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World Wildlife Day Film Showcase to highlight efforts to conserve endangered species and ecosystems
Geneva/New York/Jackson Hole, 17 November 2021 – The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Jackson Wild, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced today that they will organize an international film showcase on the occasion of the 2022 celebration of the United Nations World Wildlife Day.
This marks the seventh edition of the World Wildlife Day Film Showcase. Along the celebration’s theme of "Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration", organizers will seek to highlight films that explore the threats to wild fauna and flora, their central importance for their habitats and ecosystems and for the communities who live near them, and the numerous initiatives to conserve them.
Participating films will be shown throughout 2022 and will help raise awareness of the status of the world’s most vulnerable species but also showcase the power of long-term and innovative conservation efforts.
CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero said: "Some 38,000 species are considered to be under threat in international trade and, without them, the habitats and ecosystems they sustain would likely be at great risk themselves. Though this should alarm us, it is also essential that we remember that we have the power to change course. Conservation efforts have and can continue to bring back endangered species of wild fauna and flora from the brink. We believe that films participating in this year’s World Wildlife Day Film Showcase will greatly help us raise awareness of the urgent need to address these threats and help us spread an important message of hope."
Lisa Samford, Executive Director of Jackson Wild said: "As we confront the threats of accelerating climate change impact widespread and global biodiversity collapse, the role of local stories that directly connect us with nature and the species who share our beautiful and resilient planet has never been more important. It is crucial that we work together now to transform and protect our planet’s natural systems in regenerative and sustainable ways."
Timeline and planned activities
The call for entry will close on 7 January and finalists will be announced in mid-February 2022. Winners will be presented at a high-level online celebration of UN World Wildlife Day on 3 March 2022. The films will then be made available for free, on an educational online streaming mechanism throughout the world.
Award Categories and Descriptions:
Species in Crisis (Long Form and Short Form): Awarded to the film that most effectively explores current challenges and communicates solutions to the environmental, social-economic and sustainability issues facing endangered species of wild fauna and flora, their habitats and ecosystems.
The Web of Life (Long Form and Short Form): Awarded to the film that most effectively showcases the rich diversity and complex behavior of one or more endangered species, how these species affect their ecosystems and the chain of ecological issues that will occur if the species is lost.
Stories of Hope (Long Form and Short Form): Awarded to the film that most effectively celebrates the work of local and indigenous individuals or groups committed to raising awareness or involved in the conservation, and/or sustainable management of endangered species of wild fauna and flora and their ecosystems, and how these communities are working to save species from extinction.
People & Endangered Species (Long Form and Short Form): Awarded to the film that best communicates humanity’s social, cultural, economic and/or environmental interdependence with endangered species and what may be lost if the species goes extinct.
Micro Movie: Awarded to the best film focused on endangered species 5 minutes in run time or less.
Additional Award Categories may be added prior to the finalist announcement to honor as many worthy films as possible.
There is no entry fee for submission. Films must have been completed after January 1st, 2019 and must prominently feature an endangered species as defined by the IUCN Red List. Entrants must identify qualifying species on the entry form. A streaming link to the full film must be made available for free, educational, online streaming either freely or by request as part of the 2022 World Wildlife Film Showcase: Endangered Species hosted by Jackson Wild on the Eventive Platform. Submissions in all languages are welcomed. Programs in a language other than English must be subtitled in English for presentation to the judges and for streaming as part of the World Wildlife Day Film Showcase. Eligible entries must complete an online submission form via www.jacksonwild.org.
The third Ireland Wildlife Film Festival was held virtually (again), due to COVID-19, from the 10-20th of November 2021. Many submissions came in from all around the globe, resulting in a great collection of films in three categories, Feature Film, Short Film and Student Short Film, and I was asked to be a judge for a third year running!
The Ireland Wildlife Film Festival is the first of its kind in Ireland and seeks to bring stories of conservation and species preservation to the big screen while also striving to create a community of filmmakers and audience members who care deeply about environmental issues.
The winner for best Feature Film will receive 500 Euro and laurels.
The winner for best Student Film will receive 200 Euro and laurels.
The winner for best Short Film will receive 300 Euro and Laurels.
The film that receives the most popular votes will receive the "Best of Fest" award, this can come from any category. The "Best of Fest" will receive a special laurel.
Twenty films were selcted for screening during the virtual event.
This year all of the spectacular wildlife and conservation films were free for all to watch from November 10-20th.
It's that time of the year again! The Ireland Wildlife Film Festival is only a few weeks away. This year we have 22 spectacular wildlife and conservation films that will be free for all from November 10-20 on www.irelandwildlifefilmfestival.com.
Check out the Official Line-Up Trailer below!
Meet Dot, the little wild horse foal! She is a Przewalski’s horse, the only true wild horse species of the world. Although the origin of this endangered species is in Mongolia, Dot lives in the heart of Europe, on the grassy plains of Hungary called the “Puszta”.
25 years ago some were introduced here and the wild horses instantly formed an organic connection with this magical land: today it is one of the world’s largest wild horse herd with 300 animals! This is their story.
Shot over three years in China’s Qhinghai Mountains, The Frozen Kingdom of the Snow Leopard tell the story of a devoted female snow leopard that has decided to settle in a new, unfamiliar valley where she will give birth, and raise two cubs despite all odds until they eventually reach adulthood.
It contains behaviours never before filmed of this elusive and fascinating predator.
Operation Wolf Patrol is a character driven documentary that tells the story of eco-activist Rod Coronado as he emerges from prison and recommits himself to the protection of wild animals. The film follows Rod and his group of volunteer “wolf patrollers” as they attempt to end wolf hunting in the United States. Over the course of three years, we watch Rod work to redefine his activism in an era– post 9/11, where some have called him an “ecoterrorist.” Rod’s current efforts are set against his 30-year involvement in radical environmental action. The film comes to a climax when Coronado's "Wolf Patrol" is met with a tightening of "hunter harassment laws" in Wisconsin, and renewed attempts to send Coronado back to prison. Now, Coronado must ask himself, if he is not willing to go back to prison for "eco-sabotage," is he willing to go back to fight a law that some are calling "unconstitutional"?
Across the eastern coast of the Black Sea, through the foothills of the Southern Caucasus Mountains one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles takes place. Over a million birds of prey pass through a narrow bottleneck in Georgia. Below them, scientists and birders eagerly watch and record the skies whilst at the same time local traditions send showers of bullets and nets snapping in their direction.
With only 400 left in the wild, the Haast tokoeka has the unfortunate title of being the world's rarest kiwi. Follow Almer, this season's smallest chick, in his first year of life in a ground-breaking conservation program: ”Operation Nest Egg.” Watch as he grows from a tiny ball of fluff into a 2kg predator-fighting machine, and witness the dedication of the people striving to give him a chance at life.
In Antarctica, nothing is stationary. The only constant is change. One noticeable and increasingly evident change is the recovery of the humpback whales that feed in the waters off the Antarctic Peninsula, after industrial whaling almost wiped them out. In February 2020, wildlife filmmaker Richard Sidey was invited to join a team of scientists undertaking humpback whale research in Antarctica with Conservation International. Whales in a Changing Ocean follows the team as they observe humpback whale behavior and gather information vital to protecting the Antarctic continent into the future.
Best Student Short Film
Best Student Short Film and Audience Choice Popular Vote Winner ... i.e. Best of Fest: Seabird
Directed by Conor Ferris – instagram.com/c.ferris
Since he was a boy, writer Adam Nicolson has been visiting remote islands in Scotland that once filled with seabirds each summer. After witnessing the distressing decline of these colonies first hand, he shares a unique perspective on the resilience of life in the face of catastrophe.
