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Introducing the 2020 Jackson Wild™ Media Lab & Summit Fellows
From Jackson Wild
3rd September 2020

Jackson Wild, in collaboration with Day's Edge Productions and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, is proud to announce the distinguished Fellows of the 2020 Jackson Wild Media Lab, which will be held virtually this fall from September 21-25, just prior to the 2020 Jackson Wild Summit.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows

The Jackson Wild Media Lab is an immersive, cross-disciplinary science film making workshop that brings scientists and media creators together to learn from leaders in the profession and work together to develop effective tools to communicate about science, nature and conservation with diverse audiences across the world’s evolving media platforms. Learn more.

The selection committee was deeply impressed by the interest and passion this year’s applicants made clear in their applications. From over 220 global applicants, 12 Fellows were accepted into this rigorous filmmaking fellowship, which includes a modest stipend during the workshop and a full pass to the 2020 Jackson Wild Summit.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Robert Boyd

Robert Boyd

During his time as a filmmaker, Robert has worked to highlight discoveries in science and the natural world. He has produced video content exploring zooplankton research at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and invasive species management at the Department of Interior.During his graduate studies at American University, Robert has worked as a video engineer intern aboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus, where he was responsible for controlling and monitoring ROV mounted cameras, recording deep sea fauna found in the Gulf of California. Most recently, he has worked with the National Park Service, using film to highlight the environmental and historical amenities of the Manassas, Everglades, and Indiana Dunes National Parks.

Now, as a recent graduate of American University, Robert is excited to take part in a Fellowship with the Investigative Reporting Workshop. And going forward, Robert is interested in creating documentary films that highlight the intersection between human society and microscopic life, ranging from insects to viruses.

Faith Briggs

Faith’s favorite feelings are a tie between sun on skin and warm mud oozing between bare toes. She is grateful for the life changing knowledge of literary grandmothers such as Audre Lorde, bell hooks, Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Cade Bambara and many more. She treasures the great privilege to have listened at the feet of giants in social justice and theory around Black lives such as Cathleen Cleaver, Elizabeth Alexander and Jafari Allen. She wouldn’t be the same without the guidance of James McBride writing on paper napkins in McSorley’s Old Alehouse, “The work of your life is your life!” She works at the intersection of race, environment, history and culture. Faith has become a sharer of stories through serving lattes, sitting in cubicles, learning from children, riding public transportation, and talking to strangers. She daydreams about picking the leaves off cilantro stems with elders on front porches that can only be reached by dirt roads. Her feet have brought her - running and trekking and fishing and riding - to bustling streets, breathtaking vistas, and powerful rivers around the world. Like James Baldwin, she “loves America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason, insist[s] on the right to criticize her perpetually.” She falls in love every time she hears “Que lo que.” She aspires to truly be a plant mama, she loves dancing in open air under the moonlight at kid-friendly parties, and her heart lives on a Brooklyn rooftop.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Faith Briggs

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Katie Bryden

Katie Bryden

Katie is a cause-based conservation filmmaker. Currently, she works as a Senior Video Producer at Conservation International and is an Emerging League Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP).

Katie has led international film productions in Tanzania, Fiji, Colombia, Peru, Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Kenya. From shining light on women’s empowerment initiatives to sustainable development both on land and underwater, Katie has spearheaded a variety of conservation impact video campaigns crafted for both governments and public audiences.

Romi Castagnino

Romi is a Peruvian conservation biologist and wildlife photographer based in Australia. She has conducted research in the Amazon Rainforestand tropical montane cloud forests of Peru using camera traps to study carnivore conservation.

Romi is also a bilingual environmental writer at Mongabay and the host of ‘Candid Animal Cam,’ an educational Youtube series featuring wildlife caught on camera traps around the world.

Driven by her passion for wildlife ecology, she founded Neofelis Films, a video production company focused on science communication, natural history and conservation documentaries.

She wants to use filmmaking to raise awareness of pressing issues like the illegal wildlife trade.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Romi Castagnino

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Darío Fernández-Bellon

Darío Fernández-Bellon

Darío is a conservation biologist and researcher. He has worked on conservation projects focused on globally endangered birds including harpy eagles, Ridgway’s hawks, and curlews, among others.

