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Have you seen enough of rather long "save-nature shows"? ... usually an hour, and series that show, predictably, major habitats like mountains, oceans, grasslands, deserts, jungles, the poles and how the wildlife survives there? For example (all not free) Our Planet (Netflix), Planet Earth (BBC), Hostile Planet (National Geographic, Sky). They're important in these Extinction Rebellion days with David Attenborough telling us how it all is – and may well become. Made over several years, some of them are bound to be partly out of date by now.
In the last fifty years we've witnessed the extinction of an average sixty per cent of all vertebrate animal populations. And the UN has just reported that one milllion species are now at risk on our unique, and broken, planet. Watch my series and see how you and others can share some solutions to urgent problems.
As David Attenborough said recently "I don't think we are as scared as we need to be". But maybe we can fix it. Maybe?
Wildeye have new dates for their Introduction to Wildlife Filmmaking: 6th September – 8th September 2019
One of of their 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, they’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.
Also, they have introduced One on One Camera Training too ... Bespoke camera training, suitable for those with little to no experience, their one-day technical course will get you up to speed with all of your cameras manual functions and have you shooting like a professional with confidence.
Directors, productors, submit us your latest wildlife productions and come to share with a large and enthusiastic public, a moment of sharing, reflection and conviviality facing the environmental challenges of tomorrow.
Jackson Wild Summit:
September 21-27, 2019
– Get a taste of what to expect this fall!
Do you want to play a meaningful role at this year's Summit? You will help shape the important conversations that will unfold during the week, and deeply engage with others who want to elevate nature, science & conservation media to its highest potential for global impact. We are on the hunt for Session Leaders and Speakers! Session Leaders (Producer/Moderators) receive complimentary registration and Speakers get a 50% registration discount! Take a look at some of the sessions that are currently in the works, here.
You have accepted the role of honorary president for the marketplace’s 30th edition: what is your earliest memory of Sunny Side of the Doc?
My first time at Sunny Side of the Doc was about 18 years’ ago when the market was still held in Marseille. I remember just how easy it was to meet industry professionals from some of the biggest public broadcasters around, such as Arte, to discuss ideas and to talk about films and trends in a laid-back atmosphere that was too business-like. I’ve always considered this event as more of a special moment for networking between colleagues rather than a just your average market, and it’s incidentally still the case.
#SSD19 - 30 years of commitment towards documentary and narrative experiences worldwide needs to be celebrated and shared! Join the celebrations at SUNNY SIDE OF THE DOC from 24-27 June 2019 in La Rochelle, France.
The appetite for high-quality factual content is growing, with major players and SVOD companies turning to the independent non-fiction space in larger numbers. In an international market where genres, narratives and technologies are mixed, the 30th edition of SUNNY SIDE OF THE DOC aims to create surprises, facilitate matchmaking, embrace innovation and support emerging producing talent and factual content creators able to transcend barriers.
About Anegada Land of the Iguanas: With an ancestral lineage that goes back to the dinosaurs, the Anegada rock iguana once had a homeland that stretched for thousands of miles but today it is perilously close to extinction. Threatened by invasive species, climate change and land grabbing, the last 300 rock iguanas survive on just 28 square kilometres of coral and limestone rock. Protecting them is an immense challenge but Michael Young, a conservationist from the National Parks Trust of Virgin Islands and Kelly Bradley, scientist at Fort Worth Zoo have taken it on.
The challenge: Madelaine said: “Anegada Land of the Iguanas was not a straight forward film to make. I had to be sensitive to the politics of the local partners ensuring that each was equally represented whilst keeping editorial control and a balanced story. The location set in the Caribbean sounds wonderful and it was certainly beautiful but the reality was challenging. At just ten miles long and two miles wide, the tiny island we filmed on was pierced by lakes whose base was full of deep slimy quicksand mud and came up to our waists. It took around 45 minutes each way to cross the lake carrying all our kit on our heads to keep it out of the hot water.”
“The stars waiting on the other side were rock iguanas, certainly not the prettiest of creatures so making an audience care about them and their fate needed the addition of human presence. I chose the most non-political engaging contributor I could find, an 8-year-old girl Anjuliena who we auditioned from the only school on the island. We also needed to film baby iguanas. as they are the most vulnerable to the feral cats which are decimating the population. The scientists usually find around 20-30 each year, but this year they couldn’t find any.”
“It was only half way through our filming schedule that they found one baby who fortunately turned out to be quite content to appear in a number of nesting 'sets' with no stress, before he joined older iguanas in the conservation centre. At 3 years old the iguanas are big enough to avoid being cat food and we filmed Anjuliena and her schoolmates nervously releasing the iguanas into the wild and with a final drone shot around the children we could see the iguanas running off to a new life in the wild. But one highlight remained, the main crew of Alex Wickens and myself were treated to an iguana release of our own. On our last morning the scientist, Kelly Bradley took us out to the release site and as we released and said goodbye to 6 juvenile iguanas it was time to thank everyone involved. We had learned a lot!”