The Trail beyond Highland Road is a 2D animated dramedic short focusing on the consequences of deforestation, and how two residents from a prosperous suburban town perceive it through an endangered species of deer. The Trail follows a single father named Emilio Vasquez and his little daughter Ariel, who spend their summer days in the quaint laid back urban town of Highland, New Jersey. However, upon realizing that a whole bunch of deer have been eating up bushes and gardens all across the town, including Emilio’s, the two end up having completely different views on the animals. Emilio is resentful towards them for ruining the community gardens, including his own, whereas Ariel has having never seen these animals as much in her young age, thus making her more fascinated. When Emilio shoos one deer away, Ariel chases after it at the town’s nearby Meadows Trail forest. In a desperate pursuit to get his daughter back, Emilio discovers something frighteningly off about the trail itself.
COP26 Has Failed Us, And It Has Failed Our Planet — Chris Packham
Angry , scared and betrayed . We have been failed and scorned by the stupid , the greedy and the evil . Life is now in mortal danger . But it’s not over , it’s just down to us to do what needs to be done and we need to go to it now . So let’s . . .
Veganuary caught up with Chris Packham at COP26 in Glasgow, where he shared a truly inspirational message with us!
Chris Packham has been at COP 26 for the past two weeks, and he's wondering why there’s silence around the impact of animal agriculture on climate change. After all, animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions which is the same as all forms of transport combined.
By switching to plant based diets, you can massively reduce you carbon footprint. Will you join us to make a positive difference for the climate?
Together For Our Planet campaign announces Bristol and London’s award-winning green small business.
VMI.TV, Bristol and London-based camera rental company, crowned Hero of Net Zero at COP26 awards ceremony.
Small business celebrated for original and creative actions taken to cut their own greenhouse gas emissions.
The company urges other businesses to commit to net zero at UK Climate Hub.
Camera rental company VMI.TV has been crowned winner of the Heroes of Net Zero competition yesterday at a special awards ceremony hosted by Intuit at the COP26 international climate change summit in Glasgow.
More than 160 businesses entered the competition, making a commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub to achieve net zero by 2030, 20 years ahead of the Government’s own climate commitment.
The rental firm, based in Acton, London and St George, Bristol won in the small business category by demonstrating a range of measures taken on their journey to net zero, including installing solar panels and insulation, purchasing electric vans and recycling and reusing, sending no waste to landfill in 15 months.
They won an exclusive prize package worth over £4,500 from competition partners BT, NatWest and SSE.
Barry Bassett, Managing Director, VMI.TV said:
“We are incredibly flattered and really pleased that our efforts are being recognised, as this will spread the word more widely about the benefits of companies making decarbonising efforts.”
“I was inspired and energised from attending a seven-week sustainability course and persuaded the Managers and Directors at VMI.TV to buy-in to a net-zero plan, after which we signed up to the SME Climate Commitment.”
VMI.TV won over the competition judges for taking responsibility for their sectors environmental impact, spreading the sustainability message as founding members of the Bectu’s-Film-For-Future group.
The business rents cameras to the UK TV industry supporting projects like ITV’s Midsomer Murders, BBC’s Blue Planet 3 series and Netflix’s The Surgeon’s Cut.
The panel of expert judges included the government’s Net Zero Business Champion Andrew Griffith. He presented VMI.TV and other Heroes of Net Zero finalists with awards and celebrated their green achievements at COP26 at the Scottish Event Campus. The event was live streamed on the UK government’s YouTube channel.
The Heroes of Net Zero competition is part of the government’s Together for Our Planet campaign, run by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The Future of Wildlife Filmmaking COP26 Event : Saturday 6th November 2021
Wildlife filmmakers from across the world are attending COP26 to discuss how natural history filmmaking can help in the fight against the climate and biodiversity crises.
The session run by Filmmakers for Future: Wildlife (FF:W) will see wildlife TV personality Steve Backshall host a discussion with Jonny Keeling, new Head of the Natural History Unit BBC, Janet Han Vissering, SVP Development and Production Nat Geo Wild, and filmmakers Paula Kahumbu (Kenya), Ashwika Kapur (India) and Jo Ruxton (UK).
Earlier this week 12 key players in the UK Television Broadcast Industry signed up to the Climate Content Pledge convened by We are Albert. CEOs from all major UK Broadcasters acknowledged that TV and film have a unique role in helping audiences understand the solutions to tackle climate change and that the TV industry has a responsibility to rise to that challenge.
Wildlife Filmmaking is a pillar of the UK Television Broadcast Industry, a pillar that relies on the health of the natural world for its commercial success. In the session on Saturday representatives from wildlife television production and commissioning will discuss if pledges, like the one made earlier this week, go far enough, or do global industries, like the Wildlife Filmmaking Industry, need global solutions if they are going to stay on the path to Net Zero.
The session will be run by grassroots organisation Filmmaker For Future: Wildlife (FF:W) who have produced a collection of short films for the UN Climate Conference, COP26. The films will be premiered in the Green Zone in Glasgow at 11.30am on Saturday 6th November. Each film brings to the spotlight industry-related barriers faced by wildlife filmmakers around the world, and explores the responsibility wildlife filmmakers feel when working with those on the frontline of the biodiversity and climate crisis.
The film premier will be followed by a panel discussion where representatives from around the world will discuss some of the problems that lie at the very heart of the wildlife filmmaking industry. By bringing new and experienced voices to the table on this historic COP26 stage, Filmmakers For Future: Wildlife hopes to use collaboration to drive forward change at the urgent pace needed.
Filmmakers For Future: Wildlife (FF:W) are a grassroots community of wildlife filmmakers with two main aims:
1 – To collaborate on ways of reducing the environmental impact of wildlife filmmaking
2 – To encourage content that raises awareness of the climate and biodiversity crisis, and which inspires real change
Founded in Bristol, UK the organisation now has a membership of over 200 wildlife filmmakers from around the globe.
This 90 second graphic piece is a virtual demonstration of solidarity from wildlife filmmakers across the globe. FF:W asked the industry about the responsibilities of our films and this 90 second video captures some of the responses. We know there’s a problem, it’s time to act.
From Crisis to Collaboration with Paula Kahumbu: Paula Kahumbu is a Kenyan ecologist turned wildlife filmmaker. She has seen first hand how local people are crucial to conservation efforts across Africa and could see that her academic work was not helping protect species on the ground. She realised the potential wildlife documentaries have to foster positive relationships between people and wildlife and the benefit this could have in the conservation of Africa's iconic species. Despite Africa being the focus of many wildlife documentaries in the global north they weren’t reaching African TV channels. She made it her mission to create wildlife and environmental films made in Kenya, filmed by Kenyan filmmakers for Kenyan audiences.
The Walt Disney company, WILDLIFEDIRECT, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development Join Forces to Develop and Launch National Geographic Kids Educational Entertainment Programme in Africa
Collaboration will produce local television series, National Geographic Kids Africa in 2022; Kenya-based WildlifeDirect will serve as producing partner and lead on-the-ground outreach program; the programme aims to motivate lasting, impactful behavioural change in young viewers and communities in Africa, inspiring the next generation of conservation leaders to care for the natural world and providing them with the knowledge and skills to understand, conserve, and protect it; the program aims to support the growth and expansion of Africa’s vital creative sector.
At a launch in Nairobi, Kenya today (17 November, 2021), the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and The Walt Disney Company announced that together they will develop and implement educational entertainment and outreach programs in East Africa, in collaboration with local implementing partner WildlifeDirect.