Darío holds a PhD in ecology and researches the effects of climate change, land use, and other anthropogenic pressures on wildlife. His research also focuses on conservation messaging – evaluating the best ways of delivering conservation messages that can help change societal behaviours.

Darío has also worked as a researcher on natural history films (Wild Cuba, Wild Ireland, and Wild Cities) with CTL Films and produces short science and conservation outreach videos.

Sugandhi Gadadhar

Sugandhi is a wildlife filmmaker, photographer and naturalist from Bangalore, India. She is a 2020 National Geographic Explorer and a member of the IUCN’s Otter Specialist Group.

She has worked as a cameraperson on several broadcast productions.

With a primary interest in animal behaviour and wildlife conservation, she has directed films in local languages for forest departments/NGOs so as to better connect local and rural audiences with the wildlife in their backyard.

She volunteers with Conservation India and the sustainable menstruation movement.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Sugandhi Gadadhar

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Pooja Gupta

Pooja Gupta

Pooja is a multimedia artist with a focus on science communication, from Hyderabad, India.

With a specialist interest in ecology and wildlife conservation, she uses her skills in design thinking to develop multimedia content for science education. Her hands-on approach to communicating conservation has taken her across the world to work on a wide spectrum of projects: from assisting on media workshops in the remote Peruvian Amazon to filming in the Andaman Islands, and developing campaign media to support various conservation causes.

She collaborates with a range of experts across disciplines including leading environmental organisations in the country to create media for positive impact.

Raunak Kapoor

Raunak is an Indian documentary filmmaker and photographer working in the United States.

In 2016, he was awarded the Kenan excellence award to begin his study at University of North Carolina School of the Arts on a full-scholarship.

Since then, he has worked on a variety of films, including After Dark (Mountain Film Festival 2020), Kashi (Director/DP) and various projects for iSWOOP (receiving several awards at STEM for all Video Showcase).

Raunak Kapoor began filmmaking to tell stories that are underrepresented in the modern media and wants his work to bring about positive change in the community around him.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Raunak Kapoor

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Emi Kondo

Emi Kondo

Emi is a producer, filmmaker, photographer and aspiring multimedia storyteller. Inspired by nature, animals, science, conservation and the beauty of the ordinary.

Based in Costa Rica, she has worked in World Animal Protection International capturing animals in farms, disaster zones, and created educational pieces about Hyacinth Macaws, Golden Lion Tamarins, Amazon pink dolphins, sloth’s recovery and release efforts, and undercover in captive animal venues in Thailand, Japan, US and Mexico.

Recently, produced and filmed Fooled by a smile, a short documentary that tells the story about a former dolphin trainer and the hidden truth behind dolphin venues in Mexico.

Christine Lin

Christine is a filmmaker and environmentalist.

As the Senior Producer of Visual Storytelling at the National Audubon Society, she helps lead video and media projects with topics ranging from bird conservation to environmental justice to climate action.

Her passion for documentary film goes hand-in-hand with her love for telling impactful stories about the natural world and how humans fit within it.

Christine has been based in Brooklyn since earning her degree from New York University, and likes to spend her free time spritzing her houseplants and creating music on her keyboard.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Christine Lin

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Anthony Ochieng

Anthony Ochieng

Anthony is a Wildlife Ecologist, Conservation Photographer and Emerging Filmmaker.

He is a Jackson Wild Emerging Filmmaker Scholar 2019, WWF Education for Nature Grantee, 2020 Top35under35 Awardee and a WWF Africa Youth Award Nominee 2018.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Management from Moi University.

Anthony is also the founder of TonyWild, a platform for promoting conservation action by creating awareness on wildlife conservation through photography, film and science.

Dustin Renwick

Dustin is a triathlete and a freelance journalist based in the District of Columbia.

His work often involves science or sports, almost always augmented with the lens and lessons of history/archives.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Dustin Renwick

... AND the 24 Jackson Wild Summit Fellows

Jackson Wild is fully committed to elevating new global voices in storytelling as one of its four pillars of engagement.

