Wildscreen Festival Virtual Panda Awards 2020 Winners Announced! By Jason Peters
22nd October 2020
Bristol does well at the 2020 Wildscreen Panda Awards with most Panda Awards staying in the city but only Terra Mater's Sea of Shadows picks up more than one award this year and the Golden Panda gets away.
My Octopus Teacher, the Netflix smash hit featuring Craig Foster,wins the coveted WWF Golden Panda Award.
Tonight’s Panda Awards was an exceptional evening celebrating the best of wildlife film making and photography talent in the world.
The recipient of the Golden Panda award, the most coveted international prize in the international wildlife film and TV genre, was My Octopus Teacher, produced by Sea Change Project and Off the Fence; A Netflix Original Production – a moving account of wildlife cameraman Craig Foster’s journey to improved mental health. He began free diving in a cold underwater kelp forest off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. It was here he befriended a common octopus, hiding in plain sight within a jumble of shells on the sea floor, and the film outlines the blossoming of their relationship.
Sea of Shadows, produced by Terra Mater Factual Studios in association with Appian Way, Malaika Pictures, The Wild Lens Collective for National Geographic Documentary Films, was the winner of two awards. The Audio Network Music Award and the Doclights/NDR Naturfilm, Producer/Director Award. The film followed a multinational team of scientists, activists, journalists and undercover agents who go up against drug cartels and illegal traffickers to save the Vaquita, the most endangered whale on earth.
An additional award, the Panda in the Pocket was given to Dynasties: Chimpanzee the first episode in the series produced by BBC Studio’s Natural History Unit.
The judges decided that there had to be two winners of the Nat Geo WILD Series Award. H20: The Molecule that Made Us, produced by Passion Planet Ltd and WGBH Boston for PBS - a landmark series that tells the human story through our relationship to water. The second recipient was Seven Worlds One Planet, produced by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, BBC America, France Télévisions, ZDF, Tencent Penguin Pictures and China Media Group CCTV9, in which David Attenborough reveals the mind-blowing marvels of our seven continents.
The ORF Production Team Award, recognising the art of collaborative working by the teams behind the best of natural history films, was given to the Plimsoll Production Team for Night on Earth: Dusk Till Dawn, a series focusing on the how the night unfolds to reveal the magic in the air, drama in the deep and danger on the ground as animals around the globe arise with the sunset.
David Attenborough: A Life on our Planet, produced by Silverback Films and WWF for Netflix, is a film that outlines Attenborough’s witness statement, vision for the future and how we can work with nature to overturn the climate emergency, walked away with the NHK Scripted Narrative Award.
Sue Martineau, Interim Wildscreen CEO said: “This year’s awards highlight the importance of capturing diminishing biodiversity and the urgency of tackling climate change on film. Optimism and providing solutions around conservation stories were also a running theme throughout the entries, finalists and winners of the 2020 Panda Awards competition. We were thrilled with the exceptionally high calibre of entries this year. The importance of these films and photos are as crucial as ever to share extraordinary and impactful stories.”
The Wildscreen Panda Awards ceremony 2020 was hosted by television presenters Lizzie Daly and Patrick Ayree on a boat in Bristol.
Patrick Ayree and Lizzie Daly Presenter the Virtual Panda Awards
The full roll of Wildscreen Panda Award winners is:
Our Planet: One Planet Silverback Films with WWF for Netflix
Photography by Jamie McPherson, Roger Horrocks, John Aitchison, Paul Stewart, Gavin Thurston, Warwick Sloss, Mateo Willis, Sophie Darlington, Matt Aeberhard
The Wildscreen Sustainability Award was cancelled this year due to there not being a suitable production. Laura Marshall announced this and said focus must be on the importance of striving to reduce our impact on the natural world.
Recipients: Andrés Sehinkman, Jonathan Barg, Leandro Vital, Armin Marchesini Weihmuller and Ailín Salas
Richard Ladkani, Walter Köhler and Wolfgang Knöpfler
For the film Sea of Shadows
Terra Mater Factual Studios in association with Appian Way, Malaika Pictures, The Wild Lens Collective for National Geographic Documentary Films
My Octopus Teacher Sea Change Project and Off the Fence; A Netflix Original Production
Directed by: Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed
Producer: Craig Foster
Underwater photography by: Roger Horrocks, Craig Foster
Aerials: Tom Foster
Topside photography: Warren Smart
Additional photography: Pippa Ehrlich, Dave Aenmae
Editors: Pippa Ehrlich and Dan Schwalm
Production Manager/Associate Producer: Swati Thiyagarajan
Associate Producers: Carina Frankal and Ross Frylinck
Executive Producer: Ellen Windemuth
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