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ENTANGLED, a new film about endangered whales ...
ENTANGLED is a new, feature-length film about how climate change has accelerated a collision between one of the world’s most endangered species, North America’s most valuable fishery, and a federal agency mandated to protect both. The film, by the makers of Lobster War and Sacred Cod, will be released in 2020.
Wildscreen Festival Announces 2020 Panda Award Nominees By Wildscreen
23rd July 2020
Wildscreen, the not-for-profit behind the world’s biggest festival of natural history storytelling, today announced the nominees for the 2020 Wildscreen Panda Awards – the highest honour in the international wildlife film and TV content industry.
Wildlife documentary thriller SEA OF SHADOWS, from National Geographic Documentary Films leads the way, picking up four nominations out of the nine film categories for Editing, Music, Producer/Director and Sound.
The adrenaline-packed documentary follows a team of dedicated scientists, high-tech conservationists, investigative journalists and courageous undercover agents as well as the Mexican Navy as they put their lives on the line to save the last of the world’s 30 remaining vaquitas and bring a vicious international crime syndicate to justice.
Silverback Films tops the list as the most nominated production company, securing five nods, including best Scripted Narrative for the soon to released, the 93-year-old broadcaster’s witness statement on the state of the Earth and his vision for the future.
BBC Studios Natural History Unit follows close behind with four nominations, dominating the Series category with DYNASTIES and SEVEN WORLDS, ONE PLANET.
Films creating impact beyond entertainment stood out for the jury, with SEA OF SHADOWS being joined by STROOP (Producer Director), PENG YU SAI (Emerging Talent) and OUR PLANET (Cinematography) in the nominations.
This was also evident in the Photo Story Award nominees, Brent Stirton’s PANGOLIN IN CRISIS, Joan de la Malla’s MASKED MONKEYS and Audun Rickardsen’s DINNER IS SERVED - all of which shine a light on contemporary conservation issues.
Jeff Wilson, Chair of the Panda Awards Nomination Jury said: “This year was a bumper year for the Wildscreen Panda Awards, with our 30 nominees standing out amongst nearly 600 entries from over 30 countries. However what was remarkable to me was that, despite COVID19 preventing our international jury of over 30 world-leading broadcasters, producers and craft professional being in the same room as one another, the discussions were as intense, as intelligent and as mind-opening as any jury debates that have gone before.
Across all categories and juries, a clear message from within the industry emerged – at a time when the natural world and the human race are under pressure from global events, our films and teams need to have purpose beyond entertainment. Consistently the Jury’s voted for the films that not only had a creative voice but also that left an indelible impact on audiences. The overwhelming consensus was now, more than ever, our films have to stand above the parapets and be part of the global conversation on the future of our planet.”
Alongside the craft awards, Wildscreen also introduced two new categories this year, recognising the talent of individuals and teams, with best Producer/Director and Production Team.
The 2020 line-up also welcomes productions not pure in their natural history form, including Passion Pictures’ H2O – THE MOLECULE THAT MADE US, securing two nomination for Series and Scripted Narrative and CLOROFILIA, nominated for its fresh fiction-fusion approach and sense of humour from Argentinian production company, PLANTA ALTA, nominated for Emerging Talent.
Category sponsors are: Doclights/NDR Naturfilm Producer/Director Panda Award, Dolby Cinematography Panda Award, Dolby Sound Panda Award, Icon Films Emerging Talent Panda Award, and the NHK Scripted Narrative Panda Award.
The winners will be announced on 22 October at the Panda Awards Celebration, during the first ever virtual edition of the Wildscreen Festival. Wildscreen announced back in May that it would taking the industry-leading event online, seizing the opportunity to make it the most inclusive and accessible Festival in its 38-year history.
Three-month industry passes are on sale now at £125, with concessions offered at £50. Tickets can be purchased here.
My Octopus Teacher
Sea Change Project and Off the Fence; A Netflix Original Production
Underwater photography by: Roger Horrocks, Craig Foster
Aerials: Tom Foster
Topside photography: Warren Smart
Additional photography: Pippa Ehrlich, Dave Aenmae
BBC Studios NHU, BBC America, Tencent, France Télévisions and CCTV9
Photography by: John Brown, Mark MacEwen
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
Sea of Shadows
Terra Mater Factual Studios in association with Appian Way, Malaika Pictures, The Wild Lens Collective for National Geographic Documentary Films
Editors: Georg Michael Fischer & Verena Schönauer
Wild Cuba: A Caribbean Journey Crossing the Line Productions for ORF, BBC, RTÉ, France Télévisions, WNET Thirteen, PBS, ORF Enterprises
Editor: Jamie Fitzpatrick
Silverback Films for Disneynature
Editor: Andy Netley
ICON FILMS EMERGING TALENT AWARD
Andrés Sehinkman, Jonathan Barg, Leandro Vital, Armin Marchesini Weihmuller and Ailín Salas
For the film Clorofilia Planta Alta
Night on Earth: Dusk till Dawn
Plimsoll Productions for Netflix
DOCLIGHTS / NDR NATURFILM PRODUCER DIRECTOR AWARD
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
Craig Foster, Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed
For the film My Octopus Teacher
Sea Change Project and Off the Fence; A Netflix Original Production
H20: The Molecule That Made Us
Passion Planet Ltd and WGBH Boston for PBS
Script by: Nicolas Brown, Alex Tate
Icon Films in association with Natural History Film Unit Botswana for National Geographic
Script by: Andy Mitchell
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet Silverback Films and WWF for Netflix
Script by: David Attenborough with Jonnie Hughes
BBC Studios NHU, BBC America, Tencent, France Télévisions and CCTV9
Seven Worlds, One Planet
BBC Studios Natural History Unit, BBC America, France Televisions, ZDF, Tencent Penguin Pictures and China Media Group CCTV9
H2O: The Molecule that Made Us
Passion Planet Ltd and WGBH Boston for PBS
DOLBY SOUND AWARD
Sea of Shadows
Terra Mater Factual Studios in association with Appian Way, Malaika Pictures, The Wild Lens Collective for National Geographic Documentary Films
Sound by: Bernhard Zorzi, Michael Plöderl, Bernd Dormayer, Roland Winkler, Bernd Mazagg
Icon Films in association with Natural History Film Unit Botswana for National Geographic
Sound by: Richard Lambert, Roy Noy
Maramedia Ltd for BBC Scotland
Sound by: Kate Hopkins, Owen Shirley & Mitch Dorf, Ben Peace, Wounded Buffalo
The Grierson Trust has announced (23/07/20) the shortlist for the 2020 British Documentary Awards in association with All3Media.
