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Science Media Awards Open for Entries! Enter over 20 categories that cover various science disciplines, types of programs and crafts. Preliminary judging is thorough, with finalists announced in early August. Winners will be celebrated September 27, at an Awards Gala in Boston during SMASH18... ENTER YOUR FILM by the 1st of June.
It's time for a contest! Tag a friend in the comments below and share this video to enter for a chance to win a FREE pass to SMASH18, a gathering of 300 scientists and storytellers at the leading edge of innovation!
The contest will end at the same time as our Science Media Awards entry deadline, June 1st, so enter while you can! Visit sciencemediasummit.org for more information.
If you share the above trailer and tags a friend in the comments, you will be entered to win a free pass to SMASH18!
Join Jackson Hole WILD and WGBH in Boston, September 25-27, 2018, for the Science Media Awards & Summit in the Hub (SMASH), where more than 300 science media stakeholders will gather to celebrate exceptional media, cutting-edge discoveries and explore new ways of communicating the wonders of science to a global audience in a rapidly-changing media landscape. Registration is now open, and if you register before June 1st, you can receive the early bird discount!
Also, WGBH and Jackson Hole WILD are accepting applications to be a SMASH Fellow! In September, fellows will convene in Boston from September 25-27 for an opportunity to attend three days of fascinating sessions highlighting recent discoveries in science and trends in science media distribution, as well as special pre- or/and post-conference workshops.
‘Human swan’ is first woman to receive prestigious aviation award in 50 years
... WWT’s Sacha Dench received the Britannia Trophy in London on 17th May from WWT 22 May 2018
Conservationist Sacha Dench has been awarded the Britannia Trophy – one of the most prestigious honours in aviation – in recognition of her long-distance paramotor flight following the migration of endangered Bewick’s swans.
This Royal Aero Club accolade, previously awarded to the likes of Concorde’s first supersonic flight, Sir Richard Branson and the Red Arrows, has not been received by a woman since 1967.
Sacha was awarded the trophy for the ground-breaking ‘Flight of the Swans’ expedition, during which she flew 7,000km from the Russian arctic to the UK on a paramotor. During the adventure – spanning 11 different countries – she also became the first woman ever to cross the English Channel by paramotor.
Sacha, a WWT (Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust) Conservationist, said:.
“I was speechless when I was told I had won the Britannia Trophy. It’s an amazing accolade, particularly as it has been so long since it was awarded to a woman, and for a project that many said was impossible.
“A lot of women helped, but I’m also grateful to those few men that believed a woman could do this and stuck their neck out to back me.
“I learned a lot about the Bewick’s swans on my journey, and have developed a huge respect for them as aviators. That I’m receiving this award, for doing what each swan does at just 12 weeks old twice a year for their entire life, is testament to the complexity and hardship they must endure just to survive that journey, particularly in stormy autumn weather with the arctic winter on their tails.
“I am delighted that Flight of the Swans has touched so many people and helped the Bewick’s swans’ plight make mainstream news. We now have many people and organisations galvanised to help across a mass of countries.
“I am also more touched that fellow aviators have recognised this feat by awarding me the Britannia trophy, an award that will be invaluable in setting up future expeditions for conservation.”
Dave Phipps, RAeC General Secretary, said:
“We are so happy to be awarding this trophy to a truly remarkable woman. Paramotoring needs a lot nerve at the best of times and to conceive of a journey across such inhospitable terrain with huge logistical challenges - and then pull it off - is an amazing achievement. And of course, it is all enhanced by Sacha’s ability to communicate a great cause and enthuse young and old alike in the UK and around the world. She has provided immense inspiration to others and we are very proud to count her amongst these great aviators and the ‘Flight of the Swans’ project amongst great aviation achievements.”
Sacha was presented with the award by HRH The Duke of York at the Royal Aero Club awards ceremony on May 17th in Piccadilly, London.
Join Wildeye's late Autumn Intro to Wildlife Film-making Course!
Wildeye's Introduction to Wildlife Film-making is their longest running course. The Summer dates are full, but you can still grab a place on the last dates of the year, 30 Nov–2 Dec 2018.