This collaboration will see the creation, development and distribution of a factual entertainment and engagement programme for kids, National Geographic Kids Africa, which focuses on the development of local content surrounding the environment, conservation and associated topics that are important to children and their communities. The project aims to inspire and promote behaviour change in its audiences to protect the world in which they live through engendering a deeper understanding of the natural environment.
The undertaking includes a 26-part television series that will be shot primarily in East Africa but with additional filming in West and Southern Africa. The series will be produced by The Walt Disney Company in association with Kenya-based WildlifeDirect, who will collaborate on research and creative approaches.
National Geographic Kids Africa will air across the continent on both National Geographic Wild and Disney Channel, and will extend into engaging digital platforms that further explore biodiversity, wildlife and the natural world, as well as the threats and challenges being experienced.
Extending the reach of the National Geographic Kids Africa initiative further, a community outreach project will be launched by implementation partner WildlifeDirect across East Africa, aiming to encourage learners from 200 schools to make a lasting impact on the conservation of species-rich landscapes. By investing in knowledge and skills, through tools such as conservation hubs, educational resources, bespoke educator training and more, the outreach program aims to develop a passionate community of young explorers with the fascination and desire to protect their continent and their world.
The programme will be produced entirely in Africa, by African storytellers, with a commitment to showcase the stories, leadership and expertise of conservationists and communities from across the continent.
The U.S. Department of State, U.S. Embassies, and local partners in Africa will enhance this initiative through multiple academic, cultural, and professional exchanges. The Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ people-to-people exchange programs will support professional development and skills sharing across sectors, including conservation, the creative industries, tourism and sustainable practices. Exchange programs create lasting connections and will harness attention on conservation and the importance of protecting the natural world. The Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs will continue to lead diplomatic efforts to expand and strengthen policy and programs to conserve and protect nature.
It’s Time Our Favourite Wildlife Programmes Start Focusing on the Climate Crisis - Ashwika Kapur
"Historically, natural history programmes have avoided difficult issues like climate change, biodiversity collapse and conservation, because these are subjects that have been considered too doom-and-gloom for audiences. But that is what really needs to change," says Ashwika Kapur, wildlife filmmaker and Green Oscar winner tells The Quint. Kapur had made this plea during her speech at the recently concluded COP26 summit as well.
In rural Nigeria, the magic of cinema builds support for ape conservation
Since 2006, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has worked with local groups to screen documentaries about apes in dozens of communities adjoining protected areas where Cross River gorillas are still found.
The films aim to build knowledge about apes and support for conservation; conservationists say film screenings, which are still a novelty in rural areas, attract a broader audience than radio shows, town hall meetings or other outreach methods.
Though they live close to ape habitats, for many people in these rural communities, films are as close as they will come to encountering the rare and cryptic animals that live nearby.
BAMBA, Nigeria — It’s sunset in Bamba, a small farming community in Cross River state in southeast Nigeria. Louis Nkonyu, 46, caresses the touchpad of his laptop in search of a wildlife movie for the night. His face is lit with sweat and the whitish radiance from the projector screen.
Children sit on the cement-plastered floor. Outside the hall, a small crowd leans on a wooden window frame, jostling for prime position to get a glimpse of the screen. “Good evening my people,” Nkonyu says. “Today we want to show you a movie about why we must protect our Cross River gorilla … The duty to keep the gorilla and other apes is ours. Thanks for coming and please feel free to ask questions.”
When at last the movie of chimpanzees swinging from tree to tree emerged on the screen, silence fell over the room, broken only by the echoes of the loudspeaker and the rattling of a nearby generator.
Each major scene and moment attracts an interpretation from Nkonyu, who switches back and forth between formal and Pidgin English.
“Chimpanzees are very intelligent, and you can see how it saved the baby,” he tells the crowd, explaining a scene where a female chimpanzee allowed her infant to cling to her fur as she scurried away from an aggressive troop.
The show this evening is part of a program running since 2006, in which the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) screens documentaries about apes in dozens of communities adjoining protected areas where an estimated 100 Cross River gorillas are found.
Sir David Attenborough address to world leaders at COP26 – speech in full
Sir David Attenborough has shared his hope for COP26 as People's Advocate #COP26
Studio Silverbacksaid "We are so proud to have produced the visuals that accompanied his powerful words and hope that this speech can inspire those at COP26 as much as is has us.
Now is the time for real change - we can and we must create a better future for our planet and all that lives upon it."
We must stop greenwashing scams to keep 1.5C alive – Greenpeace
On my way back from the UN Climate Change Summit COP26, I can't stop thinking that world leaders and governments had the opportunity to take decisive action for the climate and people and they failed. The agreement barely keeps the 1.5C goal alive but the offsets scam got a boost in Glasgow with the creation of new loopholes that are too big to tolerate (See: COP26: More than expected, less than hoped).
Defending 1.5 is our common interest. Showtime might be over in Glasgow, but our future cannot depend on industries and governments that will choose profit over people. We are those people: youth and vulnerable nations who are affected the most by delayed actions.
Polluters cannot use offsetting to legitimise pollution.
In the following weeks, we will show big polluters that people choose a green future: we are calling for governments to set “real” zero carbon emissions targets. Greenpeace International conducted a global online poll recently, and people have spoken clearly: we can see through the dangerous lies of offsets and are ready to speak up about real zero.
Without young people, Indigenous leaders, activists and countries on the climate frontline, climate talks would have flopped completely. Our once stable climate is now breaking down around us, you see it every day in wildfires, hurricanes, droughts and melting ice. Time’s up, we’ve run out of road, and as a matter of self-survival we need to urgently mobilise to create irrepressible pressure to stop the greenwashing, cheating and loopholes giving big emitters and corporations a pass.
We need real climate action now, not greenwashing.
The only way out of the climate crisis is to get to real zero — that is, achieving net zero emissions without the false solutions and greenwashing: carbon offsets. Real zero means reducing and stopping carbon emissions before they are put into the atmosphere. It means full speed ahead to a transformation of our energy, food and transport systems to 100% renewable sources.
David Attenborough’s ‘Kingdom Of Plants’ Gets VR Makeover With Oculus TV
David Attenborough’s eye-opening flora series “Kingdom of Plants 3D” has been given a virtual reality twist via Oculus TV.
The three-part series is available on the immersive entertainment platform from today, taking viewers from inside a microscope where they can see some of the smallest seeds to the interior of a Venus flytrap.
“You can go to Africa and watch elephants and you’ll see more or less what you see on TV but you can’t go anywhere in the world and see plants like you can in this series…The whole experience in 3D is just entrancing, and hypnotically beautiful,” Attenborough said of the original 3D film.
“Kingdom of Plants” allows Oculus TV audiences to see the natural world in plant time and at plant scale via 8K 3D 60fps time-lapse footage shot over weeks on customised 3D stereoscopic cameras, specially developed stereo-timelapse rigs, and VFX compositing techniques alongside macro live-action cinematography and computer graphics. Oculus TV users can experience the series in 8K on Quest 2, and in 5K on Quest.
The adaption for Oculus TV was produced by Alchemy Immersive, in collaboration with Meta Quest, ZOO VFX and 1.618 Digital.
“One of the promises of VR is its ability to immerse users in fantastic and alien worlds,” said Eric Cheng, head of immersive media at Meta Quest. “By manipulating time and scale, ‘Kingdom of Plants’ succeeds in that endeavour, providing an awe-inspiring 3D peek into a fascinating slice of life on planet Earth.”.