On her film being selected for NaturVision, Madelaine said: “Having my first film as a director chosen for NaturVision Wildlife Film Festival is amazing. The rock iguanas provided a good story but the team who made it deserve every accolade I can give to them. Fellow NFTS students, Alex Wickens, Matt Senior, Sarah Boughton and Ruth Knight were a formidable creative team who gave the conservation partners a film which has already been valuable. The partners are using the film as the core of an international conference on invasive species in the Caribbean. Fort Worth Zoo are using it in their education centre and outreach programme for over 200 schools across the world and clips of iguana behaviour will shortly be featured on their websites. Having actual conservation results plus film festival selection , what more could we ask for?”
Wildlife recordist Chris Watson begins a three-part journey into the sonic environment of the ocean, celebrating the sounds and songs of marine life and investigating the threat of noise pollution.
Contrary to popular belief, and the writings of Jacques Cousteau, life beneath the ocean surface is not a silent world but a dense and rich sonic environment where sound plays a fundamental role in life.
In episode one of this three-part series, pioneering nature sound recordist Chris Watson begins a journey driven by his fascination with recording the songs and signals of life under the ocean surface. He will meet scientists examining the possible impacts of noise pollution, from the likes of shipping noise and seismic explosions used in the search for oil and gas. He will also talk to sound artists trying to raise awareness of the issue through their art..
Eye of the Pangolin, the ground-breaking new documentary about the most trafficked mammal on earth, will premiere on Friday 17 May, Endangered Species Day, and will be freely available online for worldwide viewing from Saturday 18 May. Pangolin.Africa, an NPO dedicated to the conservation of this species and a major partner in the production of the film, is taking a unique approach to distribution of this much-anticipated film, in a bold attempt to make this the most watched wildlife documentary ever.
Meet the filmmakers behind the ground-breaking new documentary that is fighting to save the pangolin: channel24.co.za Award-winning South African filmmakers Bruce Young (Blood Lions) and Johan Vermeulen (Kalahari Tails) are on a mission to capture the four species of African pangolin on film to raise awareness of these shy, beguiling creatures and put a stop to the horrific poaching and illegal trade that is driving them to extinction.
Wildscreen & RTS Screening of Our Planet: Frozen Worlds - Q&A with the film-makers
Following a joint screening of the Our Planet: Frozen Worlds with Wildscreen and RTS, series producer, Keith Scholey, producer Sophie Lanfear, camera operator Jamie McPherson and assistant producer Olly Scholey, spoke to Lynn Barlow about how the episode was made.
Early New Zealand pioneers, determined to make another England in the South Pacific, imported the flora and fauna of their native land with little thought for the consequences. James Cook began the process in 1769 when he brought European wildlife – goats and pigs – to this land of birds and insects. These were followed by other four-footed immigrants and together they began a war with the New Zealand environment that is still being fought. Today much of the New Zealand we know is a rather haphazard imitation of what some people still call “the old country”. The trees we picnic under in our parks are more likely to be Oaks than Totaras and the birds in their branches Blackbirds rather than Tuis. Do we, in fact, relate more readily to the imports of our ancestors then we do to New Zealand’s own natural heritage?
Acclaimed wildlife filmmaker and presenter, Gordon Buchannan, is supporting this award and will be part of the judging panel to select the winning film. Gordon says:
"This is a unique new opportunity to support young people starting out in the wildlife film industry and I am very much looking forward to seeing the exciting work being produced.
Money raised through this campaign will enable us to launch this important award and raise awareness of Born Free’s vital conservation work.
It is a fitting tribute for a remarkable and talented young man who had a promising career in filmmaking ahead of him."
Watch this short film, created using Harry Percy's incredible wildlife video footage and still images, edited by Harry's good friend Matt Couldwell:
Matt says of his friend: "Harry Percy was one of most selfless, positive and generous people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. We bonded over our passion for wildlife conservation and visual storytelling where our focal point was to produce content that would make a difference. My aim is to continue the journey he started."
ABOUT HARRY PERCY, 1995-2018
In October 2018, freelance filmmaker and keen conservationist, Harry Percy, attended a Born Free event at the Royal Geographical Society in London.
There he met Born Free’s CEO Howard Jones and enthusiastically spoke of his ambitions to visit Africa to film the work of the international wildlife charity.
Just days later, Harry tragically passed away unexpectedly.
He was only 22 years old.
Aware of their son’s desire to become more involved with wildlife conservation, Harry’s parents Tim Percy and Dominique de Bellefroid contacted Born Free with the idea of launching the Harry Percy Award for young wildlife filmmakers, to honour Harry’s memory.
The Harry Percy Award will be made to an individual who is judged to have employed the medium of film, to best effect for public understanding, whilst inspiring others to engage with the spirit and message of the film, to make positive changes towards co-existence.
The theme for the inaugural award will be Wildlife: Welfare and Captivity
First prize is £5,000. An additional amount of up to £5,000 will be made available to develop and create a Born Free film made by the award winner. There are also three runners-up prizes of £1,000 each.
Entries will be accepted between 3rd June and 31st August 2019.
