D.C., he seemed destined for a life of drugs and street violence. A former drug dealer, inmate, single father, drive-by-shooting victim, and survivor of the crack epidemic, he left that life behind when he joined the Earth Conservation Corps, an organization that involves young people from vulnerable communities in cleaning up their local rivers and habitat to encourage wildlife restoration. Discovering a love of birds along the way, Stotts developed a passion for the art and sport of Falconry.
The film presents an intimate portrait of Rodney and his dream of building a bird sanctuary so he can share his love of birding with the next generation. Acting as his own narrator, he discusses his work as a licensed Master Falconer, his environmental work with the Earth Conservation Corps, which was responsible for bringing the bald eagle back to the Anacostia, and the creation of his Oak Hill Raptor Center, in Laurel, Md., where youth from Rodney’s stressed community learn about raptors, nature, and personal responsibility. The film shows Stotts as he and his youthful helpers from the Capital Guardian Youth ChalleNGe Academy, run by the D.C. National Guard, begin the demanding work of refurbishing a hundred-year-old dairy barn to create the Raptor Center. His goals are to protect raptors, heal and release them, take care of the birds that are non-releasable, teach young people about caring for the birds and their natural environment, and for a few, how to become falconers.
"All this is healing. All this is medicine. All this changes who you are,” – says Stotts.
This documentary is a story of second chances: for the injured birds-of-prey in Rodney’s care, for young people who bear the brunt of social and environmental injustice, and for Rodney himself. Directed by Annie Kaempfer and produced by Annie Kaempfer and William Stefan Smith, the film was edited by Jason Pollard and Juliet Weber. The Falconer was made possible through the assistance of a grant from the Spike Lee Fellowship Fund.
Annie Kaempfer is an independent filmmaker whose work has screened at festivals, including Mill Valley, Big Sky and Twin Cities. Her feature debut, The Falconer, won Best Environmental Feature at BendFilm, a Special Jury Prize at Cinema on the Bayou, and is set to air on PBS’s “America Reframed” in 2021. A Spike Lee Fellowship and Alan Landsburg Documentary Award recipient, Annie graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in Filmmaking. She brings a collaborative spirit, devotion to aesthetics, and focus on real-world impact to all her film projects. Annie serves on the Board of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital and has consulted for the Ford Foundation, JustFilms and FotoDC. Annie was born in Washington, D.C. and lived in London and Maine before settling in Brooklyn with a lawyer/musician, one small child, and an overly exuberant rescue Saint Bernard.
The free screening, presented in collaboration with THEARC (Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus) in southeast D.C., will be followed by a discussion with Rodney Stotts, Corina Newsome, cofounder of Black Birders' Week, and filmmaker Annie Kaempfer.
Rob Whitehair is an award-winning filmmaker, artist, ecologist, storyteller, and entrepreneur whose work celebrates life and explores the connections between people and the Earth. His films have won multiple awards at international festivals, enjoyed theatrical release in the US and have been broadcast worldwide.
He is the CEO and Co-Founder of Mammalz, the first interactive live streaming platform dedicated to nature storytelling, presenter-led shows, and IRL experiences. Rob Co- founded Mammalz to bring new voices into the natural history conversation, diversify perspectives across the globe, give creators economic opportunity, and use modern technology to provide real time impact for the issues surround the natural world.
His work in film explores the crossroads of art, nature, love and our spiritual connection to the Earth. He recently completed a feature length art film, the first in a series of what he calls “post documentary” films entitled, The Ecology of Jazz 80 min (2017). This black and white film embraces slow cinema and breathes new life into the simple pleasure of deep listening while poetically exploring the art of nature and the nature of art. Prior to this Whitehair directed the feature documentary True Wolf (2012) World Premiering at the Seattle International Film Festival and picked up for theatrical distribution by Shadow Distribution, True Wolf is an intimate story about a young Montana couple who gave up everything for the love of an abandoned wolf pup named Koani. He directed the multiple award-winning feature documentary The Little Red Truck (2008) which enjoyed a US theatrical release in the top 50 major markets in 2008 and was subsequently released on DVD worldwide, including Netflix and Blockbuster. In 2006, he made the wildlife film Hollywood Fox (June 2006) for Parthenon Entertainment, National Geographic International, NDR, Animal Planet US and Voom TV, a unique blue chip high definition special about the endangered San Joaquin Kit Fox in California. Over the years, he has produced and directed award winning music videos and shorts, including the award winning Right Now, Living With Mountain Lions (2013).
In between his directorial efforts, Whitehair lends his skills to projects that he believes in. He served as writer, editor and co-producer on two films, Battle on the Booming Grounds (2016 dir. Tim Barksdale) and the film It’s a Wild Life (2014 dir. Kennan Ward), which resulted in both films being selected to multiple film festivals with Battle on the Booming Grounds winning best nature film at the 2016 Life Sciences Film Festival in Prague.
As a cinematographer, his camera work has been used in productions for Nat Geo, Discovery, Animal Planet, PBS, and international broadcasters as well as many feature documentaries. He has been an on-camera host of a television series for PBS about wildlife films (1999,2000).
Whitehair is the founder and chief instigator of Wild Propaganda™ a lifestyle brand and worldwide campaign to use art and clothing to call attention to the massive impact humans have on Earth’s wildlife species. Drawing on cues from vintage propaganda, film, pop art, fine art and his intensive studies of the natural world, he creates striking, colorful images that juxtapose animals and graphics that manifest multiple meanings and emotions and ultimately question our relationship to the natural world, its wild creatures and wild spaces. His fine art paintings are inspired by his fascination with all things wild and his attraction to those elements of the natural world that aren’t always readily visible. His intention is to capture the spirit of each animal as he sees it and in turn, leave a soulful piece of art to the world.
He cites his influences as Jacques Cousteau, Orson Welles, Mary Oliver, John Wayne, Black Elk, Jackson Pollock, Maya Angelou and music…any and all types of music. Originally from Los Angeles, he lived in the Northern Rocky Mountains in Missoula Montana for 20 years before moving back to the ocean in San Diego with his wife Pam Voth and their two dogs. He still believes that anything is possible and he wants to live to 120.
In support of their mission to bring visibility to hidden animals worldwide through compelling photography, Lantern Books and Jo-Anne McArthur have published two books – We Animals (2013) and Captive (2017). We Animals Media recently published a third, HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene (2020). These books are living documents of our complicated relationships with animals and aim to inspire solutions that will result in a kinder and healthier world for all.