Submit your film for 2022 Films for the Forests competition
Awaken. Energize. Transform. Our 2022 theme embodies Films for the Forest’s bold vision— leverage the power of visual storytelling to propel global audiences into action for rainforests.
Filmmakers, this year we’re challenging YOU to create and share films that will inspire and move audiences to take powerful action that changes the future of our forests. You’ve got the vision - we have the forum.
Dear ladies and gentlemen, colleagues and friends,
From 21 – 24 July 2022, we will be celebrating the 21st NaturVision Film Festival here in Ludwigsburg, Germany, as well as online. We would be delighted if you would join us by submitting your latest film for the chance to win one of our prestigious awards – which this year totalled more than EUR 55,000 in prize money.
We are especially pleased that, alongside such competition categories as the German Wildlife Film Award or the NaturVision Camera Award, which have been renowned for years, the NaturVision RETHINK Film Award has also become established as a significant core prize. This category is open to films that depict a process of rethinking in politics and society and show positive examples. Subjects can range from responsible interaction with nature, wildlife and resources, right through to portraits of people who are calling for a fundamental rethink. Equally welcome are films that treat the theme "Rethink" artistically.
We look forward to receiving your films!
Visual Africa Films wins an Highly Honoured 'Africa in motion' video category award at the inaugural Benjamin Mkapa Awards 2021
The documentary "GARDENERS OF THE ECOSYSTEM" won the highly honoured award at the Benjamin Mkapa Awards 2021 - Africa in motion category.
Filmed in Selenkay Conservancy- Kenya with the Canon C300 Mark iii.
"Asante sana to the entire Porini Camps team and Canon Central & North Africa for all the support in the making of this documentary." Feisal Malik - visualafrica.tv
The Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition launched with the announcement of the Grand Prize Winner and 16 category awardees. The global competition received close to 9,000 entries from 50 countries worldwide, including 10 countries in Africa
NAIROBI, KENYA (October 28, 2021) — African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) launched its 60th year anniversary this evening at a colorful reception and awards ceremony celebrating AWF’s decades of conservation work on the continent as well as the winners of the inaugural Benjamin Mkapa African Wildlife Photography Awards, named in honor of the late former President of Tanzania.
Sixteen winning photographers from across the world attended the ceremony at the Nairobi National Museum. They received honorary certificates and awards for their photographs and videos in the global competition that received almost 9,000 entries from 50 countries worldwide, including 10 countries in Africa.
Jackson Wild wants your input and advice to create a space specifically for the Queer Natural History Community to gather, share, and make waves!
Jackson Wild is currently working to help develop a new initiative for LGBTQ+ people within our industry.
The idea is to create a safe and affirming space to build connections/community, get opportunities, and find resources.
A big part of this will coincide with the Collective, so we want to hear your input on what a safe space like that would look like for you!
We've created an anonymous survey for people to fill out to provide Jackson Wild with suggestions on the best way to create a space dedicated for people in science, nature and conservation who identify as LGTBQ+
Link to Jackson Wild LGBTQ+ Initiatives Anonymous Survey: forms.gle/FxzyWyTCWDwpUahY6 NB. This survey is completely confidential and is in no way attached to your gmail!
From the editor: "I suspect that most of you already know, but the editor of this newsletter and producer of Wildlife-film.com, i.e. me, is an openly gay man. I have not experienced any direct homophobia from within the wildlife film-making community but I have no idea if the fact that I have always been openly gay has negatively impacted on my career (or lack of) as a wildlife film researcher ... It is a pretty privileged white straight man-dominated industry after all! Although I suppose that I'm just an under-privileged white gay man!" Jason Peters
Telling Climate Stories Together: In Conversation with Broadcaster CEOs – COP26
For the past decade, the UK’s key broadcasters have worked together, through albert, to tackle the carbon footprint of their productions. In recent years, the conversation has grown to include what audiences see on screen too.
Now, for the first time, host Liz Bonnin (Science, Natural History and Environmental Broadcaster), and panellists Tim Davie (Director General, BBC), Carolyn McCall (Chief Executive, ITV), Simon Pitts (Chief Executive, STV), Alex Mahon (Chief Executive, Channel 4), and Stephen van Rooyen (Executive Vice President & Chief Executive Officer, UK & Europe, Sky) are joining together on stage to discuss the crucial responsibility and unique opportunity broadcasters and streamers have, to help audiences understand and navigate the climate challenges that will affect us all. They'll also discuss how the industry is moving forward in its ambition to work together to achieve even more on and off screen.
Since 2011, BAFTA has supported the film and television industry through albert, the leading authority on environmental sustainability for film and television.
"Why wildlife films should be accessible to Africans" by Kari Mutu
Targeting mzungus instead of locals perpetuates idea of ‘white saviour’
• Africa is full of wildlife but nature films are produced, narrated by, shown to Whites
• That millions tune in to Kenyan-made narrative discredits idea locals are uninterested
Growing up, I remember watching nature shows of British naturalist Sir David Attenborough, exploring remote regions of Africa and the world. Also popular at the time was the Born Free film and TV series, about an orphaned lion cub hand-raised in Meru by naturalist Joy Adamson.
Hundreds of nature documentaries and TV series have come out of Kenya and Africa over the decades, but most have never been seen by locals. The influence of these films has not been on Africans but westerners, enlightening them about the natural world and stimulating a desire to protect African wildlife. They have also contributed to the perception of the ‘white saviour’ when it comes to African conservation matters.
“These films were not made for our audiences. They don’t relate to us, they are not in our languages, or narrated by people we can relate to,” says Dr Paula Kahumbu, CEO of the conservation NGO WildlifeDirect that produces the nature TV series, Wildlife Warriors.
The trend continues even today. In 2019 came the award-winning documentary Kifaru, about the world’s last male white rhino living in Ol Pejeta Conservancy and his Kenyan caretakers. Directed by American David Hambridge, it has been screened multiple times overseas but never seen in Kenya, apart from private viewing at a fundraising auction in Nairobi.
The Ivory Game of 2016, an investigative documentary film about the illegal ivory trade, and executively produced by Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, was shot in East Africa but is available only on Netflix.
In 2018, I was fortunate enough to attend a private viewing of The Elephant Queen, another hugely acclaimed movie, about an elephant herd in Kenya. The movie is on Apple TV+, an online platform not accessible in Kenya, and has only once been shown on local TV. Yet filmmakers Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone have lived in East Africa for more than 30 years.
Netflix and Unesco search for African film-makers to ‘reimagine’ folktales
Competition opens to find six young creators in sub-Saharan Africa who will be funded to produce movies for 2022
For Nelson Mandela they were “morsels rich with the gritty essence of Africa but in many instances universal in their portrayal of humanity, beasts and the mystical.”
Passed down through the generations, whispered at bedtimes and raucously retold by elders, folktales have long been a mainstay of African cultural heritage.
Now some of those tales – perhaps the one about a scheming hyena or a snake with seven heads – are to gain fresh global recognition as a new competition aims to find the next generation of film-makers from sub-Saharan Africa. Unesco has teamed up with streaming giant Netflix to find and fund six short films “reimagining” folktales that will premiere in 2022.
“We want to find the bravest, wittiest, and most surprising retellings of some of Africa’s most-loved folktales and share them with entertainment fans around the world in over 190 countries,” the UN cultural body and production company said in a joint statement.
Winners of the competition, which opened on Thursday 14th Oct, will be trained and mentored by industry professionals and given a production grant of $75,000 (£55,000) through a local company. Entrants must be citizens and residents of a country in sub-Saharan Africa and be aged 18-35.
