Santa Barbara is a fitting place for my film to have a world premiere, as it's only an hour away from P22 mountain lion's birth place in the Santa Monica mountains and the proposed site of the Liberty Canyon wildlife crossing. Residents who travel on the 101 freeway to Los Angeles pass the crossing site every day, and after seeing the film will give more thought to the issues of connectivity and habitat loss facing all wildlife.
We shared the red carpet with the stars of La La Land and also actor Jeff Bridges who was honoured at the festival. We took along the P22 cardboard cutout from the famous Steve Winter National Geographic photo. This gave a great platform to put P22 on the world stage, as Getty Images captured celebrity photographs of him with Beth Pratt-Bergstrom, the California director of the National Wildlife Federation. We also made the front cover of the LA Times, a write up about the conservationists in the New Yorker and much local press from the Malibu Times to the Santa Barbara Independent. P22 soon became a recognised celebrity at the festival as Beth carried him through the streets of Santa Barbara. Many posed for selfies with P22 before and after the screening.
At both screenings we had a full house, and afterwards Beth took to the stage, along with wildlife biologist Miguel Ordenana who discovered P22, and campaign group Poison Free Malibu, to answer many questions from the enthusiastic audience.
I, and my Director of Photography Alex Rapaport, were given a special award by Poison Free Malibu for our services to conservation, which for me was the most memorable part of the festival. Do conservation films make a difference? Absolutely, as after the screening, many attendees came to me and said they would pressure their local housing association to ban the use of anticoagulant rodenticides. The memorable photograph of P22 before and after the effects of ingesting rodenticides created an audible gasp, and hopefully left an indelible mark with the audience.
At the wildlife film makers panel the day before, Alex and I spoke about the six months making the film, and bringing the plight of mountain lions in the Santa Monica mountains to the world's attention. We also honoured filmmaker Rob Stewart who tragically died during the festival. There are those who are so passionate about conservation that they will give their lives to help save the species that they care about. Rob was definitely one of those filmmakers. I first met him at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in 2003 when he was starting his film career and was immediately struck how humble, how passionate and how dedicated he was towards preserving sharks and the world's oceans.
The Cat That Changed America premieres in LA next month at UCLA as part of their Green Screens festival and also at a private screening for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. It has also been entered for other major wildlife film festivals around the world including the Japan Wildlife Film Festival, Rotterdam and Jackson Hole. I hope P22 will be the cat that changed the world.
Screening events are currently slated in Washington D.C., California, New Zealand, Switzerland, India, Wyoming and Pennsylvania.
Recent WILD-on-Tour screenings with the U.S. State Department, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, North Carolina Museum of Science, the U.S. Consulate China, U.S. Embassy Bangkok, U.S. Embassy Uganda, American Association for the Advancement of Science and more have impacted audiences exceeding more than 3000.
“There has never been a more important time to connect people with the wonders of nature and science. The impact of these powerful stories is undeniable,” said Executive Director Lisa Samford. “We are eager to partner with organizations looking to inspire action on a local level.”
Jackson Hole WILD will work with museums, universities, nonprofits and organizations invested in the mission of educating & inspiring the public about the natural world. Screenings will be programmed custom for the hosting organization and screening events can be free or ticketed. Based on an incredible catalog of films to choose from, Jackson Hole WILD can pick films that are relevant to specific topics or regions of the world.
We've had lots of enquiries from people wanting be included too, so we are going to publish a third edition and call it Wild Pages 3...
We believe that Wild Pages has become an invaluable resource for many wildlife film-makers around the world (having been purchased on every continent bar Antarctica!) and especially for those that are unable to get to film festivals due to time or financial constraints… It has become an essential piece of kit!!
The categories for entries in the book include: Production Companies, Film Festivals, Equipment Hire/Sales, Distributors, Education/Training, Organisations, Stock Footage, Services, Location Managers/Fixers, Broadcasters/Channels, Publications & Freelancers (Various!).
NB. Relevant information about you and/or your company may help to reduce the amount of admin dealing with requests for work experience or co-productions for example. Your listing is free. Please enter into as many categories as are relevant to you or write a comprehensive explanation of your services and enter into the category that is most representative of your you/company.