One of of our most popular wildlife film-making courses, the introductory weekend offers you your first insight into the world of wildlife film-making. From pre-production to delivery, we’ll guide you through the many stages of the process from your first idea, research, scripting, travel, filming, editing, delivering as well as importantly selling and distributing your completed film.
This course is broken down into bite-sized modules presented over two days including time spent filming at Pensthorpe, former home of BBC Springwatch. The wildlife film-making weekend is suitable for anyone including beginners, hobbyists, keen enthusiasts, those looking to undertake wildlife film-making degrees or apprenticeships all the way through to camera operators looking to diversify into wildlife film-making. As well as educating, inspiring and providing practical hands on experience its a great addition to any CV. More here: wildeye.co.uk/introduction-to-wildlife-film-making
Whilst you are there, you could also re-subscribe to Wildeye Bulletins!
Have you signed up to the brand new Wildeye Bulletin email database? In order to keep receiving these bulletins, with news of wildlife film courses, books and other opportunities, you must re-subscribe at wildeye.co.uk (scroll down to the subscribe box in the footer). The old database will be permanently deleted by 25th May 2018 in order to comply with new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) rules.
Wildscreen Festival 2018 Volunteer Applications Open
Now recruiting 2018 Wildscreen Festival Volunteers.
DEADLINE: 1 JUNE
Volunteering at the Wildscreen Festival provides an unprecedented opportunity to play an important role in the world’s biggest and most prestigious natural world storytelling event.
The Wildscreen Festival could not take place without our loyal and hardworking crew of volunteers, who generously give up a week of their time to ensure we deliver a packed week of over 100 amazing and inspiring events to our 850 industry delegates as well as thousands of public.
Whether you want to learn more about the wildlife film and photography industry and/or have a passion for events and marketing, we have a whole host of roles available and we applications from people of all backgrounds.
Gain valuable experience and insight into the wildlife film, photography and event industries
You’ll get the chance to attend Festival events, including one full day off to experience the Festival as a delegate
Excellent networking opportunities. You’ll make life-long friends and connections!
Learn new skills and develop existing ones
Get access to the Panda Award film library and screenings of Panda-nominated films
Access to parties, premieres and special events
The serious stuff
Successful volunteers are required to be available for full-time work Sunday 14 to Friday 19 October 2018 inclusive. The Festival is open from early in the morning to late at night so expect shifts with early starts and/or late finishes.
We're sorry, but all volunteers must be aged 18 or over
Applications are via the online form. We do not accept applications by email, CV or covering letters.
Wildscreen is a charity and these are unpaid volunteer posts and we're unable to cover the cost of travel to or accommodation in Bristol. A uniform and meals/refreshments on shift will be provided.
If you feel you have the necessary skills to be a proactive and hardworking member of the Wildscreen volunteer crew, please send us your application by Friday 1 June. Shortlisted applicants will be contacted throughout June for a telephone/Skype interview to assess your suitability and motivation, with successful volunteers being notified in July. Due to the expected high number of applications we are not able to provide individual feedback to unsuccessful applicants.
Offspring Tackles Animal Giants in New Sky One Series By Pam Beddard
23 May 2018
Bristol-based independent TV production company Offspring Films is finalising a new series for airing on Sky One this summer which puts biologist Patrick Aryee eye-to-eye with some of Earth’s biggest creatures and sees him exploring the issues they face in our rapidly changing world.
The three-part series BIG BEASTS: LAST OF THE GIANTS mixes spectacular blue chip footage, from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Australia, with animated graphics to explore why size matters to individual animals, species and to biodiversity.
Some of Patrick Aryee’s close encounters are with gentle giants – among them, whale sharks, orangutans, giant pandas and giraffes – but there are plenty of thrill-filled ones, too, including a plunge into the murky Amazon to track a 7-metre long anaconda, meeting a venomous Komodo dragon armed only with a forked stick and free diving alongside a sperm whale as big as a bus.
Alongside today’s giants, the series also introduces a bizarre cast of even bigger prehistoric megafauna that once roamed Earth. They are brought to life using antiquarian book-inspired CGI illustrated plates, created and animated by another Bristol, UK, company, Moonraker VFX.