Lorraine Heggessey, Chair of The Grierson Trust says: “This is a particularly challenging time for filmmakers, so I’m pleased to have this opportunity to celebratesome of the most outstanding factual programmes broadcast in the past 12 months. This year’s shortlist showcases thecreativity and fearlessness of the world’sfilmmakers as theytake viewers to the heart of issues affecting all our lives. I’m also thrilled that 2020 shortlist represents the biggest range of channels, broadcasters and platforms to date, as commissioners recognise the crucial role the documentary plays in every schedule.”
The 104 shortlisted films and eight presenters will now go forward to final nominations and judging ahead of 48th annual awards ceremony on 10th November 2020.
The BBC dominates the Science and Natural History categories and tops the shortlist with 44 entries in the running overall. Netflix has over 50% of the Best Series shortlist with 12 films in total. Channel 4 have 11 in the mix. ITV has five films listed, Sky has three, Al Jazeera, Apple+, Nat Geo and Amazon Prime all have two each. Completing the list with a film apiece are Channel 5, Discovery, S4C, BT, ESPN, YouTube and Fields of Vision while the remainder is made up of festival and university screenings alongside theatrical releases.
Discovery Best Natural History Documentary
The Elephant Queen
Apple, Mister Smith & Deeble & Stone for Apple TV+
The Last Igloo
Swan Films for BBC Four
The Octopus in my House
Passion Planet for BBC Two
Seven Worlds, One Planet: Antarctica
BBC Studios Natural History Unit for BBC One
The Story of Plastic
The Story of Stuff Project in association with React to Film for Discovery
Takaya: Lone Wolf
Talesmith, Cineflix & Wild Wolf Media for BBC Four
Tigers: Hunting the Traffickers
Grain Media for BBC Two
Cinematographer Bertie Gregory Shares Tips, Tales About Capturing Animals on Camera
When it comes to picture time, pets can be the most difficult subjects to shoot on camera.
Trying to capture wildlife in their natural environment is an even bigger challenge, even for the professionals.
In this video, one of the youngest and most accomplished wildlife cinematographers on the planet, Bertie Gregory, gives Spectrum News' Burton Fitzsimmons some tips, and talks about his trips around the globe to capture animals in their element.
What’s it really like to film documentaries for David Attenborough?
“We sailed in a 50 foot sailboat for 800 miles to the island of South Georgia, which is a sub Antarctic Island, right at the bottom of the South Atlantic Ocean. It is covered in millions of penguins and seals.”
Bertie Gregory tells me the wild story of his journey to South Georgia with a surprisingly casual laugh.
“But, during the journey, it took us about a week to sail there and three days in we were just in this friggin’ crazy storm. I remember us sat in the wheelhouse, opposite each other, trying not to be sick. We just had this amazing moment of like, ‘how on earth did we get into this? This was a terrible idea!”
This incredible experience is, after all, just one day in the work life of the BBC and National Geographic wildlife filmmaker.
At just 26 he is one of the most sought-after camera people in the business. He has just won a BAFTA and is currently a contender for an Emmy for his work on the critically acclaimed Seven Worlds, One Planet series.
“Most of the time you turn up to the airport, having never met the other three people you're going to spend all day every day for the next two months with,” he tells me, “and you'll experience something with them that maybe no one else on the planet has ever seen before.”
How do you become a wildlife photographer? The business of making nature documentaries has slowed down a bit for the moment, at least for Gregory. With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing him from travelling abroad, he has been taking some time to get back to the root of what led him to love wildlife in the first place.
“I've just started to get back in the water now that you can dive again.
“I grew up doing a lot of surfing and things like that off the Cornish coast. I think just when you spend that amount of time outdoors, you sort of gain an appreciation for wildlife.” he explains, speaking to me over the phone during a rare extended stay in the south west of England where he grew up. “It’s really easy to look back on things and say- ‘Oh that was the moment when that happened.’ But yeah, looking back I think that was the reason I was so interested in wildlife.”
Nature has been there for us during this difficult time and now it is our responsibility to be there for nature…
In the last week we have heard in no fewer words from our government that our wildlife and environmental protection present some sort of threat to economic growth. This is wrong. The fundamental driving forces behind these thoughts and actions is exactly what is fundamentally wrong with wildlife conservation and tackling environmental issues not just here in the UK, but around the world. We feel let down that once again our precious and crucial environment is to be swept under the carpet, built upon and destroyed and hopefully forgotten about…
Well we will not forget about it. And we hope that you don’t forget about it either. If we do not invest into conserving our wildlife, extending their habitats and strengthening our environmental protection we will see an increase in floods, an increase in droughts, our air will become more polluted, our rivers and oceans will die along with our wildlife.
Everything in one ecosystem is intrinsically linked to all living organisms which produce vital processes that we ourselves cannot live without - clear air, clean water and food are all pretty important things right? If we destroy our environment we will have none of the above - it is that simple.
Please stand with us and write to your MP this week and champion a greener future for the UK and help protect our natural world. I want to personally thank everyone in this video for being absolute superstars and thank you to everyone here, on behalf of all of us.