Expanding horizons: Diversifying the specialist factual production industry
As National Geographic’s senior vice president of development and production, Janet Han Vissering, was in the process of staffing up the network’s first women-led wildlife program, Queens, in May 2019 when she and her team faced a “cold reality.”
Finding women from diverse backgrounds to work on the series proved difficult, she says, and so the idea to create a mentoring program was born. In January 2020, Nat Geo announced Field Ready, designed to equip a new generation of people to work behind the camera across science, adventure and exploration, in addition to natural history. “If there’s a lack of diversity in regular television, for the unscripted production world, there’s an increased lack of diversity in the natural history world on the production side,” Han Vissering says.
The natural history genre falls under the umbrella of specialist factual, which also includes science, history, arts and religion, as well as deeper dives into subjects such as engineering and anthropology. For a group of genres that promises to inform, it has long been commissioned and made from a specific point of view: namely white, male and able-bodied. In the UK, for example, the most recent Diamond report from Creative Diversity Network, released in January, found that disabled people make up just 4.8% of offscreen contributions to factual programming. Also underrepresented were over-50s (18.7%), transgender people (0.6%) and those from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic (‘BAME’) group (12.7%).
While strides have been made to diversify stories and crews across specialist factual — take, for instance, Fox’s Malika the Lion Queen or History’s Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre, directed by Stanley Nelson and Marco Williams — those doing the work to make the non-fiction world more inclusive and accessible say there’s still a long way to go.
“As more diverse people are getting into [the genre] — people who may know a different perspective, different cultural backgrounds, different experiences — we can tell and expand on stories, and not just from what I would call a myopic, Western perspective,” Han Vissering says.
From ‘The Green Planet’ to ‘The Mating Game,’ Climate Change Affects Tone of Nature Docs
From raging fires in North America to fatal floods in Germany and famine in Madagascar, the terrifying impact of man-made climate change is clear.
Natural history films are big sellers in global TV markets. But now there appears to be a new willingness from TV types to put uncomfortable truths regarding environmental damage alongside feel-good shots of beautiful beasts and pristine landscapes.
“Big-scale natural history shows have evolved radically in the past decade,” says BBC Studios Productions’ factual chief Tom McDonald. “Ten years ago, any environmental messages tended to be annexed in ‘the making of…’ section hived off at the end of the program.”
However, now, he says, natural history TV has become more sophisticated and routinely “bakes in” environmental stories.
GroupM’s Motion Content Group Sets Positive Impact Production Fund
GroupM’s Motion Content Group has set up a new funding initiative to support projects that inspire positive change in areas such as diversity, equity, inclusion and sustainability.
The Positive Impact production funding will support stories across blue-chip documentaries, high-end TV drama, landmark series and films. Content considered for investment is not limited to any format, genre or media platform.
Motion will collaborate with media owners, producers, networks, platforms and creatives to identify and develop eligible projects, empowering talent from underrepresented backgrounds alongside more established voices.
The first local deployment of Motion’s Positive Impact production funding, the Diverse Voices Accelerator, launched in May 2021 in the U.S. The U.K launch will be followed by further markets around the world to be rolled out in 2022.
Carole Baskin trying to stop the release of 'Tiger King 2'
In a lawsuit, Baskin says she only agreed to be filmed for a "single documentary feature."
Carole Baskin, depicted as a flawed foe of star Joe Exotic in the Netflix series "Tiger King," filed a federal lawsuit Monday that seeks to halt the rollout of the show's second season later this month.
The suit from Baskin and her husband, which names Netflix, Royale Goode Productions and producers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, seeks to prevent the use of footage of the couple in "Tiger King 2" and its promotional material.
The claim filed in federal court in Tampa, Florida, also seeks legal costs and future, unspecified relief.
Thinkfactory’s Adam Reed talks “Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight”
The bridge from Netflix’s Tiger King series in 2020 to a new unscripted series premiering on Saturday (Nov. 13) featuring Carole Baskin was just one Instagram message.
Adam Reed, Thinkfactory Media CEO, tells Realscreen that after watching the hit true crime docuseries last year, he and his development team began talking about characters in the series they could develop projects around. Without knowing any other way to contact Baskin, a Thinkfactory development executive cold-messaged her on Instagram.
“There were about 40 other producers that had also reached out to her, wanting to do some iteration of an unscripted project with her. But ultimately it ended in our favor, because we got on the phone with her,” Reed says.
“I think she was pitched a lot of different things from a lot of different producers, and I think she liked our angle and our pedigree… we were off to the races quickly when she decided we were the ones.”
Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight, premiering on Discovery+, follows Baskin, a big cat activist and business owner as she works with retired homicide detective Griff Garrison to investigate the G.W. Zoo out of Wynnewood, OK, previously ran by Tiger King subject Joe Exotic, to find evidence of animal trafficking and abuse.
“Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight really digs into Carole’s side of the story for the first time. Whether you are a fan or not, it’s undeniable that Carole is a tireless advocate for big cats and will go to great lengths to protect them,” says Amy Introcaso-Davis, executive vice president of development and production for factual programming at Discovery.
Ahead of Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight premiere, Realscreen chats with Reed to discuss the new series and working with Baskin amid the media buzz since Tiger King transformed her into a celebrity.
Great news that changes are happening as both Indonesia and Malaysia are officially welcoming international film crews into their respective countries. This is a great opportunity to film in some of the most spectacular wildlife areas on the planet, especially with zero tourists around.
Are you looking to carry out Filming in and around Malaysia or even across SE Asia? Borneo is the third largest island in the world and home to some of the last pristine wildernesses on our planet. Situated in South East Asia, the heart of biodiversity, it can lay claim to hosting some of the worlds rarest animals and most beautiful environments. Primary Dipterocarp rainforest, Granite peaks, dramatic cave systems, and fish-smothered coral reefs can all be found here. Borneo’s cultural heritage is no less impressive. Indigenous cultures such as the Dayaks, Penan and Rungus still live in harmony with their natural environment while nomadic Bajau sea gypsies remain itinerant hunter-gatherers to this day. Borneo is also at the sharp edge of the sword when it comes to conservation issues as modern needs and expansion clash with traditional values and lifestyles. Broadcast production opportunities in Borneo are almost limitless.
After the release of SZtv's newest series in May 2021, 'Borneo Ocean Diaries' has been featured on various social media platforms, online magazines, websites, and local news outlets.
Borneo Ocean Diaries has sparked interest not only in Malaysia but all around the world and our host, Alex, and Scubazoo Director, Simon Enderby were also interviewed by Iran TV's chief Science and Environment reporter.
The series has also taken to the skies as it joins all of the other SZtv series on their own dedicated inflight entertainment channel on the Rokki platform on all AirAsia flights.
THE BIRDERS – A Melodic Journey through Northern Colombia
The Birders, a documentary film on Colombian bird diversity and birdwatching presented by ProColombia, with support of FONTUR and directed by Gregg Bleakney.
The film highlights Colombian local birdwatching guide, Diego Calderon-Franco and National Geographic photographer / videographer Keith Ladzinski as they travel through one of the most diverse bird regions in the world to capture new and rare birds that have never been filmed before.
The Birders, also takes people through the Colombian landscape, highlighting several of its’ top locations, culture, birds and music. As well as; Los Flamencos Fauna and Flora Sanctuary, in the Guajira Peninsula. El Dorado Bird Reserve, in the Santa Marta Mountains. Minca and surroundings, in the Santa Marta Mountains. Tayrona National Natural Park and El Chamicero del Perija Bird Reserve, in the Perija Mountains.
The films aims to change the perception of Colombia through showcasing the diversity of birds who live there.