We are committed to bringing different viewpoints to the table in order to creatively engage new audiences to protect and restore our natural world. This program was created to provide passes, mentorship and unique networking opportunities for filmmakers who will help us diversify our community with regard to race, gender, culture, socioeconomics, geography, and domain knowledge. This scholarship will provide mentorship for emerging conservation media leaders in unique programs that directly connect them with the most influential content creators from around the globe. Recipients will attend the Jackson Wild Summit, September 28 - October 1, 2020.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Tessa Barlin

Tessa Barlin
Cape Town, South Africa

Tessa Barlin is a 25-year-old South African independent filmmaker with a focus on documentary storytelling and a passion for wildlife conservation. Tessa aims to tell stories that explore the intersection between nature conservation and social justice issues. She is driven to use her craft to bring about meaningful change. Her goal is to inspire people, who ordinarily wouldn't care about nature, to feel connected to the natural world, to claim a sense of ownership and pride in it, and to want to protect it. Where Tessa once exclusively did cinematography, she is now directing and producing her own films too. Tessa's graduation film, The Water Dancers, won a SAFTA Award in 2019 and her most recent short documentary, Beyond The Fence, is currently on the festival circuit.

Raghunath Belur
Bangalore, India

Raghunath Belur (“Rana”) is a wildlife filmmaker and photographer from Bangalore, India. He has worked as a cameraperson for several national and international wildlife productions. His interests are in documenting animal behaviour and the conservation efforts leading to the protection of wild spaces. He is a volunteer with Conservation India and is a member of the IUCN’s Otter Specialist Group (OSG). He is currently documenting the conflict between otters and fishermen along the rivers in South India.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Raghunath Belur

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Chelsie Boodoo

Chelsie Boodoo
East Lansing, MI, United States

Chelsie Boodoo is a Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student at Michigan State University. She founded the radio-show/podcast "The Sci-Files" with her co-host Daniel Puentes. "The Sci-Files" won First Place in the 2020 Michigan Association of Broadcasting Awards for College Radio Talk Show for the episode "Doppsee the Pregnant Black Rhino". Chelsie has a passion for science communication (scicomm), and started MSU SciComm with other graduate students to create a welcoming space for everyone to practice and learn scicomm. Chelsie also enjoys capturing the beauty of nature and astronomy in Michigan through video and photography. She is a City of East Lansing Emerging Leader and she was commissioned in Summer 2020 to create science-art for the city. You can contact her on Twitter: @SciWithChelsie.

Asha de Vos
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Dr. Asha de Vos is an internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan marine biologist, ocean educator and pioneer of long-term blue whale research within the Northern Indian Ocean. She is also an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Oceans Institute of the University of Western Australia. She has degrees from the University of St. Andrews, University of Oxford and the University of Western Australia but escaped academia to establish her own Sri Lankan grown non-profit, Oceanswell - Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation research and education organization. Her work has been showcased internationally by the BBC, the New York Times, TED and National Geographic to name a few. Asha is the first and only Sri Lankan to have a PhD in Marine Mammal research, the first Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation and first National Geographic Explorer from Sri Lanka, and the first Sri Lankan woman to have her portrait hung at Oxford University. Asha is also a TED Senior fellow, an Ocean Conservation Fellow at the New England Aquarium, a Duke Global Fellow in Marine Conservation, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Asha de Vos
Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Iyana Esters

Iyana Esters
Reno, NV, United States

Iyana is a documentary photographer based in the United States with a Master's of Public Health from Indiana University. She combines visual storytelling with her expertise in public health to empower Black and other marginalized communities, using photography as a lens to examine the human impact of environmental inequities. An emerging visual storyteller, Iyana works primarily in long-form photography and documentary. She also works with the Institute for Journalism & Natural Resources as a programmer.