Please make your voices heard this week, there has never been a more important time.
The Wildscreen team have been busy creating the re-imagined Wildscreen Festival and we're excited to announce that tickets are now on sale!
Full Industry Pass
£125 (+VAT where applicable)
The Wildscreen Festival Virtual Edition Full Industry Pass gives access to the following from mid-September to mid-December 2020:
Full access to all Festival week industry content including headliners, masterclasses, sessions and commissioner sessions released during 19-23 October. Content will also be available to view on demand until mid-December.
Our on-demand screening film library of Panda Award and Official Selection films supported by a selection of Director Q&As.
Access to the Festival networking tool from early October and during the industry week.
£50 (+VAT where applicable)
Concession passes give you the same access to the Festival as the Full Industry Pass. You are eligible for a concession pass if you identify as one or more of the following:
under 30 years of age at point of purchase
a first-time Wildscreen Festival delegate
a student in full-time education
over 65 years of age
an employee of an NGO
have applied for or are in receipt of your country's social assistance benefit programmes
WE WANT TO LIVE – UK REBELLION ... 1st September 2020 with Extinction Rebellion
We face an intersection of global crises. Climate breakdown, COVID-19, racial injustice, economic inequality – all are symptoms of a toxic system propped up by corrupt politicians, that is driving us to extinction – a system built on inequality, the destruction of nature, and the exploitation of Black, brown and Indigenous people.
We can not carry on like this. The system is broken.
It’s 2020. Siberia is burning. Extinction is beckoning – but the Government is looking the other way. Peaceful rebellion is the only option we have before us.
Driving Elephants, an excellent new film from member Kirsty Wells.
Caught in the cross-fire of a shrinking forest habitat and an ever expanding urban population, the elephants of Bannerghatta National Park are being pushed towards extinction.
With approximately 40% of the national park’s northern boundary surrounded by the ever expanding city of Bangalore, inviolate forest space is being eaten away. Elephants are being marginalised into thin forest strips, where they are often tempted into local croplands.
Driving Elephants, a short feature documentary, explores the harsh realities facing Bannerghatta’s elephants as they leave the protected area, resulting in fatal consequences for both people and elephants.
Think Phones Disconnect Us From Nature? Think again. by Pam Voth
22 July 2020
New Nature App, Mammalz, Changes the Narrative, Connects Today’s Generation to Nature and Each Other Using Smartphone Technology
So often, technology is blamed as the culprit for disconnecting us from nature. But a new media company is changing that perception. Mammalz, a new nature app, is re-imagining what can be done to democratize the nature media industry and reconnect people to nature around the world by using technology available in nearly everyone’s hand, the smartphone. In the hands of a Mammalz community member, a smartphone actually becomes an agent for change and the tool to connect people around the globe to nature and one another.
On Mammalz, you experience nature with other people
Using smartphone technology and a niche community approach, the Mammalz app has become the go-to choice of nature lovers from over 60 countries around the world to enjoy a dose of nature content any time of the day. Every visit to Mammalz brings a new possibility to encounter nature like you’ve never seen before. Join a live stream with a herpetologist hiking a desert canyon searching for lizards; watch a vlog from a young researcher who is studying the way people coexist with wildlife in Sierra Leone; or feel relaxation flood over you as you watch a video of colorful fish dart in and around a coral reef. Mammalz is a place for curiosity and discovery to flourish.
Becoming a star on Mammalz
Anyone with a smartphone, a great personality, a curiosity for the natural world, and a creative imagination can become a star on Mammalz. The two Mammalz co-founders are biologists-turned-wildlife filmmakers and recognize the many barriers to breaking into the nature media industry to pursue a career as a nature storyteller.
They know that old-school gatekeepers are in charge of deciding what gets produced for broadcast and that the professional camera equipment required to create natural history programming for television is extremely expensive. “These are huge obstacles. Add to that the fact that young people don’t even consume television programming,” says Rob Whitehair, Mammalz CEO and co-founder. “We realized it’s time to shake up our own industry. We created Mammalz to give people the chance to share their own unique perspectives about the natural world, and to make a living doing it.” Future plans for Mammalz include introducing monetization tools for partnered creators.
Can the smartphone actually save the world?
The smartphone proved to be the perfect tool to create the opportunity for people to create and engage with nature content. “Right from your phone, you can live stream, vlog, take photos, edit short videos, and record audio. And it’s better quality than most video cameras from 10 years ago,” says Whitehair. “It also completely removes the barrier to entry to be able to create content. If anything, we need more voices out there championing the natural world. Not fewer voices. It would be a travesty not to harness the true potential technology has given us to make the world a better place. Our future depends on it.”
Founded by biologists-turned-wildlife filmmakers, Rob Whitehair and Alexander Finden, Mammalz is the “Twitch for Nature”; a mobile- and web-based media streaming and social platform dedicated to nature storytelling and driven by community. Whether you are a professional media maker, scientist, educator, artist, writer, or one of over 600 million nature enthusiasts across the planet, Mammalz provides you with the tools to personalize your experience, share your love of nature, and truly make a difference.
Mammalz, PBC is a Public Benefit Corporation founded in May 2018 and headquartered in San Diego, CA.
The Mammalz mission is to promote a greater global public understanding of nature and the environment while acting as a bridge between science, media makers, and the public.
They're Trying To Kill Us:
A new film from What The Health co-director on racism in the food system.
Cowspiracy/What The Health co-director Keegan Kuhn has teamed up with health advocate and activists John Lewis (aka Badass Vegan) to raise awareness of the health disparities for Americans of Color and the systems keeping it that way.
Audiences journey with co-director John Lewis as he crosses the country seeking answers to why Americans of Color suffer from disproportionately higher rates of chronic disease than their European American counterparts, while examining the intersections of food, disease, race, poverty, institutional racism and government corruption. Through interviews with cultural influencers, doctors, researchers, politicians, attorneys, professional athletes, activists and experts in the field of food justice, John begins to unravel a story of collusion that has kept millions of Americans sick, while the industries responsible make billions of dollars.