Additionally, if you’d like your logo or a photograph (B&W only) included alongside your entry, you can for just UK£50: www.wildeye.co.uk/wildpages/logo.html We are offering display advertising too.
A Plastic Ocean - Must-See Film Out Now
by A Plastic Ocean
2 February 2017
Most of us have heard of the five gyres, or islands of trash, in our oceans. So the rest of the ocean, outside of these gyres, are clear and clean? Alas, no. The world’s oceans are crammed with discarded plastic waste particles—literally everywhere—which are destroying the environment, killing wildlife and ultimately, threatening human health.
Currently eight million tons of plastic waste ends up in the ocean every year and it is estimated that 10 times more plastic per year will be dumped into the ocean by 2025. We continue to use over 300 million tons of new plastic every year. Half of this we use just once, and usually for less than 12 minutes.
Plastic pollution—the focus of a new documentary called A Plastic Ocean, now available through iTunes (currently only in the US, UK, Canada, Ireland & Australia)—is a global crisis so serious that if it not halted now, future generations will face a cataclysmic environmental disaster which may prove impossible to solve.
“The most important film of our time,” states Sir David Attenborough.
The origins of the film began when Producer Jo Ruxton, and founder of Plastic Oceans Foundation, joined an expedition to the so-called Great Pacific Garbage Patch in the North Pacific Gyre, 1500 miles off the coast of San Francisco, to establish its impact. When the expedition discovered invisible, free-floating micro plastics instead of an anticipated solid mass that could be contained, Jo knew she had to begin the film that would become A Plastic Ocean and extensive research commenced.
Jo partnered with director, journalist and explorer Craig Leeson, and they, in turn, engaged many scientists and world-record free diver Tanya Streeter. Together they set off on what would be a four-year global odyssey to explore the issue of plastics in our oceans and its effect on marine ecosystems and human health, including endocrine disruption.
So what goes on in the world’s oceans? Plastic breaks up into small particles, known as micro plastics, mixing with the plankton at the ocean surface. Plankton is at the heart of the food chain, and provides us with more than half the oxygen we breathe. The ocean is also the world’s largest source of protein. Since we cannot yet safely remove micro plastics from plankton that lives in the ocean, plastic needs to be stopped from reaching the ocean.
Plastic Oceans Foundation is an international charitable organisation that aims to change the world’s attitude to plastic in a single generation, and to that end, the Foundation produced A Plastic Ocean to spread the message around the world, about the impact of plastic on our oceans and human health.
Plastic pollution is a global issue and Plastic Oceans Foundation—through the power of film and partnerships with local community organizations—is helping consumers to become plastic literate, so they can make informed decisions about how and when they accept and manage plastic. The goal is to help shape future demand for environmentally sensitive products and solutions.
The film is produced by Jo Ruxton (Blue Planet), and by Adam Leipzig, who was responsible for the global hit March of the Penguins.
It is not possible to throw plastic away. As Sir David Attenborough says: “There is no away – because plastic is so permanent and so indestructible. When you cast it into the ocean, there is no away.”
Your chance to win a prestigious award, cash prize of £5,000 and opportunity to reach millions through national exposure. Help raise awareness about British wildlife and celebrate our natural heritage. Winners and commended entrants will have their work showcased in a touring exhibition and stunning book, and will be invited to an exclusive Awards ceremony in London.
The £20,000 prize fund includes the latest camera kit from lead sponsor Canon.
The awards recognise the talents of photographers practising in Britain whilst also highlighting the great wealth and diversity of British natural history. A celebration of British wildlife as well as a showcase for photographers and videographers, both amateur and professional.
There are fifteen separate categories including animal behaviour, urban wildlife, habitat, animal portraits, marine life, the hidden secret world that lies in the undergrowth and a special award for Wildlife in HD Video. Also two junior categories - to encourage young people to connect with nature through photography.
In addition to still photography there is a great opportunity to capture wildlife in action and win an amazing prize. Be inspired by the video winner and commended entries in 2016: bwpawards.org/videowinners2016
Stories Lived is thrilled to announce the latest Winner and Runners-up for the Environmental Category!