“Birdwatching in Colombia is a real adventure. These guides and biologists are always finding new things”, says director Gregg Bleakney. Diego Calderón agrees, “Being a bird guide in Colombia is absolutely crazy, we are basically living the Victorian times of exploration.
You can choose a remote corner of the country and almost for sure you are going to find surprises: new species, new subspecies, new range extensions. Colombia is a box of surprises!”
Along with the unique birds and exquisite landscape, The Birders incorporates an original score from local musicians inspired by the bird songs found in the film. Read more ...
The Birders Show is a YouTube series for people who love bird watching, nature, travel, and adventure. Devout birder Chris Bell and celebrity Biologist Diego Calderón-Franco are friends who explore the birding passion with extraordinary guests from around the world.
Join them on their quest to make the world of birding accessible to everyone.
“The time to act is now. Our lives depend on it”: Ashwika Kapur
The award-winning filmmaker from Ballygunge speaks on documenting nature and mitigating climate change prior to her appearance at COP26
“If not now, then when? If not us, then who?” is one of those catchphrases that has long gone viral on Instagram. But its immediacy is yet to resonate in the domain of climate change, which currently poses the greatest existential threat to humankind.
As someone who has worked intimately with nature and seen Mother Earth in many of her glorious and gruesome avatars, filmmaker Ashwika Kapur is well-versed with the need to communicate more urgently on climate change.
Winner of The Green Oscar for best emerging filmmaker for her film Sirocco, Kapur, who has worked with the likes of Animal Planet and BBC, will be speaking at a panel at the ongoing COP26 in Glasgow.
Martin Gregus Jr winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021 Competition – 33 days among the Bears From AviaEye
12th October 2021
Martin Gregus is the winner of the
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021, Rising Star Portfolio Award!
Slovakia born and currently living in Vancouver Martin is an internationally-awarded wildlife photographer, cinematographer, drone pilot and guide with over 17 years experience.
Having spent the last five years working in the Arctic and Antarctic searching for new wildlife stories and studying animal behaviours, his efforts finally payed off when on October 12th 2021 six of his polar bear images won the Rising Star Portfolio Award at the 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in London, UK. The most prestigious wildlife photography competition in the world and an amazing win for the young photographer.
This award will be the third time Martin’s work has been recognized at the competition; in 2008, his picture “White on Blue” was specially commended while his image “Crane Perfection” won the 11-14 category in 2010.
Ever since then, Martin has had an obsession with this world-renowned competition; submitting his work every year, competing amongst the best wildlife photographers in the world, and dreaming of one day winning the adult competition. Hearing the news earlier this year was without a doubt a dream come true.
My Polar Bear Story
As the pandemic raged during the summer of 2020, Martin decided to brave the mosquitoes and turn his attention to documenting and exploring new areas of the Hudson Bay. Just as the bears’ sea-ice retreated and they were forced to come ashore, Martin put together a small crew and set out to a part of the Arctic that only a handful of people have ever visited.
Over the next two years, he would go on to spend some 33 days camping in his makeshift boat camp, living next to the arctic apex predator. Utilizing drones and custom-built equipment allowed Martin to get up close and personal to the bears all the while staying invisible, often capturing intimate moments and unique hunting behaviours. While the bears showed little interest in the expedition during the day, they became more interested at nighttime. Bears tripping all the alarms was almost a nightly ritual as the curious animals sometimes got so close to camp that they would stare right through Martin’s bedroom window.
The young photographer had to adjust to showering in the 5 degree Arctic Ocean and living off of nothing but dried foods for weeks on end; all the while learning to function on three hours of bear-interrupted sleep. Martin came home from his 33 days among the bears safe and sound. Observing the polar bears’ curiosity and compassion changed the lives of Martin and his team forever. The bears shared their most intimate moments with Martin’s team, enabling them to return home and share their stories with the world and giving you the opportunity to publish the amazing photographs, videos, and personal encounters.
Orcas and dolphins are highly intelligent animals, probably the most intelligent in the planet, and for that reason they have been captured and forced to live in captivity for human entertainment.
In one of the 5 countries with more dolphinariums/aquariums in the world, ANIMAL HEROES presents CONTRASTS, a short film were several photographers and organizations from around the world collaborated to show the contrasts of the life of dolphins and whales in the wild and in captivity with amazing aearial, underwater and on surface footage and very touching music.
The film is 15 minutes long and has never-seen-before footage of Keiko, the orca who was the star of the movie “Free Willy” and who lived in Mexico for a decade before being released into the wild.
In Mexico, where there are more than 320 dolphins in captivity, ANIMAL HEROES fights to end their reproduction in order to make this the last generation of dolphins in captivity in Mexico.
The 40th birthday edition of the Wildscreen Festival will take place between the 10-14 October 2022 and will mark a new hybrid format for the world’s leading natural world storytelling event.
Wildscreen, the not-for-profit conservation organisation and creator of the Wildscreen Festival, commits to building on the accessibility, inclusivity and sustainability gains made during the pandemic. The reimagined 2020 virtual edition of the Festival, saw delegate numbers soar by 100 percent to 1,900, with 42 countries represented, the largest number ever in the event’s history.
The hybrid format will boost the reach and impact of the 2022 event even further, enabling face to face events and networking from Wildscreen’s home city of Bristol, UK, bolstered by a new offering of in-person hubs located in key natural history production bases around the globe, all weaved seamlessly together with a powerful virtual platform.
Lucie Muir, Wildscreen CEO said: “The Wildscreen Festival evolving into a hybrid model is a natural progression for us as part of our mission to nurture a truly inclusive, accessible and democratised natural world storytelling industry. As a conservation charity, delivering a global event post COP26, it also gives us and our audience, the opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of the Festival and show leadership in this space. We look forward to reuniting with our global family of storytellers in person and virtually and welcoming lots of new faces in 2022.”
The 2020 Festival saw 121 speakers deliver 248 hours of content, spanning 43 events covering everything from keynotes, masterclasses, commissioner briefings and film screenings. Over 3,000 new connections were made with 10,000 messages being exchanged using the events networking tool. Headliners included Wildscreen’s Patron, Sir David Attenborough in conversation with Greta Thunberg, Jane Goodall, Jeremy Darroch and James Cameron.
Wildscreen will deliver its first fully hybrid event on 15 November 2021 - Communicating COP is a one-day event bringing together filmmakers, scientists and corporate organisations, to translate the key actions needed to reach net zero into powerful stories for leaders, business and the wider public. Tickets are on sale now from £37.50 for in-person and £25 virtual..
Sir David Attenborough and E.O. Wilson in Conversation on Half-Earth Day!
Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime conversation between E.O. Wilson and Sir David Attenborough on October 22nd as they discuss How to Save the Natural World in the closing plenary session of Half-Earth Day 2021 presented by CBRE. The conversation is joined by explorer and visionary Sir Tim Smit who will moderate, and is hosted in partnership with the Eden Project.
Sir David Attenborough, a natural historian known for creating Life, a nine-part documentary on the life of planet Earth, and Professor Wilson, recognized as one of the leading biologists in the world, will come together to share their ideas and insights on global biodiversity loss. Sir Tim Smit will lead a lively discussion that will also respond in part to Professor Wilson’s new lecture, Ecosystems & the Harmony of Nature, to premiere ahead of the conversation.
It is estimated that about 25% of species worldwide--as many as a million species overall--are in danger of extinction. That is tens to hundreds of times greater than it has been over the past ten million years. How we can reverse the extinction threat to save the natural world is one of the primary questions we will explore. This conversation comes at an auspicious time during the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and just before the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). It is a moment to listen, learn, and be inspired to protect Nature.