The film follows John as the protagonist and narrator in the documentary due to his unique experience being adopted at birth from his drug addicted birth mother, growing up as an overweight kid in the violence of Ferguson, to becoming a prominent health and wellness advocate promoting compassion.
The film has a crowdfunding campaign running to help raise additional funds to propel the film into the wider world.
QUEEN OF BIRDS – The Great Philippine Eagle from Dan O’Neill
The great Philippine eagle seems more like a creature from a story than that of reality. Standing at a metre tall, with a 7ft wingspan and dagger-like talons, they are truly formidable animals, but with just 400 pairs left in the wild, are the most endangered raptors in the world.
In December 2019, a young female Philippine eagle was miraculously rescued from the ocean off the south coast of Mindanao. The bird was starving, exhausted and after changing hands several times, was taken to the Philippine Eagle Foundation for rehabilitation. She was named 'Maasim'.
On news of Maasim's story, biologist, Dan O'Neill, heads to the Philippines to follow her journey back to the wild. But after a major setback, the mission is turned upside down...
Due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) has had to close its doors to the public.
With this comes losing the foundation’s largest source of funding – visitor admission to the centre. As a non-profit organization with very limited resources, the Philippine Eagle Foundation desperately relies on this to run its day-to-day operations.
With the centre closed indefinitely, the foundation will soon be unable to provide for the food and care of over 100 animals.
The Philippine Eagle Foundation in Davao City, Mindanao is the only conservation breeding and rehabilitation facility for the largest and most endangered eagle on the planet and the national bird of its country. Along with 31 critically endangered Philippine Eagles, it is home to over 80 other animals that are mostly found only in the Philippines, ranging from deer and a crocodile to various raptor species.
As a home to these animals, the foundation provides not only nourishment but also safety from threats to their health and wellbeing.
Through your donations to this campaign, you can help the Philippine Eagle Foundation not only with proper care for these creatures but with the necessary measures to ensure their safety during this difficult time.
Your donation will help:
Provide the day-to-day food of the animals
Veterinary care (in case of emergency)
In this crisis, we remember not just each other, but also the animals that depend on our care.
Patron, Philippine Eagle Foundation
Celebrity-fronted docuseries like Zac Efron’s may attract viewers, but they prove how few A-listers can compete with Attenborough
The Greatest Showman star's documentary debut, like those of some A-listers before him, is entertaining but far from focused, says Lauren Morris.
When Zac Efron’s newest Netflix venture hit the platform on Friday, fans of the actor were both equally surprised and delighted to find it wasn’t another scantily-clad romcom or a serial killer biopic, but an environmental travel series.
Down to Earth with Zac Efron shows how the now-bearded actor has come a long way since his High School Musical days – quite literally as he journeys to the likes of Iceland, France, Costa Rica and London – to find healthier, eco-friendly alternatives for producing food, water and energy. “Change has to start somewhere,” he says in the trailer. “Maybe it’s time we all change.”
Efron is the latest cinematic star to indeed make a change – from blockbuster hunk to globe-trotting documentary presenter – and while his docuseries debut has thus far proved immensely popular (Down to Earth is the sixth most-watched title on Netflix UK since it’s release), it perfectly demonstrates how many actors-turned-presenters are more amateur than Attenborough on the non-fiction front.
While the series’ trailer heavily emphasises the environmental angle of Efron’s travels, the show feels unfocussed. In the first episode, we see the actor travel to Iceland to bake rye bread by volcanic springs, design chocolate bars, eat Michelin-starred reindeer tartare and have an “ice and fire” massage – activities you’re more likely to find on a nordic mini-break than an environmental expedition.
It’s also unclear why exactly Efron has decided to undertake this world-wide adventure – he doesn’t appear to show much interest in eco-friendly living and fails to provide much of an educational commentary whilst undertaking his fun, tourist-y tasks. In fact, the little analysis he provides throughout the series is littered with fratboy vocabulary, with “dude”, “gnarly”, “woah”, “holy s***” and “sick” frequently exclaimed by the actor across all eight episodes.
Operating for the last 11 years and clocking a total team experience of almost 30 years between us, we offer our extensive support for Photography and Filming crew – large or small projects across many remote and the unexplored destinations around the Indian Subcontinent.
We are pleased to list below all the services that we can offer pertaining to your projects across India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tibet. Having worked with multiple projects (National & International) ranging from Wildlife, Culture, People, Adventure & Festivals, we surely can be that strong pillar of support in the asian region.
What can we Assist you with:
Aspects of Art & Research, Government Liaising/Filming Permissions/Visa Support, Location Scouting, Accommodation, Catering, Technical and Aerial Equipments, AV Set-ups
Five years after Cecil the lion was shot dead, trophy hunting continues ...
The 2nd of July marked five years since Cecil the lion was shot by an American dentist. The killing sparked an international outcry to ban lion trophy hunting.
The UK government has made repeated promises to ban it, but hunters continue to import, quite legally, lion trophies into Britain. Channel 4's Chief Correspondent Alex Thomson has spoken exclusively to the controversial safari tour operators who lead the hunts.
In the heart of Africa, a tragedy is unfolding. Over the past two months, more than 350 elephants in Botswana have died of unknown causes. It’s carnage on an unprecedented scale – and no one knows what’s behind it.
Speculation abounds as to what could be killing the elephants, but is anything really being done to solve the mystery? As part of our investigation, we speak to conservationist Dr. Niall McCann, and also look at the long-term impacts this kind of tragedy could have on Botswana’s elephant population.