Every contest deliberation is just as difficult as the last it seems. We receive so many incredible submissions it literally crushes our spirits to choose a winner and runners-up. Varied, unique, and downright humbling are the themes of Stories Lived submissions, and we wouldn't wish having to select a winner out of these submissions on anyone, as it is truly the most difficult and heart-wrenching part of our jobs.
That said, we would like to honor the winners below and their work to make our environment a better place to live. The efforts and impact these people have and their mission to strengthen the Earth and make this planet a more sustainable place for us all is beyond admirable.
Congratulations to our Winners:
Environmental Winner (eligible for the Jury Award and Peer Award).
Leigh-Kathryn Bonner is a third generation beekeeper and the founder of Bee Downtown. “The changing climate and the shortened seasons throw honeybees off.” Her solutions to help the bee population is to harvest bees on rooftops of buildings in the city.
Environmental Runners-up (eligible for the Peer Award)
Known to grow to the size of a small dog and live to 40 years old, the giant Tasmanian freshwater lobster is the largest of its kind in the entire world, but its home is being destroyed by sediment runoff from logging. However, there is hope – Todd Walsh the lobster man has grown up with this crayfish that gently inches its way around the northern rivers of Australia’s southern-most island. This is his plea to protect a rare and remarkable creature.
During one week, we’ve been living intensely in an environmental community, called OUR Ecovillage. On their beautiful land near Shawnigan Lake on Vancouver Island (BC, Canada), they try to live as sustainably as possible, and one with nature. Have a look at our impression of their interesting way of living…
The following report provides an overview of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking’s activities and events taking place during the 2016/2017 period. The Center’s programs are made possible by the generosity of the foundations and donors listed at the end.
With Dean Emeritus Larry Kirkman’s support, I founded the Center twelve years ago at the School of Communication to address the world’s unprecedented environmental challenges, from climate disruption to species extinction.
Powerful films, images, and stories can play a key role in fostering conservation and bringing about change. We are committed to raising awareness and empowering action through the innovative use of media. Our campaign mantra is: Changing lives. Fostering creativity. Conserving our environment through the power of media.
Our mission is to inspire a new generation of filmmakers and media experts whose commitment to environmental stewardship drives them to produce creative work that is informative, ethically sound, and entertaining—and that makes a positive difference. Our signature initiatives include:
Creating partnerships with established organizations—Maryland Public Television, the National Park Service, The Humane Society of the United States, and others—that give students the opportunity to produce professional films.
Bringing world-class filmmakers to American University to talk, teach, and mentor.
Developing innovative, interdisciplinary, and experiential classes and programs.
Promoting the ethical treatment of wildlife and the environment.
Awarding student scholarships and fellowships.
Supporting and mentoring environmental and wildlife filmmakers in a variety of other ways.
The 12th Annual Spring 2017 Film Series
An SOC Signature Series Created and Hosted by Chris Palmer - AUCEF
27 January 2017
Free and Open to the Public
No Reservations Required
First Come, First Seated!
Tuesday, February 14 at 7pm - Reception at 6:30pm with food and drink. Storytelling and Animal Protection with HSUS
If you like animal videos, we’ve got an evening for you! Chad Sisneros is the Managing Director of the Creative Department at The Humane Society of the United States, with 20 years of experience shooting, editing, and campaigning for animal protection. Through a camera lens, his teams have supported many of HSUS’s largest campaigns against factory farming, puppy mills, dog fighting, and the Canada seal hunt, just to name a few. The strength of their video storytelling is one of the main drivers of their campaign success at HSUS. Come and watch some amazing animal stories!
Tuesday, February 28 at 7pm—Part of SOC Week - Reception at 6:30 pm with food and drink. Highlights from the 2017 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital (EFF), March 14-26
EFF is the largest and longest running environmental film festival in the country and will present 150+ films to provide fresh perspectives on our planet and a wide variety of environmental issues. The films will explore wildlife, outdoor adventure, freshwater and oceans, food and agriculture, energy and resources, sustainable living, and the built environment. Join Festival Executive Director Maryanne Culpepper for a sneak peek at some of the most exciting new films to be shown during the 25th anniversary festival.
Tuesday, March 21 at 7pm - Reception at 6:30 pm with food and drink. An Evening with Chris Palmer - The Most Important Food Films of All Time Founder and Director, Center for Environmental Filmmaking, School of Communication, American University.