Executive producer Alex Williamson says: “Filming on five continents in some of the world’s most remote locations, our crews have managed to capture rare and spectacular behaviours in ways never before seen by audiences, from anaconda breeding balls to elephant seal fights filmed at 1,000fps. By contrasting today’s mega species with the giants of long ago, we’re able to explore the advantages of being big in the natural world while also showing the very real threats that our biggest animals face today as the planet changes faster than ever before.”
The series is the fourth to be made by Offspring for Sky with Patrick Aryee as the presenter.
Episode one of BIG BEASTS: LAST OF THE GIANTS is due to debut on Sky One on Wednesday 13 June with episodes two and three airing on the following Wednesdays. The series is produced by Sam Hodgson.
UK PREMIERE: Dominion London Screener ‘followed by Director Q&A’ from PLANT BASED NEWS
22 May 2018
Dominion, a new film exposing animal cruelty in modern farming practices, will have it's UK premiere in London on Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 2:30 PM - 5:00 PM, at the Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square.
Exposing the dark underbelly of modern animal agriculture through drones, hidden & handheld cameras, the feature-length film explores the morality and validity of our dominion over the animal kingdom.
Jackie Chan’s Green Heroes Premieres on National Geographic Channels Network Asia By NHNZ
24 April 2018
Jackie Chan’s Green Heroes recently premiered in South East Asia on 18 April and in Taiwan and China on 22 April, coinciding with Earth Day. This one hour special is produced by NHNZ as a commission for National Geographic Channels Network Asia.
Featuring world famous actor Jackie Chan and multi-talented entrepreneur Arthur Huang, Jackie Chan’s Green Heroes is an inspirational environmental story with some of China’s most dramatic scenery as a backdrop. Arthur and Jackie are on a mission to show the world what the new face of recycling can look like with the help of their co-creation: Trashpresso. Trashpresso is a unique factory on wheels, which can turn waste plastic into multi-use tiles on-site – even at the top of the world – the Tibetan Plateau.
Jackie Chan’s Green Heroes focuses on motivating younger generations to change the way humanity approaches environmental challenges such as plastic waste. Under Jackie’s supervision, the local children revel in helping operate the Trashpresso, including sorting rubbish and adding plastic to this revolutionary machine.
“Jackie is genuinely passionate about environmental protection and together with Arthur’s practical expertise; innovative inventions like the Trashpresso are making a positive impact on remote communities. NHNZ is a company that has been telling environmental stories for the last 40 years and we also are genuinely committed to helping others make sustainable choices. We’re incredibly proud to be able to help tell Jackie and Arthur’s story for NGC,” says NHNZ Managing Director, Kyle Murdoch.
Filming took place in October and November, 2017. Producer David Hay was impressed by the spectacular locations and felt privileged to have the opportunity to work with Jackie Chan. “It was inspirational to see someone as famous as Jackie behave so humbly. Every time we were between takes he was picking up trash. A girl asked him for an autograph and as she walked away she was picking up trash. That’s the power of the influence he has.”
41st Annual International Wildlife Film Festival Award Winners Announced from IWFF
21 April 2018
Congratulations to the IWFF 41 award winning films.
We are pleased to announce the Award Winners for the 2018 International Wildlife FIlm Festival. The 41st IWFF Awards took place on Friday, April 20th at the Montana Natural History Center.
Broadcast Feature Film
Law of the Lizard
Directed by Neil Losin and Nate Dappen, US
When scientists ask big questions about the rules of nature, they often seek out unlikely creatures to find the answers. In LAWS OF THE LIZARD, two filmmakers embark on a year-long adventure to reveal the surprising story of anoles, the most important lizards in the world!
Best Feature Conservation Film
The Last Rhino
Directed by Rowan Deacon, US
THE LAST RHINO introduces viewers to Sudan, the very last male Northern white rhinoceros. His harrowing journey is told through the international cast of characters who have been involved in Sudan’s life, from when he was snatched as a calf from his mother’s side in war-torn Central Africa, to his captivity as a prized exhibit in a cold, concrete zoo behind the Iron Curtain while poaching devastated his kind back home. Now 43 years old and half-blind, Sudan is living out his days under the 24-hour watch of an armed guard on a protective sanctuary in Kenya. Meanwhile, a team of scientists and experts led by Professor Thomas Hildebrandt from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research turn to technology in a race against time to save this majestic rhino subspecies whose origins date back at least five million years.