In February 2020 we travelled overland to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, Makgadikgadi and Nxai Pan National Parks in Botswana to film the desert wildlife of the Kalahari and the zebra migration during the rainy season. In this short film, I hope to show you a bit about what goes into filming high resolution content in the remote African wilderness. This is my first behind-the-scenes video, so please let us know in the comments if you would like me to make more of this kind of content.
The adventure starts in Hermanus, near the Southern tip of Africa. Since my usual assistant was unable to come on this trip, my mother kindly offered to join and help with the driving. We travelled via the Karoo into Botswana and on to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. In the CKGR we camped for 3 nights in Deception Valley filming desert wildlife, birds, lions and cheetahs. Then we travelled West to Tau Pan Camp where we spent most of our time on the pan itself, filming the herds of wildebeest, gemsbok (oryx) and springbok, as well as a beautiful male lion, a cheetah, a giraffe, bat-eared foxes, and black-backed jackals. After a few nights at Tau Pan, we moved East again to Leopard Pan, where we camped for a 3 more nights. From Leopard Pan, they visited the small copse of trees where Mark and Delia Owens camped in the 1970s. They later wrote the book 'Cry of the Kalahari' about this experience.
After more sightings of lions and other Kalahari birds and animals, we headed out of the park. In part 2 of this series we visit Boteti River Camp, near the gate of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park as well as South Camp in Nxai Pan National Park.
After ten days in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, we left the park and travelled to Boteti River Camp, near the gate of the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park. Here we spent some time exploring the mostly dry riverbed, and filming elephants, giraffe, fish eagles, hippos, lilac-breasted rollers, and other beautiful species that frequent this ares.
We then travelled through the park, intending to camp at the remote Tree Island campsite, but since the zebra migration had not yet arrived in the area, we decided to keep moving and camp at South Camp in the Nxai Pan National Park. In Nxai Pan, we were happy to find the large herds of zebra we had been looking for.
In this film, I also do a walk around of my filming vehicle, and share some tips for remote cinematography and camping in African wildlife areas.
Filmed on Red Weapon Magnesium, GoPro Hero 8, DJI Mavic Pro, and Samsung Gear 360.
Why Bonné de Bod would love to spend the day with David Attenborough
Award-winning wildlife TV presenter and film-maker Bonné de Bod is well-known for her in-depth reporting on wildlife and environmental issues.
For nearly a decade, she has presented in English and Afrikaans on TV (seven seasons on 50|50, special correspondent on SABC news, eNCA and kykNET’s GrootPlaas) as well as radio. A career highlight was her recent nomination alongside Dame Judi Dench for best presenter/host at last year’s Jackson Media Awards, known as the “Oscars” of wildlife.
In 2014, she embedded herself, along with her co-producer, on the front lines of the rhino poaching war for a four-year film, STROOP: journey into the rhino horn war. The film was selected for more than 35 festivals and won 30 awards.
What was the proudest moment in your career? The most special was when we had soldout cinema screenings across the country for our independent documentary film STROOP: journey into the rhino horn war. No cinema distributor would take the film; they said no one would watch it! We hired the cinemas ourselves, and the public showed up!
You can spend a day with any celebrity in the world. Who do you choose and why? It can be none other than David Attenborough. He travelled extensively and is considered the godfather of natural history. I’ve also heard that he is quite a character with a great sense of humour.
Smithsonian Channel’s Unscripted Strategy: What are the trends? A Sunny Side interview with Chris Hoelzl.
WHAT THE DOCUMENTARY BUYERS WANT!
Chris Hoelzl, SVP and Program Development, Smithsonian Networks (USA)
A session moderated by Peter Hamilton, DocumentaryBusiness.com.
#SSD20 The 2020 Connected edition of Sunny Side of the Doc provided insightful presentations where key funders, commissioners and cultural stakeholders reveal their programming strategies, future commissioning plans and what they are really looking for from producers.
We are very proud to have collaborated with so many organisations, talent, speakers and moderators across the globe to produce insightful sessions, share incredible stories and to strengthen our community ties when most needed.
Of course, we missed the friendly embrace under the sun but be assured that the beautiful and rebellious La Rochelle awaits you all on June 21-24, 2021.
David Attenborough's 'A Life on Our Planet' to release in October
Popular British natural-history filmmaker, Sir David Attenborough is all set to release his new book this year. Titled 'A Life on Our Planet', in this book 94-year-old Attenbourough writes about the 'dreadful damage wrought by mankind' which had led to the climate crisis and solutions to tackle it for a better future.
The news about Attenborough's "brand-new legacy-defining book" was shared by his publisher Penguin Books UK on May 28. Here's what they posted:
We're thrilled to share a very special message from Sir #DavidAttenborough; his brand-new legacy-defining book, A Life on Our Planet, will be published this October
Whoopi Goldberg’s Dramatic Call for Climate Action – Extinction Rebellion
Whoopi Goldberg has teamed up with Extinction Rebellion in a beautiful new animation set in the future, entitled 'The Gigantic Change'. The film, released as part of World Environment Day, looks back from 2050 to show how people came together to save the world from the climate and ecological crisis.
Sharks are the most badass creatures the planet has ever seen. Rob Stewart, Activist and award-winning Sharkwater filmmaker talks about saving sharks. Guardians of our oceans, they manage every creature that lives in the ocean today…..keeping coral reefs safe, and plants from being overgrazed by sea life. Sharks protect our oceans. We need sharks for ocean health. Oceans give us 60% of our oxygen, absorb carbon that causes global warming, absorbs our excess heat and feed a billion of us humans…and to top it off, they make millions in shark tourism. Yet, we kill up to 150 Million of them every year. We all can be heroes and make the world a better place. Save the Sharks.
Watch filmmaker Rob Stewart explain why we need sharks as a keystone species and how you can help.
New narrative and production techniques are being used in wildlife filmmaking, with messages of conservation front and center.