WE ANIMALS (2013)
Drawn from thousands of photos taken over fifteen years, We Animals illustrates and investigates animals in the human environment: those who are used for food, fashion, entertainment, and research, as well as the lucky few who are rescued.
The book includes previously unseen photographs and a final chapter entitled “Notes from the Field”, which is a compilation of journal entries written while doing investigative work both at home and abroad.
Published by We Animals Media and distributed by Lantern Publishing & Media, available at Book Depository with FREE delivery worldwide.
An unflinching book of photography about our conflict with non-human animals around the globe, as depicted through the lenses of forty award-winning photojournalists including Aitor Garmendia, Jo-Anne McArthur, and Andrew Skowron.
Through the lenses of forty photojournalists, this book shines a light on the invisible animals in our lives; those with whom we have a close relationship and yet fail to see. The stories within its pages are revelatory and brutal. They are proof of the emergency confronting animals globally, from industrial farming to climate change, and provide valuable insight into the relevance of animal suffering to human health.
HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene is a historical document, a memorial, and an indictment of what is and should never again be.
New Film Gives Us a Rare Glimpse of Animals in Transport
Moving Animals is a powerful short film about photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur’s experience documenting long-distance transport animals on their way to slaughter, shot and produced by filmmaker Miguel Endara.
“This is my world,” says McArthur. “Join me as I climb transport trucks, and stay quietly and diligently with animals as they go to slaughter. Join me in the dusty roads and at my little hotel room editing desk, as Miguel and I discuss animals, animal photojournalism and ultimately, kindness.”
Produced by We Animals Media, the film takes viewers up close and personal with anguished cows, many of whom were forced to travel thousands of miles in the back of hot and cramped vehicles. Throughout the film, we see that their pain and innocence are no different from ours. It would take a heart of stone not to be crushed by the sight of an abandoned calf struggling to walk or a cow stunned prior to slaughter.
“We have enough photos in the world of beautiful wildlife. We get it. It’s time to show the harsh reality of how the rest are living,” says McArthur.
Moving Animals is by no means easy to watch but it is essential and unforgettable all the same. McArthur and Endara provide a once-in-a-lifetime look into the lives of animals in transport.
“I’m a photographer of animals, and for animals. I help animals through photography. Photographers are influential people with great skill, but we have enough photos in the world of beautiful wildlife. We get it. It’s time to show the harsh realities of how the rest are living.”
The 2021 Film Selections by IWFF
22 February 2021
We are thrilled to share our 2021 line-up with you. We narrowed the field more than ever before and were faced with many challenging decisions. The 65 films are the strongest of the strong and were chosen for this particular moment. We can't wait to share these films and learn, grow, track, explore, inspire, swim, listen, act, fly, and engage with the work made by so many exceptional filmmaking teams this year.
A Little About the 2021 IWFF Line-Up
One film features lichen which can grow in the most inhospitable places but can’t be kept in captivity.
Two films feature the elusive snow leopard.
Three films feature sea turtles - different than those poor, very cold turtles in Texas this past week.
Eight 2021 selections feature whales and are included in the Rising From the Depths thematic collection.
Twenty-plus countries are represented by selected filmmakers during this festival.
Eighty-four-year-old Dame Judi Dench holds dung beetles in her hands. The decline of these insects is a major indicator of climate change in the forests of Borneo.
Ninety-seven percent of the herring eggs gathered on Sitka Sound are harvested by dragging hemlock branches in the water.
Two hundred bird species can be identified from their song by blind ornithologist Juan Carlos Sires.
Four hundred Haast Tokoeka Kiwi birds are left on the planet.
Millions of food insecure people can be provided for with seaweed and kelp, also a source of biofuel, and viable food for cattle.
Congratulations to the 2021 finalist films, selected by an anonymous preliminary jury. Our final jurors are currently viewing and making decisions. The 2021 category winners, special jury awards, and the Best of Festival award will be announced on April 30 in a special IWFF ceremony.
Animal Behavior Any program that includes especially notable footage of animal behavior that is rare, impactful in terms of our understanding of the natural world or was captured using innovative techniques.
New Vision Any program that displays an innovative, forward-thinking approach to filmmaking within this traditional genre offering a new vision of what wildlife filmmaking can be and how these stories are told.
Series A series is three or more programs of any length made for reaching audiences through theaters, the internet, or television. Submission requirement: select three episodes representative of the series.
Sustainable Planet A program with a strong conservation message that features inspiring activism in response to our changing planet. Films may address growing public awareness and education, experimenting with innovative solutions or profiling activism toward a more sustainable planet.
Wildlife Conservation A program with a strong conservation message that follows the future of a species, highlights newfound biological research, represents the scientific process accurately and presents solutions for the betterment of wildlife sustainability.
2021 Theme: Rising From the depths Whales are the guardians of the oceans and, as they navigate the tumultuous currents, they serve as a steadfast symbol for all of us as we navigate the currents of life and the climate crisis.
Finalists Announced for the 2021 World
Wildlife Day Film Showcase by Jackson Wild
15 February 2021
Judges and organizers of the 2021 World Wildlife Day
Film Showcase have unveiled the finalists of this year’s contest, highlighting 38 outstanding
films entered in five categories, selected from a total of 275 entries and 12 films designated for
In keeping with this year’s World Wildlife Day theme “ Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining
People and Planet ,” the Showcase highlighted the links between the world’s forests and the
wildlife they harbor, the ongoing efforts towards conservation and sustainable use of
biodiversity, and the millions of livelihoods that directly depend on forests, particularly the
indigenous peoples and local communities who are often the guardians of these ecosystems.
The winners will be announced on 3rd March, during the first-ever global virtual World Wildlife
The 2021 Showcase is the sixth film competition jointly organized as part of the annual World
Wildlife Day celebrations by Jackson Wild, the Secretariat of the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP).
The films below have been selected as finalists in five categories:
People & Forests;
Future of Forests;
Forest Micro Movie.
All categories, save for the Forest Micro Movie, have been further divided into two
sub-categories, comprising of long form entries, with a runtime above 17 minutes, and the short
form entries, with a runtime between 5 - 17 minutes. Micro movies comprise entries with a
runtime of up to 5 minutes.
Winner and finalist films will be shown at events across the world to raise awareness of the importance of conserving forests and forest wildlife, and to shed further light on what can be
learned from the extensive knowledge and experiences of forest and forest-adjacent inhabitants
when it comes to conserving these ecosystems.
CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero said: “The outstanding entries of this sixth World Wildlife Day Film Showcase will help viewers discover the stories of local and indigenous communities around the world who live in or near forests, whose livelihoods and well-being depend on these ecosystems and the wildlife therein. As we all seek to mend our relationship with Nature, the Film Showcase gives us the opportunity to capture and share the stories of people and communities as they march towards sustainability. The efforts of those who interact with their surroundings in a sustainable way should be an inspiration for us all. We are deeply
grateful to all the filmmakers who submitted their works.”
“Finalists selected for this year’s World Wildlife Day Film Showcase highlight the challenges and opportunities we face to conserve our forests and strengthen the livelihoods of indigenous peoples and local communities. Investing in the protection and restoration of forest ecosystems is critical for reducing poverty and inequality, simultaneously, it helps to address the dual nature-climate crises within the COVID-19 context and the Decade for Action for the
Sustainable Development Goals,” said Haoliang Xu, UN Assistant Secretary General and
Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.
“Selected by 100+ judges who screened more than 750 hours of film, this portfolio highlights fifty extraordinary stories from forests and communities around the world. Throughout human history, stories have connected each of us with one another and the world we share,” said Lisa Samford, Executive Director of Jackson Wild. “This is more crucial now than ever before. Media
has the power to accelerate tangible ways we can work together to restore and protect our
planet during these critically important times.”
World Wildlife Day 2021 Film Showcase finalists:
People & Forests (long form):
Australia's Great Wild North
Wild Pacific Media, Definition Films
Archipelago Films, Arise Media, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, SK Films and Reconsider
Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees
Merit Motion Pictures, Edgeland Films
Judi Dench's Wild Borneo Adventure: Untouched and Under Threat Atlantic Productions for discovery+
People & Forests (short form):
The Church Forests of Ethiopia
Alchimie Productions, Sébastien Pins
My Forest (long form):
Death by a Thousand Cuts
Participant and Documentales Univision present a Tarasios Production in association with Human Pictures
Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest
Great Bear Rainforest Spirit Bear Entertainment & MacGillivray Freeman Films
Mundiya Kepanga, the voice of the forest
ARTE France and Muriel Barra / Lato Sensu productions
Taiwan Public Television Service Foundation
My Forest (short form):
Arunachal Virtual Archive
National Geographic Society, Arunachal Pradesh Forest Department
The Guardians of Dampa
Green Hub (NEN - DFF), Dampa Tiger Reserve
Think Like a Scientist: Renewal
Plumb Productions, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios
Earth's Tropical Islands: Borneo
BBC Studios Natural History Unit, PBS
Planet Earth II: Jungles
BBC Studios Natural History Unit, BBC America, ZDF, Tencent, France Televisions
The Magical Four - Our Seasons
Marco Polo Film AG in collaboration with WDR
Tiny World - Woodland Plimsoll Productions
Unknown Madagascar - Forest of the Indri
Doclights GmbH / NDR Naturfilm, NDR, ARTE, ORF
Living Forests (short form):
Grizzly Creek Films, bioGraphic
Memories of the Future
a Mares Mexicanos production
Protecting Nature for Good
Day's Edge Productions for World Wildlife Fund
The Golden Lion Tamarins of Poco Das Antas
National Geographic Society
Forest Micro Movie:
#WildForLife Forest Champion: Mount Kenya Trust
UN Environment, PCI Media
Shervin Hess, Oregon Zoo
Koa Talking to Me
Harpers Ferry Center & Haleakal National Park, National Park Service
The Man Who Planted A Forest 101India Digital Services
Honorable Mention films include: Alianza Ceibo: Equator Prize Winner of 2020 (UNDP Equator Initiative, What Took You So Long), Can Farms and Forests Coexist? (Produced by
Spotzen for PBS Digital Studios), Clatter (Rémi Rappe), Eeya (House Tiger Productions), If We
Plant 1 TRILLION Trees Can We Stop Climate Change? (Produced by Spotzen for PBS Digital
Studios), Jungle Guardian (Doclights GmbH / NDR Naturfilm), Moss Man (Tilapia Film, Topic
Studio), Primary Forests (Rojo Visuals and Wild Heritage for IntAct - International Action for
Primary Forests), Rearing Giants (Green Hub (NEN - DFF)), Rise of the Warrior Apes (KEO
Films for Discovery Network International), Sungai Utik -The Fight for Recognition ( If Not Us
Then Who), The Ogieks; Guardians of the Mau Forest (Maurice Oniang'o)
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
(CITES) was signed on 3 March 1973 and entered into force on 1 July 1975. With 183 Parties
(182 countries + the European Union), it remains one of the world's most powerful tools for
wildlife conservation through the regulation of international trade in over 38,000 species of wild
animals and plants. CITES-listed species are used by people around the world in their daily
lives for food, health care, furniture, housing, tourist souvenirs, cosmetics or fashion. CITES
seeks to ensure that international trade in such species is sustainable, legal and traceable and
contributes to both the livelihoods of the communities that live closest to them and to national
economies for a healthy planet and the prosperity of the people in support of UN Sustainable
About Jackson Wild
For 30 years, Jackson Wild has hosted extraordinary convenings for science, nature and
conservation media stakeholders, celebrating the finest and most innovative media in the genre.
The World Wildlife Day Film Showcase brings together stakeholders from all over the world to
focus on a single global theme. Jackson Wild’s international board members include: ARTE
France, BBC Studios, Blue Ant Media / Love Nature, Borealés, Conservation International,
Discovery, Doclights, FujiFilm Optical Devices - Fujinon Lenses, Gorongosa Restoration Project,
HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, Humane Society International, International Fund for Animal
Welfare, National Geographic Partners, National Geographic Society, Nature/WNET, Netflix, Off
the Fence Productions, ORF/Universum, PBS, Saint Thomas Productions, San Diego Zoo,
Seeker, Smithsonian Channel, Sony Electronics, SVT - Swedish Television, The Nature
Conservancy, Terra Mater Factual Studios, Wanda Natura, WGBH, and World Wildlife Fund US.
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty,
inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170
countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet. Learn
more at undp.org or follow at @UNDP.
