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39th Annual International Wildlife Film Festival Award Winners Announced
April 2016


Congratulations to the IWFF 39 award winning films.

We are pleased to announce the Award Winners for the 2016 International Wildlife FIlm Festival. The 2016 IWFF Awards took place on Friday, April 22 at Missoula's Wilma Theater.

Newcomer Award

Islands of Creation – Nathan Dappen - USA - 2015 - 48 minutes

Islands of Creation - Teaser from Day's Edge Productions

In the jungles of a remote archipelago in the South Pacific, a biologist is attempting to do something Charles Darwin and Ernst Mayr never accomplished: catch evolution in the act of creating new species. Albert Uy is on the verge of an amazing discovery in the Solomon Islands, but there’s a threat looming on the horizon. The islands’ resources are being exploited, putting all local wildlife at risk. It’s a race against time to gather the evidence necessary to prove the existence of a new species before it’s lost forever.

Student Award

Medieval Monsters – Oliver Mueller – United Kingdom – 2015 – 10 Minutes

Medieval Monsters from Oliver Mueller

The New Forest of England has remained unchanged for centuries and while many of the country’s ancient beasts have long since vanished, here the creatures of old can still be found. This film captures their lives using macro, slow-motion and time-lapse techniques to reveal behaviours beyond the capabilities of the human eye. Duelling dragonflies, acid-firing ants and jousting stag beetles take centre stage in this world of medieval monsters.

Independent Award

MOOSE: A Year in the Life of a Twig Eater – Susan Fleming – Canada – 2015 – 60 Minutes

NATURE | Moose: Life of a Twig Eater | Preview | PBS from PBS

This stunningly intimate nature documentary takes viewers deep inside the world of moose to experience a calf’s first year of life up close and personal.

Theatrical Feature Award

The Messenger – Su Rynard – Canada – 2015 – 90 Minutes

The Messenger - Su Rynard

Broadcast Feature Award

Yellowstone Oliver Goetzl (Gulo Film Productions) – Germany – 2015 – 55 Minutes

Yellowstone from Gran Paradiso Film Festival

Few places are as special and unique as Yellowstone National Park – America’s first national park. A wilderness jewel of vast forests and wide-open valleys, home to large bison herds, wolf packs and grizzly bears. It sits atop one of the world’s largest active super volcanoes, giving rise to such iconic geothermal features as Old Faithful Geyser and Grand Prismatic Spring. As part of the landmark wildlife series AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS, “Yellowstone” was filmed over three years by award-winning filmmakers Oliver Goetzl and Ivo Nörenberg. Using the latest in cinematographic techniques, this film showcases Yellowstone’s extraordinary wildlife and spectacular landscapes like never before!

Broadcast Series Award

Animal Homes – Ann Johnson Prum – USA – 2015 – 55 Minutes

NATURE | Animal Homes: The Nest | Preview | PBS from PBS

Animals, like humans, need a place they can call home to provide a safe and stable place to raise a family, whether it’s a bird nest, a bear den, a beaver lodge or spider web. This three-part series features a blend of animation and signature “architectural blueprints” that highlight engineering principles inside the structures and demonstrate just how animals around the globe build their remarkable homes. Ecologist Chris Morgan (Siberian Tiger Quest, Bears of the Last Frontier) serves as our guide to the materials, locations, neighborhoods, and aesthetics of these animal homes, as well as the intriguing behaviors and social interactions that take place in and around them.

Human Wildlife Interaction Award

Muerte es Vida (Death is Life) – Ali Alvarez – 2015 – United Kingdom – 70 Minutes

Muerte es Vida (Death is Life) - English trailer from MARIPOSA PRODUCTIONS

MUERTE ES VIDA is documentary about the connection between death and nature. The film’s central Mexican character, Sabino, believes the millions of Monarch butterflies that arrive every year are the souls of departed family coming back to visit as they arrive in time for Day of the Dead after an epic journey from Canada and the Northern United States. On their migration south they have touched people at their darkest hour of losing a loved one. We meet seven people, from Canada to Mexico, and see how each have dealt with their loss. This film is an honest and human view of loss and shows how Mexican culture deals with death.

Environmental Award

Unnatural Selection Steve Nicholls, Sarah Whalley (Warehouse51/Terra Mater) – Austria – 2013 – 53 Minutes

Unnatural Selection
Unnatural Selection from Terra Mater Factual Studios

The wings of cliff swallows in Nebraska are getting shorter while turtles in Chesapeake Bay are getting larger. On the Galapagos Islands, different species are collapsing back into one. What has happened to evolution? The answer is very simple: us. Humans have transformed the planet beyond recognition – turning grasslands and forests into fields and cities and polluting air and water. And all of these changes have altered the course of evolution, often in surprising ways.

Conservation Award

Red Wolf Revival – Roshan Patel – USA – 2015 – 24 Minutes

Red Wolf Revival from Nestbox Collective

Short film about the last remaining wild population of red wolves. Centered on the historic recovery effort in Eastern North Carolina and the state’s declared intent to drive the species to extinction, we document the multifaceted struggle to reintroduce one of the rarest animals on earth in the face of cultural, economic, and biological challenges in North Carolina.

Children & Young Adults Award

A Life in a Day – Colin Scott – 2015 – USA – 5 Minutes

The life of a mayfly is an allegory of our own — you’re born, you struggle, mate, reproduce, and die — except it all happens over the course of a single day. A LIFE IN THE DAY is a four-minute animated short that reminds us that life is brief, beautiful, and meant to be enjoyed.

Best Cinematography Award

Soul of the Elephant – Dereck Joubert, Beverly Joubert – USA – 2015 – 53 Minutes

NATURE | Soul of the Elephant | Preview | PBS from PBS

Ironically, every dead elephant with its ivory intact is a reason to celebrate. It means an elephant died of natural causes, not bullets, snares or poison, and a soul was allowed to be celebrated and mourned by its herd. Award-winning filmmakers, Dereck and Beverly Joubert start with the remains of two bull elephants and through a series of key flashbacks, look at the lives they would have led, the dramas they may have seen, their great migrations for water with their families, and their encounters with lions and hyenas. This film, shot over two years, is an intimate look at elephants through the lens of perhaps the greatest storytellers of natural history.

Best Editing Award

Gardeners of the Forest – Ceylan Carhoglu, Nicole Jordan Webber – USA – 2015 – 15 Minutes

For generations, Laos was known as the Land of a Million Elephants but, as of 2016, there are fewer than 600 elephants left in the wild.

Best Short Film Award

Red Wolf Revival – Roshan Patel – USA – 2015 – 24 Minutes

Best of Fest Award

The MessengerSu Rynard – Canada – 2015 – 90 Minutes


An artful investigation into the causes of songbird mass depletion and the compassionate people who are working to turn the tide. The film takes viewers on a visually stunning journey revealing how the problems facing birds also pose daunting implications for our planet and ourselves.

A big congratulations to all winners, with special back slaps to our members in bold above!

Watch the IWFF 39 Trailer!

International Wildlife Film Festival 39 [Trailer] from The Roxy Theater Trailers

International Wildlife Film FestivalVisit: www.wildlifefilms.org
See photo's from the festival on Facebook and follow on Twitter!

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