Eshika Fyzee
Mumbai, India

Eshika is a National Geographic Explorer and a wildlife filmmaker who emphasizes on conservation in all the work that she does. During her Masters degree in Wildlife Filmmaking, Eshika filmed one of the most memorable projects of her life, where she went to the Himalayas as a student to look for and film the ever elusive snow leopard. Since then, she has filmed across the Indian subcontinent, photographed wild Asiatic lions on foot, rhinoceroses in Assam, King cobras in southern India, and has trekked through some of the most conflict ridden zones in the Himalayas. She has travelled through parts of Nepal on assignments with National Geographic Traveller India, and has worked on conservation and films with WWF India. After having finished placements at the BBC Natural History Unit and Icon films, Eshika founded Pangea Films in January 2018. Over the last two years, Eshika has been busy producing and directing a broadcast length documentary on the severely threatened Himalayan Brown Bear, for the National Geographic Channel. She is currently working on new wildlife films and series, and hopes her work creates the positive impact she desires.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Eshika Fyzee

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Malak Ghazal

Malak Ghazal
Kalamazoo, MI, United States

Malak Ghazal is a multimedia artist from Kalamazoo, MI focusing on postcolonialism and environmental politics. She is one of 14 million Lebanese migrants, known as the Lebanese Diaspora. Though they are scattered in all corners of the globe - their hearts are rooted in our homeland. But, Malak asks, “why did so many of us have to leave in the first place? The answer lies in the land itself. Our strife is directly linked to environmental exploitation - dating back several thousands of years. Rarely have the voices of Arabs (or members of the ‘developing world’) included in the environmentalist movement, but our communities illustrate how destroying ecosystems destroys societies. Through interviews, documentation, writing, and photography, my work explores these connections. I hope to continue this research in the months to come through the Jackson Wild Fellowship.”

Alexandra Kahn
Honolulu, HI, United States

Alexandra is a freelance photographer living on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. She is an independent female with a deep love for travel and adventure. Alexandra Kahn says she struggles to put into words the feeling she gets when she captures a moment in time and presses the play button to reveal the image on her camera. Alexandra’s methods are rarely calculated and are constantly changing. She finds inspiration in light, clouds, textures, patterns, colors and angles. When she looks with her eyes at the world in front of her, sometimes she thinks she can see something different because what she can see is so incredible that everyone should be stopping to marvel like she is. Alexandra sees the world as still frames waiting to be recorded and preserved for the future. She believes these memories can bring everyone together, can make everyone laugh or cry, can help everyone to always remember, and can record a moment in history.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Alexandra Kahn

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Felixie Kipngetich

Felixie Kipngetich
Nakuru, Kenya

Felix is an independent documentary filmmaker and science storyteller based in Kenya. He's had the privilege of developing films for non-profits in East Africa while also serving as a wildlife film and photography expedition assistant instructor. He’s currently interning at Kenya Wildlife Trust on their Mara Predator Conservation Programme. He seeks to drive impact while also learning better ways of being creative, inclusive, and interactive in his work. The interactions he’s had while facilitating the masterclasses within the wild have pushed and motivated him to need to try to and be better at it so he can share these skills with more younger Africans. He’s a big believer that as Africans we ought to inform our own stories & represent ourselves wholly. We should protect and preserve our biodiversity. Driven by the vision to create better solutions to conserve the environment and tell the stories of nature - his mission is to explore this incredible world, learn everything he can, and share powerful, impactful stories.

Cosette Larash
Baltimore, MD, United States

Cosette Larash is a marine conservationist, educator, photographer, and filmmaker based in Baltimore, MD who is passionate about our blue planet and the people that call it home. She is a freelance photographer for the National Aquarium and works full time as a public engagement specialist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), where she works to make scientific research accessible to the community. Being a part of the LGBTQ+ community, she brings a unique lens to science and conservation storytelling. Her goal is to bring a more inclusive and equitable perspective towards the types of stories that are highlighted. Cosette is passionate about challenging American “norms” in STEM and by amplifying the stories of diversity in the field, she hopes to show what real science looks like and that anyone can be a part of it.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Cosette Larash

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Irene Mendez Cruz

Irene Mendez Cruz
Bristol, United Kingdom

Irene is a Venezuelan-French marine and natural history photographer and filmmaker, currently working as a researcher for the BBC Natural History Unit in Bristol. She is passionate about the natural world, storytelling and science & conservation communication. She comes from a multicultural family of artists and has a diverse academic background, having studied Political Science at La Sorbonne and Marine & Natural History Photography at Falmouth University - a BA that sits at the crossroad of photography, filmmaking and zoology. She has experience working in South and Central America, with renowned institutions like the Galapagos National Park, the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Her work has been published in BBC Wildlife Magazine, WIRED UK and Practical Photography Magazine amongst others.