About the United Nations World Wildlife Day
On 20 December 2013, the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 3
March as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild fauna and
flora. The date is the day of the signature of the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973. World Wildlife Day has quickly
become the most prominent global annual event dedicated to wildlife. It is an opportunity to
celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora and to raise awareness of
the various challenges faced by these species. The day also reminds us of the urgent need to
step up the fight against wildlife crime, which has wide-ranging economic, environmental and
Once upon a time, long ago, there was a youthful person called David Attenborough (no “Sir” then). He could be found on the sixth floor of BBC Television Centre in London. But that executive level was not really his natural habitat, and he decided to leave that media jungle for a very different one, the natural home of many very different species. And David’s story, from then on, was to become the very backbone/vertebra of wildlife broadcasting, not only in Britain, but, eventually worldwide, reaching everywhere on planet Earth, trying to save it from ourselves.
The BBC Natural History Unit was, and is, based in Bristol, England inhabiting elegant buildings along Whiteladies Road (which leads to Blackboy Hill). My small office was there, and my job was equally junior – “General Assistant” covered it and involved tea, as the main botanical requirement. I must have been very good at it because, for whatever reason, I found myself on my way to the TV temple of the BBC (some 20,000 UK staff in total), carrying a plastic bag (not even Waitrose). A window on the executive sixth floor opened: “Come on up, Richard”. So up I went, to that high and mighty level, negotiated two (not one) formidable assistants, and into David’s, Director of Programmes’, inner sanctum. On the table was a map of Borneo; at that time, some 50 years ago, hardly known to outsiders. David was expected to reach the very top of the pecking order and not many knew about his Borneo plot. I returned to my burrow in Bristol. David resigned from the BBC much to many people’s surprise. The series we made was called “Eastward” or “Eastwards” (answers on a postcard); five of us film crew, with sound recordist – Dickie Bird (yes) and David, in his book “Life on Air” (2002) wrote: “Richard, as director, to tell me what to do” (Fancy that!). It was to become the start of a story, which is still being told. This is it.
… Fast forward for David, to become “Sir”, via the “Life” series of several of which the first was “Life on Earth”, the most ambitious wildlife series, so far – 13 episodes – an unthinkable number today. “It wouldn’t work” they said…”you can’t walk from one continent to another in the same natty beige number” to show a lizard in Australia is like one in South America = convergent evolution. “They” were wrong. “Life on Earth” was a huge hit worldwide – said to be David’s favourite of the many other “landmarks” “milestones” and other modest “epics” that were to follow...the “lifes”, then the “planets”. I was lucky enough to work on “Life on Earth” and “The Living Planet” – total 6-7 years work and travelling. It was a great experience but, in my personal view, it didn’t go far enough in telling the truth about that only living planet, Earth. What was happening to it and that wonder-full nature and places? But, as David claimed, unless viewers see what’s out there they won’t care about it. They won’t watch bad news. Ratings will fall and it will suffer in the schedules. It’s a trap. And years later, in 2021, we may, or may not, be seeing the sad results.
David and I went our separate ways. I live in Somerset near Bristol. David lives near London in a house famously full of treasures from his travels. I live in a cottage with a lot of programme material from which my editor Gareth Trezise and I have made some 100 films for free access on YouTube and Vimeo, mainly about wildlife conservation. Whereas I was fortunate enough to be left enough money to achieve that, David always had the very large budgets and a lot of time for filming. The great results were to be seen on the television screens of the world with ample publicity, and of course, linked to the now very famous man himself. At 94, his, i.e. the BBC’s, next “blockbuster” series of five programmes was shown at peak time on BBC1 in January 2021. It was called “A Perfect Planet” revealing how planet Earth happens to possess the ideal conditions for life on Earth – remember that title – 13 episodes some 40 years ago? Of course many people now know how imperfect our fragile world is, threatened by climate change and endangering thousands of species globally – in other words biodiversity. Can we turn losers into winners? Is there time? Crucially, will we act? Judging by weaknesses in our own species’ DNA the signs are not good. We seem to be our own worst enemies, and that doesn’t include a pandemic which we brought upon ourselves by messing up nature. Sir David’s messages, seen and heard by millions worldwide, for so long, reached out to a population that has now doubled to some eight billion human beings. Initially, his big series had shown the wonders of biodiversity with less emphasis on the problems it faced. I felt I could help in my modest way.
With that money left to me, I’ve made some 100 films viewable, for free, on YouTube and Vimeo, plus an accompanying book of 150 pages in 19 chapters. It is a very personal view and includes David Attenborough; Greta Thunberg; biodiversity; shopping; forests; farming; fishing; food; consumption; waste/plastic/recycling; energy/oil; climate change; Covid-19; water; the media; money/fashion; Trump/Biden; aviation/travel/tourism; human population; China; nature and us. The white stork is the theme ending with some really good news. It's free to all those interested with any donations going to charity, the Avon Wildlife Trust, based near where I live, near Bristol. Or donate to a wildlife/conservation charity of your choice.
Britains Hidden Fishes Short Film Campaign by Jack Perks
8 February 2021
Britain’s fish are often overlooked and under-appreciated and I think it is about time we put them in the spotlight!
My name is Jack Perks and I'm a professional wildlife camera-man and photographer. Over the course of my career I've filmed every freshwater fish in the UK and many of the marine species giving me a unique understanding and apprecia-tion for our fishy denizens.
We have many amazing wildlife spectacles on our doorstep all unfolding beneath the wa-terline and this film aims to showcase hidden, untold stories about British fish. It would be in the format of a 1-hour film with narration. We have an extraordinarily talented crew of editors, composers, consultants and camera operators.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a cinematic-looking film about some of the most incredible creatures we have in the British Isles, everything from tiny sticklebacks to behemoth basking sharks. We are looking to launch the project in February and start film-ing straight away. Depending how filming goes this may extend into the year after so the film won’t be finished until at least 2022.
Based in Nottingham, I spent seven years traveling across Britain to film every species of freshwater fish and have developed and refined techniques for filming them, including scuba, snorkelling, camera traps and pole cams. I successfully crowd-funded two films, one on fish called “Beneath the Waterline”, which looked at the people working with fish, and “Wildlife Exposed: Shetland Diaries”. I orchestrated the UK National Fish Vote in which the Brown Trout won, have written two books on fish and contributed to many more. I have also written columns for Angler’s Mail & Fallon’s Angler. I also routinely film for tele-vision on many BBC nature documentaries and angling programmes.
Basically I quite like fish.
Why Fund this Project?
