42nd Annual International Wildlife Film Festival Award Winners Announced from IWFF
20 April 2019
Congratulations to the IWFF 42 award winning films.
We are pleased to announce the Award Winners for the 2019 International Wildlife FIlm Festival. The 42nd IWFF Awards took place on Friday, April 19th at The Wilma.
Best Human-Wildlife Interaction Film
Director: Rick Rosenthal,
Producer: Katya Shirokow
Whales live in a world so removed from our own that we can barely imagine their lives. Marine biologist and filmmaker Rick Rosenthal has filmed whales for much of his long career. Now he is on a quest to probe deeper into their lives, to compare scientists’ observations against his own experience, and just maybe, to get a glimpse of the world as it must seem to these ocean giants.
Best Children’s Film
Backyard Wilderness Directors & Producers: Susan Todd, Andrew Young
BACKYARD WILDERNESS will surprise and entertain viewers with the unexpected wonders of nature that are right under our noses: literally in our own backyards. Spanning four seasons, the film captures unique wildlife images and behavior in rare and breathtaking intimacy. Wi-Fi is not the only connection that matters and that in ordinary places, we can discover extraordinary things – if we just step outside.
Best Young Adult Film
Take Back the Harbor
Directors: Kristi Jacobson, Roger Ross Williams
Producers: Christopher Clements, Julie Goldman, Carolyn Hepburn, Kristi Jacobson
On New York’s Governor’s Island there is an ambitious goal: to restore oysters to New York Harbor. The foot soldiers of this environmental movement are an unlikely group–high school students at a public school which teaches waterways stewardship alongside math and English. TAKE BACK THE HARBOR highlights these students and their teachers as they persevere to turn the tide on decades of neglect and bring back the health of their city’s waterways.
Best Newcomer Film
Director: Rio Mitchell
& Producer: Chris Hsiung
In the deep freeze of Northern Alberta, a young man finds freedom and his livelihood on the trapline. But with increasing family obligations, and with industrial development encroaching upon the area’s wildlife, this may be his last chance to live his passion for the wilderness.
Best Independent Feature Film
Stroop: A Journey Into the Rhino Horn War
Director: Susan Scott & Producer: Bonné de Bod
In this roller coaster ride between Africa and Asia, two first-time filmmakers embed themselves on the front-lines of the rhinoceros genocide. Carving out six months for the project, the women quickly find themselves immersed in a world far larger and more dangerous than they had imagined, emerging from their odyssey four years later.
Best Broadcast Feature Film
Epic Yellowstone: Return of the Predators
Directors: Thomas Winston, Jeff Reed, Shasta Winston
& Producers: Thomas Winston, Tria Thalman, Eric Bendick, Avela Grenier, Jeff Reed, Shasta Winston, Smithsonian Channel
It’s a bird’s eye view of a iconic place, Yellowstone National Park. Soaring above the erupting Old Faithful Geyser, the cascading Lower Falls, and the brilliant Grand Prismatic Springs, Yellowstone’s winged creatures survey an extraordinary landscape. But a bird’s life in the extremes of the world’s first national park is anything but an easy glide.
Best Short Film
Sides of a Horn
Director: Toby Wosskow
& Producers: Toby Wosskow, Emmanuel Castis, Charlie Hicks, Erika Klopper
From executive producer Sir Richard Branson, SIDES OF A HORN is the first film to tell the story of Africa’s war on poaching from both sides of the fence. Based on actual events, and filmed in one of the communities most directly impacted by wildlife crime, we follow the journey of two brothers-in-law fighting on opposite sides of Africa’s poaching war. This dramatic short film paints an unbiased portrait of a modern conflict that is tearing communities apart and driving a prehistoric species–the rhinoceros–to the verge of extinction.
Best Student Film
The Great Pretender
Director & Producer: Nardine Grotch After the loss of an important display feather a famous lyrebird named “The Pretender” struggles to win a mate during the most competitive song-and-dance competition in Australia.
Best Environmental Film
Director: Alex Lowther
& Producer: Emily Grant
Takayna in northwestern Tasmania is home to one of the last tracts of old-growth rainforest in the world, yet it’s currently at the mercy of destructive extraction industries, including logging and mining. This documentary, presented by Patagonia Films, unpacks the complexities of modern conservation and challenges us to consider the importance of our last wild places.
Best Conservation Film
Director: David Hambridge
& Producers: Andrew Harrison Brown, David Hambridge
KIFARU (Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award, Slamdance 2019) follows the lives of two young Kenyan recruits that join Ol Pejeta Conservancy’s rhino caretaker unit, a small group of rangers that care for and protect Sudan, the last male northern white rhino or, in Swahili, “kifaru.” Spanning the caretakers’ first four years on the job, KIFARU allows viewers to experience the joys and pitfalls of conservation firsthand through the eyes of these men.
Director: Nicolas Brown
& Producer: David Allen
In the 1960s, a band of young scientists headed out into the wilderness, driven by an insatiable curiosity about how nature works. Immersed in some of the most remote places on Earth—the Serengeti to the Arctic Ocean and through the Amazon jungle—they discovered a single set of rules that govern all life. Now in their twilight, these five unsung heroes of modern ecology share the stories of their adventures and reveal how their pioneering work flipped our view of nature on its head.
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