Yolanda Mogatusi
Johannesburg, South Africa

Yolanda Keabetswe Mogatusi a South African Filmmaker and Storyteller whose career in film and television has spanned over 12 years. Through her company, 1000 Hugs Films, Yolanda has produced many hours of television content and her transition into film has been met with much acclaim with her short film Hair That Moves and dance documentary, Rumba In The Jungle - The Return, playing at many different festivals around the world. An advocate for female empowerment both on and off screen, most of her films have a strong female lead and her children's content carries a message of self acceptance and personal empowerment. A sustainable fashion enthusiast, she is a regular mentor and moderator at the Nature, Environment and Wildlife Film Congress (N.E.W.F) where she is passionate about equipping a new generation of impactful filmmakers.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Yolanda Mogatusi

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Kiki Cheptoo Ng'ok

Kiki Cheptoo Ng'ok
Nairobi, Kenya

Kiki Cheptoo Ng’ok is a documentary filmmaker based in Nairobi, Kenya. Her work is based on uncovering and telling the ‘untold’ stories that exist in Kenya. She maintains that Africans are best suited to explore and tell about the nuanced lives and experiences of African people and the continent. She is especially interested in the relationships between people and landscapes, flora and fauna. Kiki hopes to illuminate the historical connections indigenous Africans have with the environment, as a way to foster conservation efforts.

Niba Nirmal
San Francisco, CA, United States

Niba Audrey Nirmal is a multimedia science communicator based in San Francisco. A model turned scientist turned content creator, she explores the science in cosmetics, fashion, and skincare through her YouTube channel, Notes By Niba. At UC Davis, she researched the effects of climate change on crops and studied diversity studies. As a Duke graduate student, she studied gene networks in plant stem cells. As a visible and invisible minority, Niba strives to be inclusive of all minority statuses. Her dedication to this endeavor earned her an undergraduate minor in diversity studies and Dean's Award for her graduate work in Duke Biology. In her free time Niba enjoys journaling, Batman comics, and adding to her plant collection. For more information, visit her website or LinkedIn .

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Niba Nirmal

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Carolina Sosa

Carolina Sosa
Montevideo, Uruguay

Carolina Sosa was born in Uruguay and holds a BA in Communications. She also lived in Argentina, Mexico, and most recently in Los Angeles, where she completed an MFA in Documentary Filmmaking at NYFA. She has been directing and producing documentaries for the last eight years in different countries. She is a Fulbright scholar, an active member of the International Documentary Association, and her work has been screened in many film festivals and received several awards. In 2020, her first feature documentary found distribution in the UK as well as in the USA. She is also the CEO of Okurelo Cine, an organization that adapts movies for blind and deaf people, and works freelance as a video editor. She has a passion for environmental issues and wildlife conservation, which has led her to work with organizations like The UpRoar, where she made videos to create awareness of animal species at risk.

Aishwarya Sridhar
Navi Mumbai, India

Aishwarya Sridhar is a 23-year-old wildlife film-maker and presenter, who loves to explore the wilderness. Her debut documentary was telecast on DD National (India's state-owned broadcaster) and has helped protect the last remaining wetlands of Mumbai. She is working with the local fishing communities, NGOs and the state towards policy level protection for wetlands in Maharashtra and is the youngest member of the State Wetland Brief Documentation Committee. She has recently completed filming the most iconic and photographed wild Bengal Tigress from the forests of Central India. During the COVID-19 lockdown, she directed and presented an 8-part digital series for WWF-India which focuses on inculcating the love for wildlife in children through Origami. Currently, she is the host for ''Nature For Future'' on Discovery Channel India- a unique wildlife chat show focusing on India's most endangered species. Her work has been featured in international and national newspapers and magazines like BBC Wildlife, Guardian, Mongabay, Digital Camera, Times of India, Sanctuary Asia, Saevus to name a few.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Aishwarya Sridhar