Film producer Chris Palmer describes the best food films of all time, illustrating his remarks with compelling clips. He will also screen the winners of this year’s Eco-Comedy Video Competition, co-sponsored by AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and The Nature Conservancy.
Wednesday, March 22 at 7pm Student Short Environmental Film Festival
Come and watch some fascinating and entertaining films made by top film students. Professor Chris Palmer will lead an entertaining and interactive session with the audience and the filmmakers on why and how these films are made. This event builds on EFF’s latest initiative, led by Arjumand Hamid, Director of Educational Outreach, to become an educational resource for students of all backgrounds and ages.
Followed by a discussion with the student filmmakers.
Thursday, March 23 at 7pm Ok, I’ve Watched the Film, Now What?
An Impact Filmmaking Panel with Experts in the Field. Film clips and panel discussion, hosted and moderated by Chris Palmer.
How do we produce films that make a difference? This session, illustrated with clips of inspiring films, explores the ways we can turn films into action, at both the policy and personal levels. Our top panelists will address the challenges of producing films that have a tangible and measurable impact on their audiences and society.
Friday, March 24 at 7pm - Reception at 6:30 pm with food and drink supplied by Whole Foods At the Fork (94 min, 2016)
Filmmaker and omnivore John Papola, together with his vegetarian wife Lisa, offer up a timely and refreshingly unbiased look at how farm animals are raised for our consumption. With unprecedented access to large-scale conventional farms, Papola asks the tough questions behind every hamburger, glass of milk and baby-back rib. What he discovers are not heartless industrialists, but America’s farmers — real people who, along with him, are grappling with the moral dimensions of farming animals for food..
Discussion, moderated by Chris Palmer, with top executives from The Humane Society of the United States and from Whole Foods, follows screening.
Tuesday, March 28 at 7pm Keeping the Potomac: The Politics of Water (26 min, 2016)
This documentary—conceived, written, produced, shot, directed, and edited by students in Environmental & Wildlife Production (COMM 568)—will air during Maryland Public Television’s Chesapeake Bay Week in April. Keeping the Potomac examines efforts of three local river keepers to hold polluters accountable along the Potomac River watershed.
Created by Elizabeth Herzfeldt-Kamprath, Anthony Brunner, Doaa Nour, Sam Sheline, Raffi Paul, Sarah Liebman, Kent Wagner, Chelsea Greene and Xinyi Song, and by American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking, in association with Maryland Public Television..
Panel discussion, hosted by Professor Chris Palmer, follows screenings. Panelists include student filmmakers and Professor Mike English, who taught the Center for Environmental Filmmaking class where Keeping the Potomac was produced for Maryland Public Television.
NHNZ’s The Desert Sea UHD Special Premieres on Nat Geo WILD By Samantha McKegg
19 January 2017
NHNZ’s two-part UHD wildlife special The Desert Sea is set to premiere on Nat Geo WILD in the U.S. this Sunday January 22nd at 9 P.M. ET. It rolls out internationally in April.
The series is the first from a slate of UHD specials coming out of production house NHNZ, with another fifteen hours of UHD wildlife documentary titles delivering over the next six months.
Made in co-production with Nat Geo WILD, The Desert Sea hones in on North America’s iconic Sonoran Desert.
The first hour explores why the Sonoran is the wettest and most diverse desert on the continent with its unique proximity to the Gulf of California and the great Pacific Ocean, while the second hour focuses on the abundant and diverse creatures that have adapted to desert life in this hostile environment.
Despite the extreme heat there is an incredible diversity of animals of all types here, including mammals like the ice-age surviving Pronghorn antelope, the speedy Jackrabbit and the iconic Mountain Lion; unusual birds like the almost flightless road runner, the world’s smallest owl, and the Harris hawk – the only raptor to use cooperative hunting; and downright weird reptiles such as the venomous Gila Monster, the imposing Chuckwalla and the prehistoric looking Horned lizard.
Series Producer Lorne Townend says he and his team were excited to work in this challenging environment, with its extreme heat and remoteness.