Best Short Conservation Film
Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest
Directed by Colin Arisman, US
LAST STAND: THE VANISHING CARIBOU RAINFOREST is a cinematic journey into the tragically threatened world of endangered mountain caribou, their home in the world's largest remaining inland temperate rainforest, and the critical human choices that will ultimately decide the fate of this stunning ecosystem.
Best Environmental Films - a tie
Islands in Time
Directed by Paul Reddish, Austria
The richest seas in the world surround the islands that lie between Asia and Australia. The moon holds sway over these seas where fiddler crabs dance to the moon whilst bizarre fish run away from water, and even odder fish hide in trees. The power of the moon is still felt beyond the range of the tide. Manta rays and whale sharks feast on the plankton and mobula rays attack the millions of tiny fish that thrive in these rich tropical seas.
Queen without Land
Directed by Asgeir Helgestad, Norway
A beautiful film about a polar bear mother and her cubs living on the arctic islands of Svalbard. We follow Frost through five years and learn how she is affected by rising temperatures as ice disappears from her fjords.
Best Human Wildlife Interaction Film
Bears of Durango Directed by Dusty Hulet, United States
Dive headfirst into bear dens with the biologists who study the effect of human urban development on bear behavior. "If we want our native biodiversity here, if we want these large carnivores to be back on our landscapes, ultimately we're going to have to figure out, how do we coexist? How do we share a single landscape?” — Heather Johnson, PhD, Lead Wildlife Researcher.
Best Independent Film
Bird of Prey
Directed by Eric Liner, United States
Wildlife cinematographer Neil Rettig embarks on what could be the most challenging assignment of his career: to find and film the rarest eagle on the planet. BIRD OF PREY explores the vanishing world of the Great Philippine Eagle and acknowledges the people determined to save it.
Best Newcomer Film
Camera Trap Directed by Marty O’Brien, Canada
In this half-hour documentary, aspiring wildlife photographer Peter Mather puts everything on the line in his quest to capture one photo that will tell the story of the Porcupine Caribou herd’s migration, one of the greatest land migrations on earth.
Best Short Film
A Film About Animals (for my children to watch when they are older)
Director Eric Daniel Metzgar, United States
This harrowing film follows a team of armed Cambodian government soldiers charged with investigating illegal wildlife trade and enforcing national policy prohibiting animals from being taken from the wild. The director chronicles the experience in a “filmed letter” to his children to hear for themselves when they’re old enough to understand it.
In a small village in Nepal, a native woman steps up as an unconventional warrior to change the unfortunate fate of the red pandas in her community forest. This film takes you on a mesmerizing journey with the first female forest guardian through remote bamboo jungles, scaling the mighty Himalayan wilderness into the hidden world of red pandas.
Best Children's Film
Directed by Dylan D’haeze Director in Attendance, United States
TIPPING POINT explains climate change from a kid’s perspective, and shows kids what they can do to help solve the problem. Dylan is a 14 year old filmmaker from the San Juan Islands in Washington who has gone on a quest to make environmental films for his peers to help save the planet.
Special Jury Prize
Directed by Charles Post, Forrest Woodward and Max Lowe, United States
Each fall our skies fill with the wings of raptors, a migration that relies on two hemispheres worth of wild and healthy ecosystems. Join ecologist and filmmaker, Charles Post, as he shines a light on the network of backcountry scientists and sentinels at the front lines of raptor conservation.
Best of Festival
The Hollow Heart
Directed by Barend van der Watt, South Africa
This is the incredible story of a tree that has been around for eight hundred years. It can withstand the harshest condition, and is more loved by insects, birds and animals than any other: the enormous baobab.
Huge congrats to all winners from Wildlife-film.com, with a special mention to member Gunjan Menon! :)
Wildscreen Launches New Photography Panda Award! By Wildscreen
18 April 2018
For the first time in Wildscreen's 36 year history, the 2018 Wildscreen Panda Awards, widely regarded as the most prestigious accolade in the wildlife film and TV genre, will recognise the craft of wildlife photography, with the introduction of the Wildscreen Photo Story Panda Award.