Full terms and conditions, including technical information, how to enter and details about the judging process, can be found here.
Otter cafés and ‘cute pets craze’ fuel illegal trafficking in Japan and Indonesia
A new investigative film reveals the extent of illegal trafficking of otters to supply Tokyo’s ‘cafés’ where people pay to cuddle the wild animals, and it also shows their unsuitability as domestic pets.
Otters kept in these cafés endure poor conditions and are fed items like cat food, which is not good for them.
The business is highly profitable and is likely linked to organized crime, according to the film’s undercover investigation. Adults are often killed and their young captured for the trade.
Mongabay interviewed the filmmaker as the movie was released, and one can also watch the film below.
Springwatch’s Chris Packham: we need to save our birds before Britain falls silent
The Springwatch presenter says he believes environmental activism and working with the BBC are not compatible.
It’s 8pm on a murky, rain-spattered, evening in central London. Chris Packham, just back from a filming trip to Tanzania, is holding court with a small band of dedicated supporters.
The setting is the lyrical home of the nightingale, Berkeley Square, and for one night only its bewitching song will subdue the roar of the nearby traffic.
Sadly, it’s merely a digital refrain.
Spurred by Packham’s evangelical encouragement, phones are juggled with umbrellas and recordings of the nightingale song – likened by Shelley to the writing of poetry – cut through the gloom. This is an act of reverence, not rebellion.
“When we did the Walk for Wildlife [last September] we were playing birdsong down through Piccadilly and it was magical,” says Packham. “We had 10,000 people all playing their birdsong and it was bouncing off buildings and we managed to transform the soundscape of London. It was such a simple idea I thought why not repeat it here in Berkeley Square, because of the popularity of that song.” Packham cannot rest in his pursuit of causes that many worry are in danger of being lost. Nightingale numbers have plummeted by 90 per cent since the 1960s, and there are now fewer than 5,500 breeding pairs in the UK.
Inside the Dark World of Captive Wildlife Tourism | National Geographic
Cages, speed-breeding, fear-based training. Blatant animal abuse is hiding just below the surface of the wildlife tourism industry.
Hands-on experiences with exotic animals are thriving, boosted by social media. But behind the scenes, animals involved in tourism often lead miserable lives. In this short documentary, National Geographic writer Natasha Daly investigates wildlife tourism in Thailand, where many visitors seek interactions with elephants.
HBO sets June date for Leonardo DiCaprio-produced “Ice on Fire”
Premium cable channel HBO will provide the broadcast television premiere of acclaimed filmmaker Leila Conners’ feature-length documentary Ice on Fire this June.
Produced by Academy Award-winner Leonardo DiCaprio, Conners and Mathew Schmid, Ice on Fire explores the present-day effects of excess carbon on planetary systems, while also examining the ways in which people can reduce their carbon footprint.
This eye-opening film explores the bleeding-edge research behind modern-day climate science, as well as the innovations aimed at reducing carbon emissions through tidal energy, and implementing “drawdown” measures.
Filmed in nine separate countries, the documentary provides first-hand accounts from scientists, farmers and innovators at the forefront of minimizing climate-related events.
“My partners and I made Ice on Fire to give a voice to the scientists and researchers who work tirelessly every day on the front lines of climate change,” said producer and narrator Leonardo DiCaprio in a statement. “We wanted to make a film that depicts the beauty of our planet while highlighting much-needed solutions across renewable energy and carbon sequestration. This film does more than show what is at stake if we continue on a course of inaction and complacency – it shows how, with the help of dedicated scientists, we can all fight back. I hope audiences will be inspired to take action to protect our beautiful planet.”
Watch and share the new investigation film, which shows why the world must come together on 14th June to Stop Live Transport.
Filmed over three days, this investigation reveals the cramped and gruelling conditions animals are forced to endure during UK live exports. Hearing the calves cry out, and watching them try to suckle and bite the bars of their truck, is heartbreaking.
Sadly, UK live exports are just one terrible example of the cruelty inflicted on animals, worldwide, by long distance live transport. That is why it is crucial we come together to grow the global movement to end this trade.
An investigation documenting the live transport of calves from Scotland to the port of Ramsgate and onto Abbeville, France. Narration by Peter Egan.
Plant-based health professionals UK is an education and advocacy organisation whose aim is to educate health professionals and the general public on plant-based nutrition and other lifestyle interventions for the promotion of optimal health and well-being. plantbasedhealthprofessionals.com
Josh is a vegan medical doctor/GP, based in Brighton, UK, with a Masters in Public Health and a passion for lifestyle medicine and plant based diets: facebook.com/pg/vegandoctorjosh
#LabMeCrazy! Science Film Festival – an initiative run by the Museo de Ciencias at the University of Navarra.
It is a film festival that aims to raise awareness about science among young people by offering a refreshing, modern take on scientific knowledge.
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The producer does not recommend or endorse any particular method, institution, product, treatment, or theory.
Opinions expressed on Wildlife-film.com are not necessarily those of the producer.
The above visitors map was added on the 30th September 2016...