Held at the Royal Geographical Society in London on October 22 from 2 - 3:30 pm EDT (7 - 8:30 pm BST), the discussion will be broadcast live across the globe.
Experience the entire day of events and hear from exemplary voices of conservation including, Hindou Ibrahim Oumarou, Rezan Al Mubarak, and Johan Rockstöm.
We are grateful for the support of CBRE, our presenting sponsor. How to Save the Natural World is presented by the James M. and Catherine D. Stone Foundation Distinguished Lectureship in Biodiversity. In addition, I want to thank the Eden Project, Mischon de Reya, The National Geographic Society, Audubon, and the Garrison Institute. Each of our sponsors will also contribute incredible speakers and sessions on Half-Earth Day.
The big winner this year was Silence of the Tides, a film that beautifully portrays the fragile relationship between man and nature in the Wadden area.
In total, the jury awarded 11 Flamingos in different categories:
Best Film: Silence of the Tides
Best Short: The Caretakers
Green Impact Award: H2O: The Molecule That Made Us
Animal Behavior Award: Wild Horses
Awareness Award: Birds of the Countryside Van Lawick Conservation Award: Glorious Bustards
People & Nature Award: The Edge of Existence
Children's Award: Hamsters - Hidden Heroes in the Field
Newcomer Award: The Otter
Science in Nature Award: Antarctica -3D
Independent Production Award: De Wilde Waard
Climate Solutions: Wildlife Conservation with Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE & Paula Kahumbu, PhD
Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE and Paula Kahumbu, PhD join Washington Post Live on Wednesday, Sept. 22 (The Washington Post)
Over the past four decades, we have lost close to 70 percent of global wildlife. The great challenge for humans now is to figure out how to rectify this extinction storm. Experts agree that protecting land and marine animal wildlife offers one of the most substantial solutions to the climate crisis, which remains crucial to the survival of nature and humanity. Iconic conservationist Jane Goodall joins Washington Post Live to discuss opportunities aimed at recovering and protecting endangered species and combating the ongoing consequences of climate change. WildlifeDirect CEO Paula Kahumbu will talk about how her life’s work in safeguarding elephants against environmental change and poaching is helping to solve this two-pronged crisis.
Communicate is the UK's conference for environmental communicators
– an annual environmental communication conference bringing together a diverse group of delegates each year to develop their skills, share best practice and debate latest issues in science communication, nature conservation and engaging people with the natural world.
Check out The Washington Post’s Climate Solutions section, in partnership with Rolex, focusing on the individuals working to find answers.
Meet the First-Ever Winners of THE EARTHSHOT PRIZE!
Last night (17th October), we awarded the first-ever Winners of The Earthshot Prize in a star-studded and inspiring inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards Ceremony. If you missed the broadcast event, it’s now streaming on BBC iPlayer in the UK and will be available globally on discovery+ from October 20.
The five Winners, which span the globe from Costa Rica to India, include transformative technologists, innovators, an entire country, and a pioneering city and were chosen for their ground-breaking solutions to the greatest environmental challenges facing our planet.
The Winners of The Earthshot Prize 2021 are:
Protect and Restore Nature: The Republic of Costa Rica
Clean our Air: Takachar, India
Revive our Oceans: Coral Vita, Bahamas
Build a Waste-Free World: The City of Milan Food Waste Hubs, Italy
The Earthshot Prize: London 2021 was an hour-long celebration of our extraordinary fifteen Finalists - the people and places driving real change to repair our planet.
Prince William opened the Ceremony, introducing The Earthshot Prize and was followed by Sir David Attenborough who shared his optimism in our ability to rise to the greatest environmental challenges of our time.
The ceremony capped a 10-month global search for the first-ever Winners of the Prize, chosen for their potential to positively impact people and the natural world and their ability to help us reach our Earthshot goals.
The five inaugural Winners were connected to the Awards Ceremony by global broadcast, where The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were joined by Sir David Attenborough, Christiana Figueres, Dani Alves and a host of stars and performers including Ed Sheeran, Yemi Alade and KSI. Presenters included The Duchess of Cambridge, David Oyelowo, Emma Thompson, Emma Watson and Mo Salah.
If you missed it, it's streaming now on BBC iPlayer in the UK and will be available globally on discovery+ from October 20.
‘Okavango: A Flood of Life’ tells the story of the ebb and flow of a precious life-giving flood in one of Africa’s most arid regions, creating an explosion of life that turns the sandy soils of the Kalahari into one of the most environmentally productive habitats on earth.
Narrated by River Bushman Senabe, this documentary is an intimate telling of the personal significance of this natural phenomenon both for his community and the animals that surround it. Throughout the year of filming, our team, led by veteran and pioneering filmmaker and producer Brad Bestelink were on the ground day and night to capture the action entirely in 8K.
The story of this pristine wilderness is a human one, where River Bushmen have carved out a harmonious living for hundreds of years. In today’s world, it is impossible to ignore the human impact on every wildlife story and this film embraces this perspective. Working with the expertise of those that understand its rhythm better than anyone else, our crew were able to bring a unique angle to a firmly established genre. Epic wildlife sequences cut to stunning shots of Senabe and his community forging their living on its shores and we see and understand the transformation of the Delta through his eyes, as if we too are walking alongside elephants and rejoicing in the first rains or simply sitting round the fire with Senabe as he shares his story.
‘The Elephant Queen’ film launches mobile cinema & wildlife conservation initiative in Kenya
The Elephant Queen, an internationally acclaimed Kenyan Film, has launched a mobile cinema and conservation outreach initiative across Kenya.
The outreach programme began in Mombasa, at Mikindani Primary School on Friday 5th November, 2021.
The initiative aims to use the film to inspire Kenyans to appreciate and understand elephants and the environment.
The Elephant Queen, a family-friendly multi-award winning Kenyan feature documentary, was filmed in the greater Tsavo-Amboseli ecosystem. The film tells a stirring and intimate story of the most majestic and sentient animals in Africa, and stars the ultimate leading lady, Athena. Athena is an elephant matriarch who will do everything in her power to protect her family when they are forced to leave their waterhole.
The film, which celebrates Kenya’s extraordinary wildlife and biodiversity has won many accolades. These include the Cinema for Peace Award, the UN World Wildlife Day Biodiversity Award and Best Cinematography at DOC NYC.
The film was directed by Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone. Etienne Oliff is the Assistant Director of the film.
During filming and production, the filmmakers observed the poaching for ivory, the increasing human-wildlife conflict and the loss of elephant rangelands, convincing them that more needed to be done. That is when they came up with The Elephant Queen Outreach Program with the objective of using the film and associated resources to inspire and unite Kenyan youth towards an understanding and appreciation of elephants and wild spaces.
After almost two years of closely monitoring the behavior of humans during the pandemic, Netflix is providing audiences some relief with a new series simply entitled "Animal." Personally, I'm very excited to shift the focus from humans to wildlife. Netflix states the new series will allow viewers to "get even closer to nature's biggest stars. 'Animal' takes you on an emotional, immersive, and revelatory ride into some of the greatest wildernesses on Earth." The show seems pretty all-encompassing, covering life on land, in the sky, and under the sea.
I'm sold simply on the fact that audiences get a new show focusing on the lives of wild animals like tigers, cheetahs, hawks, monkeys, and wolves. Check out the trailer below and see how adorable or intense we're getting here.