The award is being launched to further cement the conservation charity’s commitment to and belief in photography as a powerful and impactful tool for raising awareness about and protecting the natural world across society. It will celebrate and recognise the very best in photographic narrative, uniting it alongside the world’s very best natural world film talent.
Call for entries
Entrants have between the 18 April to 8 June 2018 to submit photo stories comprising of between six to ten images that have an aspect of the natural world as a central focus, with a clear and powerful narrative weaved between the images.
The competition is open to professional and amateur photographers worldwide, over 18 years. The judges will also be looking for exceptional emerging talent photographers, under the age of 30, which will be considered for an ‘Emerging Talent Photo Story Panda Award’.
The 13th Japan Wildlife Film Festival was held from the 2nd to 3rd of April 2018 in Tokyo Women’s Plaza.From 200 films 31 were nominated.
Congratulations to all of the 2017 Winners!
These movies show the struggles in nature and the determination to survive that cannot be observed in everyday life. The emotions they make us feel transcend both borders and speech.
All the lives on our Earth are intertwined, and we only have this one blue planet.
If we can understand this connection, this will
definitely give us strength to pave the way for a future shared by nature, wildlife and human beings.
This film festival has been held every 2 years since 1993. This year commemorates the 13th biennial festival. We believe that it will be a chance to think about the future of our planet. We want to show our planet’s present condition to as many people as possible, with the hope of entrusting a beautiful world to the children who will bear this burden in the next generation.
The theme was “Life, emotion. Connection... " and the purpose of
the festival is:
1. To show people the many shapes of “life” in order to secure a beautiful world for future generations.
2. To convey through images of nature and wildlife, the magnificence of our planet, and spread the awareness of the need to protect the environment.
3. To strengthen the ties between the three main World Wildlife Film Festivals (England’s Wild Screen, America’s Jackson Hole Wild Life Film Festival, Japan’s JWF), and to use films as a medium for education about the global environment.
4. To promote the protection and revitalization of the environment within global society through the collaboration between citizens, governments and corporations.
1. Grand Award – The Last Pig (Directed by Allison Argo, Piggy Films, USA) The Last Pig is a lyrical meditation on what it means to be a sentient creature with the power to kill. For over a decade, Bob Comis has provided a humane—even idyllic—life for the pigs he farms. But as he cares for the pigs, he develops a respect that begins to haunt him; weekly trips to the slaughterhouse become agonizing. With 250 pigs on the farm, Comis suddenly finds himself trapped in a life he can no longer live. Through this immersive and intimate journey, The Last Pig raises crucial questions about equality, the value of compassion and the sanctity of life. Comis’ soul-bearing narrative carries us through his final year of farming pigs, the struggle to reinvent his life, and the ghosts that will haunt him forever.
2. Special Jury – Sheltered in Oak (Directed by Mehdi Noormohammadi, Hiro Film, Iran)
3. Best Animal Behavior – The Great Elephant Gathering of Asia (Ceylon Sights (Pvt) Ltd, Sri Lanka)
The Ispida Wildlife Productions team said "Winning the Best Animal Behaviour award for Returning: Kingfisher at the 13th Japan Wildlife Film Festival was an honour and welcome surprise. We are very proud of the film. The kingfisher is a familiar bird but very few people get to see its intimate life secrets. The hours of dedicated filming, research, observation and crafting paid off. We learned things about these iridescent streaks of blue that cannot be found in books and were are able to show viewers some amazing behaviour. When the team loves their subject, film making is a joy."
5. Best Cinematography – Making an Ancient (Forest Science Vision Filmproduction, Austria)
6. Best Nature and People – Samadhi We Are (One Frama Film Int., Switzerland)
20. Best Presenter – David Attenborough's Light on Earth (A Terra Mater Factual Studios/Ammonite Films Production, Austria/UK)
Wildlife-film.com congratulates all of the winners, especially members highlighted with links!