With its ability to bring viewers up close and personal with mighty jungle animals, endearing woodland creatures, terrifying ocean predators and awe-inspiring insects alike, nature programming has long been a solid draw with audiences. But the days of a narrator quietly whispering over delicate images of elephants drinking from a waterhole have given way to something much more dynamic. Today’s popular wildlife programs are bigger, bolder and more ambitious than the genre has ever been. And rightfully so, as the messages they can carry are pressing to be heard in this time of environmental threat and looming extinctions.
“As a genre, natural history is going from strength to strength,” says Patricia Fearnley, the head of natural history, unscripted and content partnerships at BBC Studios. “It used to be seen as attracting only the older demographic, but since Planet Earth II, younger audiences and families have been coming to natural history in a way we haven’t seen before.”
While the images themselves have always been arresting, it’s become more imperative nowadays that the stories are too. “Natural-history content is more character-driven than it was five or ten years ago,” Fearnley says. “We are far more likely to care about an individual animal with relatable characteristics rather than a generic group of animals.”
Narratives around climate change, carbon emissions and environmental issues at large are now “inevitably woven into most natural-history content,” she adds. “Even five years ago, that is something that would have been less palatable to audiences. It’s now an expectation. It’s virtually impossible to tell a story about the natural world without illustrating how behavior has changed in response to the changing environment.”
Indeed, there has been a rise in green thinking all across the world, “in particular by the younger generation,” says Anne Olzmann, managing director of Albatross World Sales. “People have become more environmentally conscious and thus are more interested in seeing what is going on on our planet, what it has to offer and what is at stake. So, there is an even higher need for wildlife and nature programming at the moment.”
Sir David Attenborough forced to film new BBC series from home due to coronavirus
Sir David Attenborough has been forced to film new BBC series A Perfect Planet at home as the coronavirus lockdown continues.
Sir David Attenborough may have turned 94 last month, but he's pulling out the stops in lockdown to bring BBC viewers their next major natural history series.
The veteran broadcaster is finishing off A Perfect Planet, expected in the autumn, from his home in Richmond-upon-Thames.
In recent weeks he has started filming links from his garden and recording the entire voiceover from a room inside his house, taping a duvet to the wall to improve sound quality while dubbing mixer Graham Wild works outside.
BBC natural history commissioning editor Jack Bootle said that Attenborough's efforts should ensure there is no delay to the five-part series.
Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary in Thailand is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the world's most important protected areas. It is home to a wonderful selection of animals and plants, that includes the last population of wild water buffalo in Thailand, and the last substantial populations of many other rare and endangered species.
Darryl says: "I have spent many hours sitting in hides in this Sanctuary, and have put together a selection of some of the mammals I have either filmed directly from hides, or with hidden cameras that I have planted close to the hide." More...
Our Forest Campaign’s latest report revealed traders paying to ship illicit Myanmar teak into Europe via the back door. In trying to sneak the banned timber in via Croatia, the move sought to skirt EU import rules so the traders can get their hands on it for high-paying clients to use for luxury products in the marine sector, such as superyacht decking. In our report, The Croatian Connection Exposed: Importing illicit Myanmar teak through Europe’s back door, we named the European firms involved.
Join the #LifeFromVents team on a research trip to Eyjafjörður on the north coast of Iceland, as they work to better understand how hydrothermal vents affect the evolution of animals that live in these incredible environments.
Brollyman is back and keen for natural history projects!
"In May I entered a pitch for a wonderful Natural history series following the exploits of a group of small mammals during their life on the African Savannah. I managed to come second in the pitch but really liked these tracks and it's whetted my appetite to get involved with Natural History production again after a five year break."
Everything You Need to Know About Climate Change – Climate Adam
Climate change can seem pretty complex, but we can all understand the core ideas. I want to explain everything from what we know is happening, to what we can do to stop it. After all climate change is happening, it's us, it's serious, but there is hope...
Isolation Room presents 'The Sylvan Space' created by Chris Watson
Headphones on, and...escape…
Isolation Room – binaural mix #4 – for slow listening in the lockdown
'The Sylvan Space'
A 9-hour dusk-til-dawn field recording from
Holystone oak woodland in Northumberland
as captured in surround sound by Chris Watson
Played in real-time 21.15 - 06.15 BST, June 12/13.
Celebrated sound recordist Chris Watson had been using lockdown to explore some of the extraordinary wilderness locations a short trip away from his Northumberland home. At the top of his list is Holystone Oak Woodland in Northumberland National Park. Over one night at the start of this month Chris headed out with his recording equipment and a bivvy bag to capture the songs, sounds, and atmospheres of this ancient sacred forest. Read more...
In 2003, the ban on whaling in Iceland was overturned. IFAW launched an extensive campaign in the country addressing politicians, building bridges, working with Icelandic partners and raising awareness among the population and tourists. We supported the whale watching industry as a sustainable alternative. Nearly two decades later, Icelanders are ending whaling.
Quibi staffers seethe at Reese Witherspoon’s $6M payday amid layoffs
Quibi staff are seething on the savanna after Reese Witherspoon was paid $6 million to narrate a nature show on the troubled platform where her husband works.
Witherspoon voices the show “Fierce Queens,” which gives a feminist slant to nature docs by exploring heroic female animals including cheetahs, hyenas and ant queens, telling viewers: “Imagine a world where females call all the shots.”
But Page Six is told that the show, produced by the BBC’s Natural History Unit, has been one of the weakest performers on Quibi, as one source said: “Quibi may have to implement cutbacks, and people are fuming that stars like Reese got paid millions.”
Thousands of schoolchildren across the UK are about to get an education fit for the 21st Century – via ECOSTREAMZ
Education is a key topic in the UK right now. Whether young people should be in school at all due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and what they should be learning while there are both under debate.
Appropriately then, a new initiative has launched that will ensure that thousands of schoolchildren are about to get an education fit for the 21st Century. Because the world’s first online streaming platform for eco-issues is going to be given free to 32,770 schools.