This campaign is the only option to create a short film about fish as most see them as brown, slimy, boring things. However they are so much more than that, with the ruby reds and kingfisher blues on a grayling’s dorsal fin or the deadly patience of pike waiting for an unsuspecting shoal of rudd to pass by. This is a chance to put modern filming techniques Into practice. We’ll be using high definition underwater cameras, drones for a birds-eye view and beautiful, scenic cinematography. It’s an all or nothing project as I want to make it right so if we don’t hit the target, it simply won’t happen. If we do reach and exceed the target it will open more doors such as extra time filming, more equipment and other narra-tives we can follow.
This isn’t a solo project and I have a team behind me helping the production, from com-posers making original music to editors (Laura Turner of Fuzzfox Films), camera operators, consultants and of course Jeremy Wade who has agreed to narrate the film.
It will also involve many members of the public and people working with fish as we are on the hunt for different stories and ideas. We are hoping to film and document things rarely seen by the great British public to interest them in something they didn’t realise was on their very doorstep, perhaps in the local canal or village pond.
It’s a non-profit film and the idea is to showcase fish in a film everyone can see so it will be made available online. I’d like to have a premiere but given the current climate we’ll see how that goes! It’s all or nothing so if we don’t reach the £30,000.00 target the film won’t get made. It sounds like a lot of money but it's a tiny budget for a wildlife documentary.
PLANET CRUNCH – The Life (or Death?) of Planet Earth by Richard Brock
7 February 2021
This ambitious project of 3 x 25-minute films on YouTube and Vimeo, plus a book, is another attempt to draw attention to the challenges we all face; especially involving biodiversity.
There will be winners and losers, and, in the shadow of Covid-19, it’s understandable that viewers and readers may be suffering from fatigue about the fate of the planet – and us.
Since autumn 2020 there have been at least four new authoritative books with such titles as “Hope in Hell”, “Who Cares Wins”, “There is No Plan B”, and David Attenborough’s best-seller “A Life on Our Planet – my Witness Statement and Vision for the Future”.
So, is there room, and reason, for more in 2021? Well there is. “Planet Crunch” is very different, and is presented in a very popular illustrative style and is right up-to-date. The 150-page book is based on how the media have lifted the natural world to the front-page headlines.
Contents of my “Planet Crunch” book, across 19 chapters, include David Attenborough; Greta Thunberg; biodiversity; shopping; forests; farming; fishing; food; consumption; waste/plastics/recycling; energy/oil; climate change; Covid-19; water; the media; money/fashion; Trump/Biden; aviation/travel/tourism; human population; China; nature and us.
Described as unique, political, challenging, cheeky, provocative, significant, educational, very personal, even rude! Certainly different to those other, more conventional films and books.
The project has been made possible by funds left to me, and is free to all those interested. Donations to charity will be welcomed.." Richard Brock – Email: RB@brockinitiative.org
Composer team Robert Hicks and Tristan Noon create a Natural History demo 7 February 2021
Bristol-based Composer team Robert Hicks and Tristan Noon have created a demonstration of music written specifically for the Natural History film making community. This music is presently unsigned and available for licence or commission.
Rob and Tristan believe every story is unique; their mission is to bring a story-driven approach to the craft of scoring. Drawing on inspiration and from the natural world, Rob and Tristan blend traditional orchestral instruments with the more experimental sounds produced by guitars, analogue synths and outboard gear, they create unique sonic textures which work in harmony with the visuals of great filmmakers to underpin and enhance every narrative.
Tristan has been on the orchestration side of the music team for both Green Planet and Dynasties, giving them great experience working in big-budget nature documentary productions.
Tristan Noon is a TV, Film and Games Composer, Orchestrator and Music Copyist best-known for his work on prestigious projects such as the BAFTA-nominated game LEGO: The Incredibles, Doctor Who: The Edge of Time and acclaimed electronic artist Gary Numan’s UK orchestral tour.
At the age of 22, he orchestrated ITV’s flagship drama Endeavour Series 4 and has since orchestrated music for shows such as ‘Heroes’, directed by Manish Pandey, the esteemed writer of ‘Senna’, and BBC One’s ‘The Trial of Christine Keeler’. His work has appeared in iconic studios such as Abbey Road and AIR, and he provides a rare and sought-after bundle package deal whereby he takes a project from the orchestration stage, right through to fully formatted and printed scores and parts that are performed by world-class musicians.
Bristol based Rob Hicks has racked up over 15 years of experience working as a media composer. Using collaborative and experimental processes he enjoys creating scores for Production Libraries, TV and film projects. His music can regularly be heard on the BBC, National Geographic, Channel 4, ITV and MTV as well as corporate clients such as Nike.
With boots on the ground in Bristol and the London area, the team can be mobilised quickly to meet and work in both locations to maximise creativity, efficiency and productivity.
Around the same time, in the late nineties, when websites were relatively new, Piers realised there was a need for information for aspiring wildlife film-makers so he created Wildlife-film.com and edited Wildlife Film News (this newsletter!) for the first ten years.
He's had many vocations, including as an author, environmentalist, musician, teacher, cook and veganic veg-grower.
You can find out much more about all of that that and other things Piers does on his new website: www.pierswarren.co.uk ... If you thought you knew him, think again, there's some surprising stuff in there, not least on Spotify!
Filmmakers for Future: Wildlife's Big Discussion survey results are live!
What do we want our programmes to achieve?
Over 250 wildlife filmmakers shared their views on how to make our industry greener & more climate-aware.
What is the big discussion?
“What do we want our programmes to achieve?” was an online survey hosted by Filmmakers for Future: Wildlife (FF:W) between the 14th of October and 21st of December 2020. The purpose of this interactive poll was to better understand the views of wildlife filmmakers on our role in communicating the climate and biodiversity crises. We believe this to be the largest survey on this topic. We hope this insight into how production staff and crew are feeling about their work will help to inform discussions within production companies and broadcasters.
The poll maintained anonymity for participants, so we do not know who took part, or their role in the industry. We expect that the majority of participants were directed to the poll by FF:W. They are therefore likely to share the group’s view that urgent action is needed to address climate change and biodiversity loss along with increased coverage of these themes in our programmes.
252 people voted on 131 submitted statements. A total of 9,139 votes were cast, agreeing, disagreeing or passing to each statement. Not every participant voted on all the statements. This means the percentages shown are from a subset of participants who cast a vote on that particular statement.
Below are the statements that achieved the most consensus between participants. We have split them by relevance to editorial or production decisions. For each statement we have put its (popularity %) and [the statements pol.is raw data reference number].