NB. The 2017 festival was meant to be held in November last year, but due to construction work delays at the organisations new headquarters which included a mini theater, dates had to be changed to 2018. The next festival will be helpd in October 2019.
With leading professionals Annette Scheurich and Udo Zimmermann and a panel of editors and producers, ideas and concepts can be submitted until May 30th, 2018
To Participate, the following must be submitted:
1. An Exposé, not more than 2 pages. This should describe the
project, time of filming, places and persons involved.
2. A brief curriculum vitae of the lecturer
3. An approximate short estimate or at least one budget
4. If available, a trailer or other material.
As the promotion of emerging talent in naturefilm has always been a concern of GREEN SCREEN, submissions by newcomers and ambitious young filmmakers are expressly encouraged.
A pre-selection panel will select 6 to 8 participants for the pitching session from the submitted projects by 1st August 2018
Fur and Stupid People - The Downs and Ups of The Arctic Fox new from Brock Initiative's Wildlife Winners & Losers Film Series!
It looks better on an Arctic Fox than on a model. That little white animal needs its beautiful fur to survive the killing conditions of the Arctic winter. It roams far and wide across the ice and snow, and tries to sustain itself and its family when the parents turn dark before winter returns to the tundra of Iceland. Killing conditions threaten there too, not only from hunters and trappers, but worse, much worse is inflicted on captive arctic foxes elsewhere. In tiny cages where they are driven mad in confinement, they are reared to be stripped of their life-saving coat – to be sold at a price not only to the little arctic fox, but to some greedy fashion people clustered round the fox-walk of torture and death.
Deadline for Early Bird Registration for AUCEF's Classroom in the Wild: Alaska is May 15th!!
The School of Communication's Center for Environmental Filmmaking is excited to offer students Classroom in the Wild: Alaska, a nine-day adventure into the Alaskan wilderness. Students will be introduced to the challenges and fun that comes along with environmental filmmaking. The program will take place from July 20-29, 2018. The class is open to the public. The class is for both first-time and experienced filmmakers and can be taken in conjunction with independent studies for AU credit.
In order to register, you must email Seth Ransom, the general manager of Learn to Return at LTRoffice@alaska.net.
There is a non-refundable $500 deposit with registration. Fees cover transportation, food, gear, and lodging in Alaska.
Early Bird Registration
– Deadline: May 15
– Deadline: June 15
British Wildlife Photography Awards 2018 - Call for Entries
CALLING ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS AND VIDEOGRAPHERS – The British Wildlife Photography Awards 2017 are open for entries. Find out more here: www.bwpawards.org
With 15 separate categories covering all aspects of British Wildlife share your vision with us and compete for a chance to win a prestigious prize. The £20,000 prize fund includes £5,000 cash first prize and cameras from lead sponsor Canon.
Be featured in a touring exhibition and reach millions across the UK through a touring exhibition and a beautiful book.
Whether incredible behaviour, a characterful portrait, an atmospheric woodland scene, or the secret world that lives in the undergrowth we want to see your pictures and films.
Be part of a competition and community that is supported by the UK's major conservation charities and celebrates excellence in wildlife photography and film.
Be inspired by our recent FILM and PHOTOGRAPHY WINNERS winners:
The 34th "International Festival of Ornithological Film" will take place from October 30th to November 4th 2018 in Ménigoute (Deux - Sèvres - FRANCE).
Ménigoute Festival’s main purpose is to inspire to the greatest public increased awareness of the need to conserve the natural environment. At the same time, it aims to encourage the documentaries’ production and broadcasting. About 40 ornithological and wildlife entries, French premieres, will be selected to be screened in competition during public performances.
Entries are free of fees.
Nine prizes, totalling about 16,930 €, will be awarded.
Any film longer than 15 minutes will be entered in the category "long program" and all films less than 15
minutes in the category "short program". The rules and conditions of participation are identical for these
Many other activities are sheduled for the festival, including photographic exhibitions, conferences, art shows, guided visits to sites in the local area for their landscape and wildlife interest.
The Netherlands’ main wildlife film festival is held in the city center of Rotterdam from 24-28 October 2018. We invite both professional and non-professional filmmakers from anywhere in the world to participate. The competition is free of fees. The extended deadline for submitting your film is May 15, 2018.