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Paula Sternberg

Paula Sternberg
Ensenada, Mexico

Paula was born in Oakland, California and was raised in Ensenada, Baja California. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Marine Biology from the University of California San Diego and focuses on environmental science education and outreach. Paula is currently the Communications Manager for Mares Mexicanos, an initiative focused on using innovative audiovisual media to promote harmonious relationships between society and the Mexican seas. She has recently been accepted to the Master's Program for Use, Management, and Preservation of Natural Resources at the Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas del Noroeste in La Paz, Baja California Sur. Her interdisciplinary research will explore social perspectives on environmental health of coastal ecosystems to improve public understanding of anthropogenic impacts on the marine environment.

Elizabeth Streeter
Bristol, United Kingdom

Elizabeth Streeter specializes in communicating conservation stories. Whether that means filming underwater, using her drone, filming in the freezing cold, or in the heat of the amazon rainforest. She is driven by her passion for the natural world and she hopes to inspire others to help to protect it with her work. Elizabeth studied Marine & Natural History photography at Falmouth University, where she learnt the skills she needed to create content. This enabled her to work on some incredible projects. She was part of the amazing team behind #RangerWithoutBorders expedition in 2018. She then created a short film for Raw Foundation about plastic infiltrating the amazon rainforest. Her work was then shown on the pyramid stage at the Glastonbury Festival last year, spreading awareness about plastic pollution! Elizabeth's aim is to continue to create documentaries that are investigative and conservation driven, with aspirations to one day be a wildlife producer here in Bristol. If you’d like to see more of her work, her Instagram is: @elizabethstreeterphoto and her website is: www.elizabethstreeter.com.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Elizabeth Streeter

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Shaz Syed

Shaz Syed
Gurgaon, India

Shaz is a filmmaker and cameraman with just around 10 years of experience working in production and research capacities on films ranging from corporate events, eco-tourism, girl child education and heritage conservation both collaboratively and independently. He has held integral roles in film productions by the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, BBC’s Natural History Unit, The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (Delhi), The Energy Resource Institute (TERI) and NGO’s that are working on human rights and societal upheaval. The independent films that he has shot and produced have been screened at both national and international festivals (including the Jackson Hole Science and Media Awards in 2014) and won him many laurels. He has also diversified his portfolio as a multimedia storyteller, producing content on environment-related subjects such as short educational videos on critically endangered species, rights of forest dwelling communities and vulnerable habitats close to congested cities.

Akansha Tiwari
Pune, India

Akansha Tiwari is an independent documentary filmmaker from India. She is a film and television graduate and is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Zoology. In just two years of starting her career, Akansha has worked on several wildlife, livelihood and human interest documentaries in India. She is now making her debut as a director with two independent films on the rampant plastic problem and ghost nets. Passionate about marine biodiversity, Akansha wants to create an impact on the audience and influence policy decisions on conservation with her stories.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Akansha Tiwari

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Victoria Wangui

Victoria Wangui
Nairobi, Kenya

Victoria Wangui is the founder and editor of the award-winning environmental communication platform, Nyika Silika, and the co-founder of Biophilic Conversations, an organization that is inspiring the youth to be actively involved in the conservation community in Africa. She has a background in wildlife management and conservation and her major interests are biodiversity, conservation, community-based conservation, and spreading awareness on the importance of wildlife and nature. She is driven by a passion for wildlife, informing and educating communities living with wildlife, and the youth on environmental conservation in Africa. Currently, she is the Communications Assistant at WildlifeDirect; a Kenya based Conservation Organisation. Victoria is also a writer and digital marketing specialist. Her goal is to share knowledge and spread awareness on matters of environmental conservation, as media can influence perceptions of wildlife and conservation, focusing on the stories that matter and must be told. Her work has been featured in Kenya Birding, A Focus on Property, Mazingira Yetu Magazine, The Explorer, and The Star Kenya.