Natural history programmes have a duty to report on the true current state of the natural world. (90% agree)
It is our responsibility to communicate the need to act with extreme urgency to halt the climate and biodiversity crises. (87% agree)
We should no longer portray humans as separate from nature. (89% agree)
We should show human wildlife conflicts in our programs but more importantly the socioeconomic reasons behind them. (88% agree)
Our programs should help audiences assess the value of different solutions to our environmental crises. (92% agree)
Programmes encouraging carbon reduction through individual action are not enough as they don’t hold Governments and Industry to account. (89% agree)
We have to work out how to reach new audiences who don’t believe in global biodiversity loss & the climate crisis. (92% agree)
The audience already understands the urgency of climate change – we don’t need to keep including it in our programs. (89% disagree)
Wildlife films are doing enough for conservation already. (91% disagree).
We should give more thought to the way we structure our programmes to reduce the amount of travel needed. (90% agree)
We should work with local fixers to create ‘kit hubs’ around the world. Where bulky kit can be checked in or out on arrival and departure. (89% agree)
Camera op bursaries should be made available in popular countries which we film in. (85% agree) 
The industry needs to be more collaborative rather than working in secrecy to protect their story/program/content to reduce their footprints. (80% agree)
If our programs are made net zero by offsetting our emissions through trusted projects we do not need to take further action to reduce our emissions. (79% disagree)
Winterwatch makes TV history as world’s first large scale outside broadcast solely powered by green hydrogen by Jason Peters 27th January 2021
BBC Studios Natural History Unit announces the successful live transmission of a 60 minute episode of Winterwatch powered entirely by green hydrogen fuel and energy saving batteries.
"Everyone at Winterwatch and the BBC Studios Natural History Unit is punching the air at the prospect of finding a way to make our productions more sustainable. This is a superb development for us and the environment, and exactly the kind of thing we want to do more of.”
— Julian Hector, Head of BBC Studios Natural History Unit
The hydrogen generator is located at Winterwatch’s outside broadcasting hub at BBC Bristol and is helping to replace the use of a diesel powered generator. Diesel generators are traditionally used in live outdoor productions, as filming often uses too much power to draw energy from the grid.
Across the show’s presenter locations, the production team used batteries powered by intelligent hybrid generator systems which use spare energy to charge batteries, significantly minimising the use of diesel fuel and CO2 emissions.
Using green hydrogen instead of diesel twinset generators at all sites during one live episode of Winterwatch avoided 3.3 tonnes of carbon emissions. Producing one hour of TV produces an average 9.2 tonnes of carbon emissions according to BAFTA Albert’s 2019-20 annual report, demonstrating the positive impact that green hydrogen could have if widely adopted.
Provided by Siemens Energy and Geopura, the hydrogen generator uses hydrogen gas made by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity generated by solar and wind power. When used the hydrogen turns back into pure and drinkable water, meaning that the ‘exhaust’ is emissions and waste free and the process is entirely circular.
The hydrogen generator will remain at BBC Bristol’s outside broadcasting hub for the duration of the Winterwatch series, with plans already in place to bring back the use of green hydrogen for future series.
With shows such as Winterwatch, Seven Worlds One Planet and Dynasties, BBC Studios Natural History Unit has taken positive steps to make its programmes more sustainably and reduce its carbon footprint over recent years, and is committed to informing the world about climate change through its programmes.
In an effort to achieve the BBC’s goal to be net zero in terms of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the Natural History Unit has committed to hiring local crews on location instead of flying teams around the world, using drones instead of helicopters for aerial footage, and using methanol fuel cells to power remote cameras.
Julian Hector, Head of BBC Studios Natural History Unit, said: “Everyone at Winterwatch and the BBC Studios Natural History Unit is punching the air at the prospect of finding a way to make our productions more sustainable. This is a superb development for us and the environment, and exactly the kind of thing we want to do more of.”
Winterwatchwill continue at 8pm on Thursday and Friday this week. You can catch-up with the entire series so far on BBC iPlayer.
HOGWOOD has won 'Best Documentary' at the Liverpool Underground Film Festival
Today (17/01/21), HOGWOOD was awarded the Best Documentary Award at the Liverpool Underground Film Festival. The festival seeks to showcase daring, unique, and entertaining independent films that transgress convention. And now HOGWOOD is free with Amazon Prime. Celebrations all round!
“To paraphrase Werner Herzog, a filmmaker must not be a fly on the wall, but a hornet that stings. Hogwood uncovers some brutal truths of animal farming. It is as harrowing as it is vital.”
– Richard Weston, Liverpool Underground Film Festival Director
“I am thrilled that HOGWOOD has been awarded the Best Documentary Award at the Liverpool Underground Film Festival. This film encapsulates so much about Viva! – I am proud of our brilliant investigations team that consistently brings together powerful footage and of our director, Juliet, who infuses her own passion into the horror. HOGWOOD is more than just a film – it exposes the modern horror stories taking place each day, hidden away in the idyllic British countryside. The public has a right to see what goes on behind the factory farm walls.”
– Tony Wardle, Director of HOGWOOD and Associate Director of Viva!
After taking 2020 ‘off’ to move our Annual Festival from fall to spring, it’s finally here - our 18th American Conservation Film Festival!
Everyone here at ACFF has been brimming with excitement to share our 2021 line-up with you. Our selection teams have chosen 47 amazing films — many with diverse creators and subjects — and nearly half are from women filmmakers (our highest percentage yet)! At least a dozen of these films, including our Green Fire Award winner, center on the experiences, cultures, and stories of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
We know these films will captivate and inspire you just as they did us.These "Voices for a New World" share stories of human resilience, the magical wonder of our natural world, and how change is often started by just one person whose passion moved them to take action.
But, don’t take our word for it! Check out our film guide where you can see what the 5 award winners are and watch trailers for each film.
Our FREE online festival runs
March 24-28th with registration opening February 1st.
FREE Access for All!
2020 gave us the 'gift' of learning how to convert an in-person Festival to a virtual experience. While nothing beats seeing a breathtaking film on the big screen, we did realize that streaming films online allows us to expand our reach way beyond Shepherdstown. Which got us to thinking...one of our primary missions is to offer these exceptional films, most of which are obscure and not otherwise available to the public, to as many people in as many places as possible, with easy access for all. We want to include people from all backgrounds, locations, socioeconomic levels, and perspectives which led us to the decision to offer our entire 2021 online festival for FREE! (Your donations, of course, are always welcome and there will be options to donate when you register.)