We screen a wide range of movies. Our program contains movies with a central focus on the beauty of the natural world, but also critical and informative documentaries on raising awareness for the environment and sustainability. WFFR strives to show nature in all its forms and dimensions on the white screen. The beautiful, but also the ugly stories, should have a chance to be told.
Each award winning film will receive their Flamingo Award during the award ceremony on Saturday 27 October 2018. WFFR invites the filmmaker to participate during this award ceremony and infamous Flamingo afterparty.
We’ve created a new film that shows the work that your support helps fund. We hope it brings you up to date with our current projects while also serving as an introduction to those of you who are new to our work of investigating and campaigning against environmental crime and abuse.
In 2016 Polish Government authorised an intensive nearly three-fold increase in logging operations in Bialowieza Forest region, Poland's only natural UNESCO heritage and the last remaining primeval forest on the European lowland. Minister of the Environment quoted multiple excuses as the reason for it. This decision has resulted in a lot of socio-political tension. FOREST is a documentary exploring the conflict based around the logging of Bialowieza Forest, its consequences and prospects for the resolution. The film also documents brave and influential actions of the activists from all around Poland and abroad in attempt to save this precious wilderness.
New film by Bevis Bowden: observations from ISFRYN | 1, TWO, III
A record of the passing of seasonal events in a field bounded by ancient common land.
ISFRYN which translates from the Welsh as ‘under the bank’ refers to an area of ancient common land and neighbouring fields in mid Wales. ISFRYN is a record of seasonal sightings and offers a portrait of animal life under the bank.
"Speculative", was my answer to the question "what are you filming".
I am not instinctively a species counter. I am a watcher though. Savouring moments.
On my rounds of the field I had noticed the flock gathered at the corner of the common. It's out of the wind here. Winter has been late and there hasn't been room in the sheds for these expectant mothers. Each day there numbers have swelled as their lambs have been born in the open. But unlike those born lower down these lambs have no coloured dye donating ownership. They are optic white and share that colour with the underside of the hares that also live in this corner of the common.
This groundbreaking film reveals the truth surrounding Australia’s love-hate relationship with its beloved icon. The kangaroo ‘image’ is proudly used by top companies, sports teams and tourist souvenirs, yet as they hop across the vast continent they are often considered pests to be shot and sold for profit.
KANGAROO unpacks a national paradigm where the relationship with kangaroos is examined.
Direstor’s Statement: "Kangaroos are one of the most recognizable icons in the world and have always held a fascination for the directors of this film. We set out to explore the wonder of this magnificent and unique animal that we recognized was the heart of a complex and divided situation in Australia.
We knew opinion was split around this famous icon and that would make an interesting story but once we started the research and interviews were surprised to learn that millions of kangaroos are shot each year as so-called pests and sold for profit. It seemed incongruous to us that Australians’ who are immensely proud to hold up the kangaroo, as their beloved national symbol would sanction their nightly killing.
Key to the telling this story was investigating the details behind the largest wildlife slaughter in the world, to find out where it all started and why it still happens today. Where had the ideology come from that a native animal that has lived in Australia for millions of years could be a national problem? How and when did Australians start believing kangaroos are a pest and therefore must be eliminated?
We have travelled thousands of kilometers across the magnificent Australian outback speaking with indigenous Australians, scientists, commercial shooters, farmers, politicians, artists, wildlife-carers, chefs and activist. We have weaved together an unsettling story for the world to see. Hearing from so many angles gives the audience the opportunity to come on the journey with us and make up their own minds.
We learnt that the annual “cull” of millions of kangaroos is government sanctioned and that the shooting is done in the dead of night often miles from anywhere. Although there are humane killing codes of practice in place for farmers and shooters to prevent cruelty, in most cases this seems impossible to police. We came across many first hand eyewitness accounts of the brutal treatment of kangaroos and their young joeys.
We visited one of the kangaroo slaughterhouses that process six semi trailer loads of kangaroos every day for pet food, gourmet meats and leather. The sheer size of this commercial industry was alarming. We found out that with the growth of the commercial kangaroo industry, road kills, pest mitigation and recreational shooting, there is very little national data available of the number of kangaroo deaths that occur daily. Some scientists and conservationists are reporting both local and regional extinctions.