Ryan Wilkes
Calgary, Canada

Ryan is a wildlife and adventure filmmaker and photographer from Calgary, Canada. Although his formal education is in Engineering, he fell in love with the outdoors and filmmaking while pursuing his PhD in New Zealand. Inspired by the beautiful scenery around him, he and his camera became regulars in back country of the South Island and he is now pursuing a career in filmmaking. Through documenting adventurous pursuits and conservation-related endeavors, he explores the relationship between people and the natural world in his work. Ryan's adventures have included swimming with humpback whales in Tonga, trekking through the rain forests of Uganda to spend time with the mountain gorillas, and paragliding from the summit of the world's tallest freestanding mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro. The time Ryan has spent immersed in the outdoors has led to a deep appreciation for nature, as well as the people who have dedicated themselves to protecting and rehabilitating wild places.

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Ryan Wilkes

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Justin Wong

Justin Wong
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Justin Wong is a filmmaker who loves natural history subjects. He works with several NGOs including WWF-Malaysia, Tigers Alive Initiative to produce conversation films. He is dedicated to raise awareness about the emission of carbon footprint, marine conversation and the protection of wildlife in Malaysia. Justin has participated in a wildlife expedition in South Africa and in the process produced two short documentaries with the local communities. He spent a year with one of Malaysia's most experienced naturalist to produce a ten-episode documentary series in exploring the natural history of the enchanting archipelago of Langkawi. Justin has always been amazed by the potential of video to persuade, teach, and raise awareness. In recent years he is exploring the art storytelling by using Virtual Reality (VR) as the new medium. His VR works includes Carbon: Building Blocks of Life and Langkawi Hidden Treasures, in which he aims to showcase the possibility of bringing the audience closer to the subject and have a unique experience with nature.

Sandra Wanga
Nairobi, Kenya

Photo and bio to come!

Jackson Wild 2020 Media Lab & Summit Fellows - Sandra Wanga

Registration Open September 9: jacksonwild.org/2020-virtual-summit.html

Jackson Wild™:

For almost 30 years, the Jackson Wild Summit has grown a reputation for hosting an extraordinary convening of scientists, conservationists, innovators and media. The Summit fosters an environment where collaboration and innovation thrive, ideas are launched, and strategic partnerships are forged as participants work together to address critical conservation and environmental challenges facing our planet.

The 2020 Jackson Wild Summit will be hosted virtually, September 28 - October 1, 2020. Registration will be open by the beginning of September. The Jackson Wild Media Awards are slated to stream live on October 1.

Jackson Wild’s international board members include: ARTE France, BBC Studios, Bonne Pioche, 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, Love Nature / Blue Ant Media, Media Alliance, National Geographic Partners, National Geographic Society, Nature/THIRTEEN/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, Vulcan Productions, Wanda Films, WGBH, and World Wildlife Fund US.

About the Jackson Wild Legacy Awards:

The Jackson Wild Legacy Awards recognize visionary filmmakers, conservationists, scientists and innovators. Previous award recipients in science and conservation include: Jane Goodall, E.O. Wilson, Alan Rabinowitz, Sylvia Earle, and Paul Hawkin, Greg Carr/Gorongosa Project, Kris Tomkins/Tomkins Conservation, Cynthia Moss, Joyce Pool & Iain Douglas-Hailton and Dame Daphne Sheldrick, George Schaller, Mardie Murie and Richard Leakey. Award recipients in media include: Beverly & Dereck Joubert, Michelle & Howard Hall, Mike duGruy, Clark Bunting, Bill Grant, Barry Clark and Wolfgang Bayer, Roy Disney, Sir David Attenborough, Hans Haas, Alan Root, and Gil Grosvenor. In 2019 filmmaker and Executive Director of the Large Marine Vertebrates Research Institute, Philippines Sally Snow received Jackson Wild’s first Rising Star award.

Visit/Like facebook.com/jacksonwildorg & follow twitter/jacksonwildorg & instagram.com/jacksonwildorg

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