However, producing an online festival is not free. We still require funds to pay for the streaming platform, screening fees, and the awards to our filmmakers. We are seeking major sponsors who can help cover the income we would typically generate from ticket sales and other income garnered at an in-person festival.
We’re very excited to announce #TooWildEthiopia - Season 1, a three-part YouTube series which follows #WWFVoices members Lauren Arthur and David Eastaugh as they explore biodiversity-rich Ethiopia - the land where the wolves wander, in search for Africa’s most rarest carnivore. With less than 500 wolves remaining today, this will be no easy task. These animals are not crying wolf, at risk of their howls fading forever from the horn of Africa. Will Lauren and David be lucky enough to see this remarkable species in its natural habitat?
The goal of this new research report is to deepen our understanding and further our thinking about how nature, environmental and science media can change hearts, minds and behaviors. How can we use media to be a powerful means for individual, societal, policy, and cultural transformation?
We have unprecedented opportunities to engage audiences in the critical challenges facing our planet, from climate crises, pandemics, species extinction, to environmental injustice and racism. Today’s complex media landscape provides new ways to achieve significant impact with micro-targeted precision. There is potential to expand diversity, equity and inclusion, and to amplify a global range of perspectives.
This research was conducted by CEF Executive Director Maggie Burnette Stogner with the assistance of two graduate students, Nicole Wackerly and Carlos Macher. CEF’s ongoing impact media research is supported by HHMI/Tangled Bank Studios.
by The Nature Conservancy, this year’s theme is “Your Favorite Wild Animal” and the
celebration will be held during the DC Environmental Film Festival, which takes place from March
18 - 28, 2021.
This competition is free to enter and includes five categories for worldwide
The winner in each category will receive a cash prize and recognition at DC-EFF and on the CEF and Nature Conservancy websites.
The Eco-Comedy Video Competition exists to promote the use of comedy to engage audiences.
Around 30% of animal and plant species are at risk of extinction, according to the Red List released in December, which is an inventory of threatened species maintained by the International Union of Conservation and Nature (IUCN). Raise awareness about your favorite wild animal through the power of comedy.
Carole Baskin, an activist for big cats, sat down and binge-watched “Tiger King” on Netflix just like everybody else. The end product, which she believed would resemble a “Blackfish” for tigers, had almost nothing to do with saving big cats, she said — a real “missed opportunity” for the film that made her famous.
Roughly 34 million people watched “Tiger King” in the first 10 days it was available, according to Nielsen. Many more watched after that.
But if “Tiger King” viewers instead focused their attention on “The Hidden Tiger,” an upcoming documentary from Knoxville director Michael Samtesto, the impact would be “Earth changing,” she told Knox News.
Samtesto called upon Baskin to share her expertise for the film, which explores the impact tiger captivity has on cats in cages and wild tiger populations.
“The Hidden Tiger,” which is scheduled to come out Dec. 26, has been in the works for more than five years. And it all started just up the road from Knoxville at Roane County’s Tiger Haven.
“The story just kind of continued to expand and unfold for us,” Samtesto told Knox News — all the way to India and Nepal.
The Hidden Tiger exposes the truth about the captive tiger population in the United States and its adverse affect on wild tiger conservation. Five years in the making, The Hidden Tiger traveled the globe, meeting with NGOs and top tiger conservation experts. The documentary exposes the exploiters and celebrates the conservationists, while presenting a clear path for us all. Together, we can save the tiger.
We are proud to be releasing The Hidden Tiger as a screening sponsor. To watch the film, simply rent/buy and watch on Vimeo here (above) and 25% of ticket proceeds after platform fees will be donated to Wildlife-film.com. Once you’ve watched the film, please go and check out the TAKE ACTION page to see what further steps you can take to help save the tiger.
Richard Brock's much-anticipated book Planet Crunch - the Life (or Death) of Planet Earth is coming soon!
Richard Brock has been very busy writing his book, Planet Crunch, all of last year ... An excellent use of lockdown time we say.
He want's to make our readers an interesting and useful offer. Briefly it's this:
"I was a producer in the BBC Natural History Unit for 35 years and I'm just finishing a book called “Planet Crunch - the Life (or Death) of Planet Earth". It's very visual, refreshing, personal, original and concentrates on wildlife and the natural world - who's winning or losing? Perhaps an antidote to “conservation fatigue". There are also three films (25 minutes each) for YouTube and Vimeo. Both the book and the films include: Sir David Attenborough; Greta Thunberg; biodiversity; shopping; forests; farming; fishing; food; consumption; waste/plastic/recycling; energy/oil; climate change; Covid-19; water; the media; money/fashion; Trump; aviation/travel/tourism; human population; China; nature and us. The white stork is the theme ending with some really good news. The book contains some 150 pages. There's also reference to about 100 films on similar subjects I've made over the last four years called “Wildlife Winners and Losers - How to turn losers into winners" , available, for free on YouTube and Vimeo. Please see my website (www.brockinitiative.org) for more information. At this time much attention has been drawn to the future of the planet, and my previous colleague, Sir David Attenborough has been both insistent and persistent in trying to get the message across. It's difficult these days, with the pandemic, to get attention, let alone action. The book and films are my attempt to help. There's also an extra bonus - a cheer - you - upplement! We need it. The non-profit offer I'm suggesting means the book is FREE unless you'd like to contribute something to a worthy and perhaps related cause ... I have done all this as a legacy to my sister, and mother who died aged 102. She seemed to have approved of what I was trying to do. IMPORTANT: I don't, personally, expect any income from this project. If you would like to contribute something - say £10 - to a charity of your, or my choice, please do so suggesting any preference in the way it's done. These days many charities need income to help continue projects around the world. And to extend the project, do please pass on this offer to friends and contacts, those who are concerned about the future at this time of "Planet Crunch". This isn't a con or scam. It's true! The book will come in the New Year. Please let me know if you (and others) would like to receive it." Richard Brock – Email: email@example.com
Sneak peek at the cover:
ANIMOSITY: Snapshots from the Frontline of Conservation – Will COVID-19 Finally bring an End to Wildlife Tourism? by Izzy Sasada
Pictures: Aaron Gekoski
21 December 2020
The abrupt halt we have all experienced at the hand of Covid19 serves as a stark reminder that humans are not separate from the animal world, but inextricably linked. ANIMOSITY, by award-winning environmental photojournalist, Aaron Gekoski, offers a snapshot of the main issues facing wildlife today, showcasing a collection of powerful photographs and absorbing tales from the frontlines of conservation- from wildlife tourism and the exotic pet trade, to the illegal wildlife trade and marine conservation.