As Australians we do not want to imagine our country without kangaroos. It is timely that people across the world know what is going on with this internationally celebrated icon and ask the question why are Australians not responding to what is happening on their doorstep?"
Mick McIntyre & Kate McIntyre Clere
“Kangaroos are what makes Australia. I see the kangaroo as our greatest natural asset. As
Australians we take kangaroos for granted, that they’re always going to be there. What if they’re not?”
– Chris Brolga Barns, Kangaroo Dundee/ TV personality
Slow Motion - What you REALLY need to know – from VMI
Acclaimed Wildlife Cinematographer Mark Payne-Gill’s verdict on the Phantom VEO4K: “More efficient and more productive”, written after having used the Phantom VEO 4K to shoot Owls in April 2018, in contrast to his extensive experience using the Phantom FLEX 4K.
It’s part of the job description of every natural history filmmaker to travel, often overseas, typically to remote locations or extreme environments - or both – and without the luxury of a porter to lug the gear for them.
Any innovation that can reduce the payload, improve versatility and still deliver the unique perspective on a subject is game for wildlife cinematographers and Mark Payne-Gill is no exception.
A highly skilled lighting documentary, wildlife cameraman and naturalist, Mark Payne-Gill is renowned for excelling in long lens, high speed and macro cinematography along with more specialised experience with time-lapse, motion control and low light night filming. With over thirty years field craft experience, his credits include BBC Natural History Unit’s critically acclaimed Blue Planet 2, Planet Earth 2 and Planet Earth series and Offspring Films’ Big Cats: Amazing Animal Family for which he was BAFTA nominated for best cinematography in 2016.
“A lot of what I do is needing to be reactive and to just grab a camera and run with it,” he says. “Anything that gives me more freedom to work in those situations in a way that is more efficient and more productive is attractive to me.”
The Phantom Flex 4K broke ground with its ability to record high speed action at 1000 frames a second in 4K. Payne-Gill had used it extensively including in the Namibian desert to capture the behaviour of insects and small reptiles. Yet its 6.3kg weight and bulk meant it was not designed with the needs of the wildlife photographer in mind.
More efficient and more productive“Just carrying the Flex for 50 yards to another position to catch different light is more of an effort than it should be which is why I was excited to try the compact Phantom VEO 4K,” says Payne-Gill.
The VEO 4K builds on the Phantom’s imaging legacy with identical sensor technology but in a package which provides exceptional economy of movement and of budget.
We helped Alan Root make his hilarious spoof in 2001. This film was lost until we dug it out to share for his memorial service in Kenya, and stands as Alan's view on the trends in wildlife filmmaking over the last decades. Norbert Rottcher filmed it, and I did the post/editing for Alan. We digitised it, ready for service held at Sirikoi Lodge April 7, 2018. We all have been inspired by Alan's work for many years, and his incredible dedication to wildlife and ethical filmmaking. Please share and show, and may his intelligent, funny, and insightful perspective live on!
H.O.P.E. is a life-changing documentary uncovering and revealing the effects of our typical Western diet on our health, the environment and animals. It has a clear message: By changing our eating habits, we can change the world!
Abhishek Deepak - A passionate photographer with a keen interest in most genres of photography such as landscapes, nature, travel, portraits and also wildlife, looking for opportunities as a stills photographer to work on various projects or even as a camera assistant. abhishekdeepak.com
Thivanka Rukshan Perera - A graduate of Academy of Art in San Francisco, where he majored in writing for film and television.
He has written/directed several short natural history documentaries -- of particular note are his two documentaries about the mythical 'Devil Bird' of Sri Lanka ["The Devil Bird of Sri Lanka (2014)" and "Voice of the Night (2017)"] which has garnered extensive views online.
Sondrio Festival - Annual international film festival and competition focusing on nature documentaries made in National Parks, Nature Reserves and Protected Areas. 32nd edition, Sondrio, Italy, between 12 and 25 November 2018. Call for entries closes 18 May. sondriofestival.it
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