Ecostreamz: coming to a school near you
The online streaming platform is the brainchild of Oregon-based artist and filmmaker James Branchflower and British conservationist Ian Redmond. The subscription-based initiative features shorts and documentaries from filmmakers fighting the ecological and social “war” engulfing the planet right now. As Ecostreamz’s website says, the founders created it to “educate, inspire and empower” people about the critical stories of our time that the media often discards “on the cutting room floor”. The platform’s content focuses on issues such as deforestation, social justice, wildlife conservation, and human rights.
In collaboration with SaveMoneyCutCarbon, a company that provides “sustainable solutions” for homes and businesses, Ecostreamz has developed an educational sponsorship programme. In Britain, that collaboration will result in Ecostreamz offering a free 12-month subscription to every school that has engaged SaveMoneyCutCarbon. In a press release, Ecostreamz said that will mean 32,770 schools receive the free subscription.
Liz Bonnin: The BBC should use recycled footage to make climate change series
The animal behaviour specialist, who has fronted Blue Planet Live, said she is reducing her participation in programmes which require extensive travel
The BBC’s globe-travelling natural history spectaculars will need to rely upon recycled footage in a post Covid-19 world, the presenter Liz Bonnin warns.
The animal behaviour specialist, who has fronted Blue Planet Live and investigations including Drowning in Plastic, said she is reducing her participation in programmes which require extensive travel.
Bonnin said broadcasters had to find more environmentally sustainable methods to produce blockbuster series detailing the impact of climate change, like Sir David Attenborough’s The Blue Planet II, including recycling their own footage.
“My next project is a documentary about the environment and pandemics which is on hold and we’re taking a long hard look at how much archive we can use to make that programme and travel as minimally as possible. That will be my life going forward,” Bonnin told i.
There’s no need to despatch crews to exotic climes simply to repeat wildlife scenes which could be recycled from the Natural History Unit archive.
“We have a wealth of natural history footage. The stories can be told in pretty much the same way and I think that is our responsibility as programme-makers, to do the best we can to reduce our carbon footprint.”
Dieter Plage was a German wildlife filmmaker who did several notable wildlife documentaries internationally. Before his tragic death in 1993, he filmed some great wildlife events here in Sri Lanka during the late '70s and '80s (images source: Nepali Times, 2018).
Small, stocky and quietly coloured, this is the UK’s most threatened resident bird. We’ve lost 94% of them since the 1970s, and they are now extinct in most of their former haunts in the south and south-east of England.
This incredible film takes you to one of the last remaining sites of the Willow Tit exploring the reason for their rapid decline and what is being done to save this wonderful bird.
Documentary about the scientific work undertaken from the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise and the threats Antarctica currently faces. Told through the expertise and experiences of scientist Kirsten Thompson and logistician Sini Saarela.
The expedition was part of the last stage of the Greenpeace 'Protect The Oceans' Expedition. Greenpeace teamed up with a group of scientists to investigate and document the impacts the climate crisis is already having in Antarctica.
SANCTUARY – A journey across the ocean with Javier Bardem
Watch SANCTUARY, the documentary directed by Álvaro Longoria that will show you first-hand, through the eyes of Javier and Carlos Bardem, the story of an ambitious environmental protection initiative to create the world's largest marine sanctuary in the Antartic Ocean.
STRESS at a BEAR JAM at Grand Teton National Park – Trevor LaClair's Wildlife Filmmaking Vlog
The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is home to amazing animals like grizzly bears. About 700 grizzlies make their home in the ecosystem. While driving within the parks, you can occasionally get lucky with a road-side bear making for some easy photography and filmmaking...so you think. During a film trip in Grand Teton National Park, both Cathy and I came across a bear jam. It was a great opportunity to film some grizzlies but as the bears moved closer to the road, the size of the crowd increased. It became a stressful situation has visitors played the game of hierarchy, asserting their dominance to be in front of the crowd to get a photo of the bears.
Cathy and I decided to leave the crowd to look for foxes. We had a change in plans. Instead of foxes, we ended up returning to the beaver lodge to relax. That's when we came across the rewarding sight...BABY BEAVERS!
Blue Ant Media-owned wildlife and nature brand Love Nature has commissioned blue-chip series Ireland’s Wild Islands from Irish prodco Crossing the Line.
Irish wildlife and outdoor television presenter Eoin Warner (pictured) will travel by sailboat down the entire Irish Coast, from northernmost Inishtrahull, where huge basking sharks breach, to the monastery walls of Skellig Michael, where storm petrels roost after making an incredible flight from Antarctica.
Producers will reveal the “hidden worlds” of Ireland’s storm-battered Atlantic islands and the creatures that live there, including fin whales, golden hares, otters, dolphins, puffins and white tailed eagles.
MGM Television, K2 Studios set copro deal for nature, wildlife content
MGM Television and Los Angeles-based K2 Studios — a producer-distributor of documentary films for specialty theaters – have partnered to coproduce premium nature, wildlife, science and adventure programming.
The deal — part of MGM’s push into factual, docs and specials — includes coproduction of eight documentary TV series, distribution of K2 library content and a first-look deal for new K2 content. Sea Lions: Life By a Whisker (pictured), the first K2 release born from the partnership, will continue its rollout this summer as theaters open post-pandemic.
Northern Banner takes Canadian rights to “The Walrus and the Whistleblower”
Toronto-based Northern Banner Releasing has picked up the Canadian rights for Nathalie Bibeau’s Hot Docs 2020 Audience Award-winning film The Walrus and the Whistleblower.
Northern Banner, the Canadian distribution arm of Raven Banner Entertainment, is eyeing a fall release for the film.
Produced and directed by Bibeau, and produced by Bunbury Films’ Frederic Bohbot, The Walrus and the Whistleblower follows Phil Demers, known by some as the “Walrus Whisperer.”