Aaron Gekoski has spent the last decade as an environmental photojournalist, and since 2017 he has turned his camera on wildlife tourism, exposing the dire underworld of the animal entertainment industry.
From travelling circuses and elephant rides, to orangutan boxing venues and otter pet cafes, his journey documenting wildlife entertainment has taken him across four continents and to more than a dozen countries.
But by April 2020, Covid19 had spread across the planet, and the tourism and travel industries of which we knew had collapsed. With countries closing boarders and venues shutting their doors, one can only imagine the conditions in which imprisoned animals are kept. There have been reports of lions left to starve at Gamji Gate Zoo in Kaduna, Nigeria, and accounts of starvation and lack of veterinary healthcare within Thailand’s captive elephant population, as the pandemic forced at least 85 camps to close.
It is difficult to predict how wildlife tourism will survive in the post-Covid19 era. The pandemic is certainly thought to be somewhat of a watershed moment regarding our understanding of our relationship with the natural world and the illicit trade of endangered creatures. An optimistic perspective is that this newfound understanding of our relationship with the natural world will lead to a reconsideration of the existence of these venues.
Whatever the future holds for the wildlife tourism, for many of the animals photographed in ANIMOSITY, it is too late. The book showcases today’s issues of conflict, conservation and mankind’s complicated relationship with the natural world. So, sit back, enjoy, shed a tear, and be repulsed or inspired by some of the stories contained within ANIMOSITY.
ANIMOSITY can currently be purchased at 25% off ... from The Book Depository with FREE DELIVERY WORLDWIDE
The Hidden Tiger Documentary From Rescue Doc Films Spotlights America’s Unique Tiger Tragedy by Jason Peters
20 December 2020
A new documentary "The Hidden Tiger" will be released this month, on the 26th of December, featuring Carole and Howard Baskin of "Tiger King" fame.
There are now more tigers living in the backyards, roadside attractions, theme parks, zoos, and sanctuaries in the United States than there are in the wild globally. A new documentary from Rescue Doc Films, The Hidden Tiger – with help from Carole and Howard Baskin of Tiger King fame – shows what abusers like Joe Exotic and Doc Antle want to keep hidden: the truth about American tigers.
In early 2020, The Netflix documentary Tiger King was viewed more than 34 million times in the first ten days of release. The Hidden Tiger focuses on the uniquely American problem captive tigers present and how people like the Baskins and other organizations are combating it. Under-regulated, over-bred and often mistreated, these apex predators are born into a lifetime of captivity with a surprising and unintended consequence – their caged existence helps undermine the already difficult task of saving their wild counterparts.
The Hidden Tiger is a global exposé revealing the links between captive tigers and the wild tigers’ possible extinction. Traveling around the world, Rescue Doc Films has uncovered alarming realities:
In the U.S., there are an estimated 10,000 tigers being exploited and abused as entertainment for humans, yet fewer than 4,000 tigers remain in the wild.
In the U.S., a tiger can be legally purchased in some states for less than a purebred dog.
First responders are at risk and ill prepared to handle attacks, escapes, and abuses involving tigers here in the U.S., such as the Zanesville massacre.
Global efforts to save the tiger from extinction are being held back by U.S. failures and fake conservation pleas by exploiters that simply want profit rather than protection.
With the December release of The Hidden Tiger, Rescue Doc Films explores promising solutions including the current conservation efforts being made in Asia and the ongoing push to enact the Big Cat Public Safety Act in The United States. With work in India, Nepal, the UK, and across the United States, Rescue Doc Films has connected top experts in the world of tiger conservation to help give tigers a voice.
Vegan 2020 is the latest installment in PBN's annual series of films.
Every year since 2015, PBN has released a documentary showcasing the growth of veganism over the last 12 months.
Since 2015, the annual documentary has grown bigger, attracting millions of views each year. Vegan 2018 and 2019 peaked, premiering in cities around the world, including London, Los Angeles, and Beijing.
Vegan 2020 charts the victories and challenges of the movement over a year which has seen the world in general change beyond recognition.
“Trees don’t just provide shade and shelter for the fish; they actually help shape the river and the processes that govern it.”
Penny Lawson, Spey Catchment Initiative Project Officer
In many river catchments, Scotland’s wild salmon are in freefall. While scientists frantically search for answers to a complex issue, restoring native woodland and reigniting natural processes in upland rivers, could deliver benefits for both fish and people – the very aims of an ambitious river restoration project in Glen Banchor.
Virtual Eco-Comedy Awards Night A Success! By Maggie Stogner
7 December 2020
On Tuesday, Nov. 17, the Center for Environmental Filmmaking was delighted to be able to host the annual Eco-Comedy Awards ceremony and finally acknowledge the finalists and winners with a virtual ceremony, bringing filmmakers, families, and friends together from around the world (the CEF Awards Ceremony was originally scheduled in March during the DC Environmental Film Festival but postponed due to the pandemic).
This year’s competition had over 175 submissions from over 30 countries, amplifying diverse voices with short videos, animation, and innovative storytelling.
The theme was Clean Water and Clean Air. Five categories included Worldwide Grades K-8, High School, College/University, and Nonstudent, and, for the first time, a local DC/Maryland/Virginia category for grades K-8.
CEF partnered with The Nature Conservancy, the American University Center for Media and Social Impact, American University’s School of Communication, American University’s Office of Sustainability. Clean Air Partners partnered with us for the local competition.
A recording of the event, including the finalists and winning videos, can be found here (or watch below).
Support mounts for a global treaty to combat plastic pollution– but much work remains to secure it
Last week (13 Nov '20), the ‘ad hoc expert group’ (AHEG) tasked by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) to explore global options to combat plastic waste was concluded.
The fulfilment of the its mandate marks two years of consultations between countries and observers to take stock of existing activities, identify potential global actions and analyse their potential effectiveness in tackling plastic pollution.
Despite a transition to an online virtual platform, the meeting yielded fervent discussions and deliberations on the best route forwards.
Over the lifetime of the AHEG, appetite for a new binding global treaty has become increasingly apparent – not just from countries, regions and civil society organisations, but also the business community which now see the added value in a global agreement. Nowhere has this support been more apparent than at last week’s fourth and final AHEG meeting.
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