“The Sonoran Desert is a unique and beautiful place. As the most biodiverse desert in the world it is an extraordinary environment to study on film and makes the perfect subject for the UHD format. There are some exceptional creatures here, clinging to the edge of existence in conditions that have pushed them to evolve unique adaptations to survive.”
“The higher resolution of 4K offers greater depth and clarity of light, as well as richer colours, and is ultimately able to bring the natural world into the living room, like you are there yourself. We hope The Desert Sea will offer a new insight into this territory.”
The Desert Sea is distributed internationally by ZDF Enterprises.
The Cat that Changed America premieres at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival By Tony Lee/Sabana Films
13 January 2017
My film 'The Cat that Changed America' about P22 mountain lion, has just been officially selected for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and will have its world premiere at the festival (1st to 11th February 2017)
The integrity of wildlife documentaries is much in the news at the moment, with the debate about Planet Earth II and whether the impact of such series can stir the conservation movement. I've been making wildlife documentaries for 25 years now and know how hard it is to make conservation programmes and to have them broadcast. Which is why I feel so passionate about The Cat that Changed America. P22, a mountain lion living in Griffith Park, is such a great ambassador for urban wildlife, because his story is so engaging and relatable and he has such charisma. I knew that the world will fall in love with the cat who can't find a mate.
The film will be shown as part of the 'Reel Nature' section of the festival which was started by Mike de Gruy, a Santa Barbara resident. I feel honoured that my film was selected, as Mike was an inspiration early on in my career when I started in 1992, and I saw him over the years at the wildlife festivals and he was always a congenial presence. The festival will also honour such Hollywood hits such as LaLa Land and Manchester by the Sea, and will attract a celebrity crowd as well as bring much media attention.
All the red carpet hoopla is fitting, because P22 is a Hollywood celebrity himself and is deserving of his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. P22 is such a great Hollywood story - a big cat living in the middle of LA! It's still incredible to think about. His story is so relatable to Angelenos and to anyone who has experienced the pressures of urban living. As Beth Pratt, the California Director for the National Wildlife Federation who is spearheading the Save LA Cougars campaign says, 'Who can't relate to being dateless on a Friday night and stuck in traffic?' P22 has moved the dial about where it's acceptable for wildlife to live, yet he's likely to die a lonely bachelor in Griffith Park because he is hemmed in by freeways and the lack of connectivity. His story had to be told, and the more I delved, the more I discovered how fascinating his life is. Miguel Ordenana, a wildlife biologist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County was the first person I spoke to about the story, which is appropriate as he captured the first photograph of P22 in one of his camera traps in Griffith Park
You are invited to VMI's biannual New Products Day in London on Wednesday 1st February. From Barry Bassett - VMI
11 January 2017
This is a big deal, as we only host this once every 2 years, alternating between London and Bristol and this year, it is London's turn.
It will be held on Wednesday 1st Feb 2017 to showcase the brand new equipment which has recently arrived or is launching in the new year and a number of manufacturers are participating but above all, it is an opportunity to get your hands dirty on the new kit!
This event is free of charge and held at our London office in Acton.
New kit to be shown this year include the RED Epic-W and RED PLUS system, MoVI Pro, Panasonic Pure camera, Canon C-700 camcorder, E mount Prime lenses and much, much more.
We are planning to show:
RED EPIC-W with OMOD integration/demonstration
Canon 5D Mk IV
Sony FS-7 Mk II
Panasonic Varicam Pure
New MoVI Pro Gimbal system
Canon C300 Mk II
4K HDR demonstration with live 4K grade
Canon ME20 super low-light camera
Canon 50-1000 lens
Fuji 25-300 Premier and 20-120 lenses
Veydra E Mount Prime lenses
Angenieux EZ zoom lenses PL, EF & E mount: 30-90 and 15-40
Cooke Mini S4 with E mount
Vintage and Uncoated zone
RTMotion WLCS system/RED demo
Lots of grip including Gimbals, Cranes & Dollies
Selection of LED and portable lighting
Attending with VMI are planning to be:
RED, Canon, Panasonic, Cooke, Angenieux, RTMotion, OFFHOLLYWOOD, MTF representing Veydra.
Attendance is free of charge but you must apply online as this event will book-out.
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