For a decade, Demers worked as a trainer at the MarineLand amusement park in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
He ran the show swimming with killer whales and training belugas, seals and Smooshi the walrus, until he quit, claiming animal abuse and calling for an end to the practice of keeping marine mammals in pools.
MarineLand is currently suing Demers for CA$1.5 million dollars on claims of trespassing.
Bad Ass Vegan Stars In New Film 'They’re Trying To Kill Us' About Racism And Food Justice
'If you're not hungry for justice, it's because you're full of privilege'
A new documentary starring prolific advocate Bad Ass Vegan (aka John Lewis) will focus on racism, disease, and food justice.
The film, titled They’re Trying To Kill Us, is the follow-up to the smash-hit movie What The Health.
Produced by Keegan Kuhn (Cowspiracy, What The Health) and John Lewis (Badass Vegan, Vegan Smart), the film 'focuses on food (in)justice told through the lens of Hip Hop and urban culture'.
A film made by The Open University (Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies) June 2020
'We're living through an era of increased political protests. This film examines how protest movements go about communicating their message. Why are we seeing such an upsurge in demonstrations? What impact are they having on the political process? And how do those without access to traditional forms of power get their voice heard? Focusing on the work of Extinction Rebellion, and with contributions from journalists, activists and academics, the film is an insightful look at political communication in the era of the protest.'
It’s never been easier for animal pathogens to spill over into humans.
Over the last 40 years, disease outbreaks among humans have become more and more frequent. The majority of those diseases are zoonoses, or diseases that originated in animals, like Ebola, West Nile virus, and probably Covid-19. But what makes zoonotic outbreaks likelier than ever is actually something humans are doing.
According to science journalist Sonia Shah, author of the 2017 book "Pandemic," the expansion of humans onto more and more of the planet’s land has increased the likelihood of disease outbreaks in two ways. First, as humans move into what were once animal habitats, we end up living closer to animals that might contain dangerous pathogens; and second, as we destroy or alter animal habitats, we’re driving away or killing off animals that once served as a “firewall” between those pathogens and us. And the human land development driving this trend shows no signs of stopping.
Why is this plant-based oil devastating the rainforest? You may not know it, but many products you encounter every day can contain palm oil. Packaged snacks like chips and cookies contain palm oil, and household products like lipstick and toothpaste do, too. There is an increased demand on this cheap and versatile oil, and companies cut corners on sustainability to make a profit.
There are environmental impacts related to palm oil due to deforestation, as land is cleared for palm plantations. There are also impacts on wildlife - the Bornean orangutan, Sumatran tigers, rhinos, and elephants are some of the species at risk. There are impacts on indigenous communities and activists who try to protect the land.
How can we move forward from palm oil? Several countries have implemented bans, though experts warn that another land-intensive oil will simply take its place. Dr. Jane Goodall supports the sustainable production of palm oil, but it has to be done right. Governing bodies such as the RSPO provide sustainability regulations for palm oil production. There are also lab-grown palm oil alternatives that may soon take palm oil's place.
A mere three decades away, most of us hope to still be around. So, what kind of future are we riding into? ENDGAME 2050 gives us a glimpse into that future, and it does not look good. Humanity has backed itself into an ecological endgame as we approach mid-century. Featuring musician Moby along with leading scientists, ENDGAME 2050 lays out the reality that, unless we act urgently now, we are hastening our own destruction.
Film-maker Sofia Pineda Ochoa, who directed the film, says:
"I made ENDGAME 2050 because I want people to wake up to the gravity of the situation before it’s too late.
I think many environmental films sugarcoat our reality and the extent of changes needed. They sometimes don’t want to make people too uncomfortable. But I think that does a grave disservice to the audience and the planet. I wanted this film to clearly lay out the dire situation in which we now find ourselves, and the responsibility for these global problems that we all bear. I think we owe it to the planet, other species, and ourselves to not bury our heads in the sand."
FEATURING: Moby, Boris Worm, Paul Ehrlich, Claire Kremen, Bill Ryerson, Malcolm Potts, Alicia Graves, David M. Romps, Daniel H. Miller, James Gerber, Philip Wollen, Kim A. Williams, Josh LaJaunie, T. Colin Campbell, Bandana Chawla, Munish Chawla, Michelle McMacken and Robert Ostfeld.
Ella Stephenson – an enthusiastic individual looking to progress in the wildlife filmmaking industry. Recently graduating from Ravensbourne with experience in both production and technical roles.
Her skills include working within the camera department as an assistant in studio and as a 2nd AC on location. Skills in production management including the creation of production paperwork, budgets, schedules and managing health and safety and skills working in floor management for studios.
She has a keen passion for wildlife and travelling. She is a volunteer ambassador working in orphanages and on a farm in Togo with Kailend and has travelled around Asia, Australia and New Zealand. Recently writing her dissertation on ‘The Ecological Importance of Sharks and Their Perception in the Media’.
She has a good working knowledge of kit and practices and has bases in London and Brighton and a full clean UK driving licence.
Ritesh Kadam – A dedicated resourceful individual and experienced wild life photographer with excellent planning, management and interpersonal skills, equipped with patience and a keen eye for detail. Communication, Research, Organisational and photography skills are just facets to my experienced profile and relevant to drive the pre set goals.
Offering production and research support as a Documentary film Fixer across India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia under the iTravel Films banner.
With specialised teams catering to all aspects of outdoor filming including government regulations and hi end equipments support, we assure the best of services for all your filming needs.
Kirsty Wells – a young filmmaker with an academic background in Zoology.
She has spent the last few years independently shooting and editing short-form video content from documentaries to promotional videos and is now building up TV credits in research and production roles.
Kirsty has worked in development and research roles for factual TV (Storyfilms and CB Films) and as an AP on location for an ongoing natural history series with Oxford Scientific Films.
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