Netflix has a vast selection of nature and ecology docuseries already, but it appears that "Animal" will focus on wildlife that is known for unique traits such as their strength, aggressiveness, speed, and agility. Other shows in their catalog focus on animals with vibrant hues, those that are nocturnal, as well as those that are just plain cute. It looks like this series will provide plenty of cuteness, as well, though. I mean, did you see those baby cheetahs? And those baby koalas are so damn precious.
"Animal" takes you on an emotional, immersive and revelatory ride into some of the greatest wildernesses on Earth ... premiering on Netflix on November 10, 2021: netflix.com/title/81145024
Animal review: sorry celebrities – Attenborough’s still the lion king
Netflix’s globe-trotting wildlife show boasts stunning visuals and voiceovers from Rebel Wilson, Bryan Cranston and Rashida Jones – but tells us next to nothing about the natural world.
Male lions don’t do childcare. They don’t hunt. And yet they get first dibs on the carcasses the lionesses have spent all day chasing across the savannah. True, their manes look magnificent, but only in the sense that Prince Charles looks good in uniform and medals, even though everyone knows a lackey squeezes toothpaste on his toothbrush.
In the first episode of the Netflix series Animal, we see a panting lioness waiting her turn at the proverbial wildebeest leg, while her lord and master sates himself. Can lionesses roll their eyes? I am sure I caught a hint of ironically raised eyebrow. Why there hasn’t been a #miaowtoo movement is beyond me. Do lionesses even miaow? I am none the wiser after watching this globe-trotting hour of big cats slaughtering other wildlife in various fetching locales.
Despite the use of the latest technology, including gimbals and drones, it is not clear to me what Animal adds to our understanding of the natural world, besides having celebrities do the voiceovers (a mixed blessing, as sometimes the narration is so flat that it feels as if they literally phoned it in). That said, I quite like Rebel Wilson narrating two male koalas brawling over a female in a tree, and dog-loving Bryan Cranston explaining the hunting strategies of canine packs as if we are Jesse Pinkman and he Walter White, meticulously lecturing on how to cook pure meth. David Attenborough needn’t feel his day job is under threat, though.
The Outside Story Behind the Documentary ‘Blackfish’
Tim Zimmermann’s feature about a 12,000-pound orca that killed a SeaWorld trainer changed the future of marine parks, was developed into a powerful 2013 documentary, and turned the author into a vegan
In February 2010, a trainer at SeaWorld Orlando named Dawn Brancheau was working with Tilikum, a 22-foot-long, 12,000-pound orca, when the creature took her ponytail in his mouth, dragged her to the bottom of the pool, and shook her like a dog with a toy. By the time rescuers could extract Brancheau, she was dead.
Outside correspondent Tim Zimmermann, who was nominated for a National Magazine Award for his 2005 feature “Raising the Dead,” began looking into what happened. What he discovered was shocking. Orcas like Tilikum—many of them captured as calves and separated from family pods that live together for decades—had been taken from the ocean to live in a marine park’s concrete pools, where the tight conditions lead to boredom, agitation, conflict with other killer whales, and frequent infections. When Brancheau died, Tilikum had been in captivity for nearly 27 years. Hers was the third human fatality he’d been involved in.
Zimmermann’s resulting story, “The Killer in the Pool,” had a profound impact on marine parks, the safety of trainers, and the future lives of captive orcas. His passionate reporting on the topic continued with more stories for Outside, including a 2011 feature about trainer Alexis Martínez, who was killed by an orca at a marine park in Spain’s Canary Islands, and a 2014 piece about the efforts to free a wild-caught killer whale named Lolita at Miami’s Seaquarium.
Gabriela Cowperthwaite, director of the 2013 documentary Blackfish, took notice. After reading Zimmermann’s story about Tilikum, she reached out to him to work on the film, which went on to make millions of Americans aware of the conditions of orcas in captivity.
“Nature” EP Fred Kaufman on 40 years of being a “voice for the natural world”
For 40 years, PBS natural history strand Nature has been one of the top outlets for wildlife and nature documentaries, winning multiple Emmy awards and a Peabody along the way. Executive producer Fred Kaufman has been there the whole time, getting his start at Nature‘s home, New York PBS station WNET as a PA ahead of Nature‘s first season.
“I was a PA and they were looking for somebody to help launch the series, and I had been doing some work at WNET,” Kaufman tells Realscreen. “I was hired for three months, knew nothing about nature and natural history, but whatever I was asked to do could be explained to me in two minutes or less. So basically, whatever I needed to do, just about anybody could have done, it wasn’t particularly hard. And after three months, we went on the air.”
Nature was an immediate success, and Kaufman’s contract was renewed — for another three months.
He managed to stick around, and in the ensuing four decades, the Bronx native has seen the world of wildlife documentaries, and documentaries in general, evolve and change like some of the subjects of the show Kaufman has helped run for so long.
The 40th season of Nature launched this past October, offering a range of new documentaries on subjects varying from an examination of every known species of penguin (Penguins: Meet the Family) to the wildebeest migration in East Africa (Running with the Beest) and plenty in between. The season launched with one of Kaufman’s favorite recent projects, which was developed amid the restrictions of the pandemic.
“The first film of our season was called My Garden of a Thousand Bees, and it came out of COVID,” he explains. “Wildlife macro photographer, Martin Dorn, who lives in Bristol, England, has extraordinary lenses and rigs where he shoots insects. And because he couldn’t go out and he couldn’t travel, he decided, ‘I want to shoot the bees in my garden. I’ve always been interested in them and now I have the time to actually spend to film them.’”
Cattle grazing and production is one of the most destructive of human activities, if a full accounting of all the costs were considered.
I recently received a video titled Audubon Conservation Ranching: Hooves on the Ground, Wings in the Air from the Audubon Society. The video promotes beef production to save grassland birds.
The video is a slick production of happy talk featuring some urban cowboys. And it plays on the old, tired Condos vs. Cows argument. The idea being if you don’t want to see land subdivided, you must support cattle ranchers.
The numerous ways that livestock production negatively impacts the environment, from water pollution to Greenhouse Gas Emissions to soil erosion and displacement of wildlife, are never mentioned in the video. Promoting ranching as a way to protect birds is like encouraging alcoholism as a solution for heroin addiction.
There is no doubt that grassland birds are declining for a host of reasons. But far more important is the conversion of grasslands into ag lands—a fact never mentioned in the film. In much of the Great Plains, grasslands are being transformed to wheat and corn crop production—both sustained by Ag subsidies. Urban growth is a significant factor in some parts of California, but so is the change from rangelands to ag crops.
Urbanism is often not the most significant factor in the loss of grasslands. Instead, the changeover of grasslands to vineyards and other higher “value” crops is the biggest factor in some California counties. For instance, the city of Santa Barbara occupies approximately 12,000 acres, but vineyards occupy 20,000 acres in the county.
Not mentioned is that pastures and hayfields occupy much more acreage of California than all the urbanism put together. Some 51% of California non-federal land is used for pasture and range. By comparison, only 5% of California’s land area is urbanized.
Can fish feel pain? Are they intelligent? Are they even conscious? For most of my life, I didn't know but I also didn't really care.
In this video, I take a look at stories and evidence that led me to understand who fish really are. I challenge their typical stereotype as stupid, mindless animals to show that they are conscious beings who think, feel, and suffer, and have a lot more in common with humans than initially meets the eye.
If you want to dive further into this topic, I highly recommend Jonathan Balcombe's book "What A Fish Knows". It was a huge inspiration for this video, and served as the starting point for my research.
Watch five Short Films from the Frontlines of Threats to Food from the Sea – Fishing & Food Short Film Festival
A curated collection of five short films from coastal communities around the world, where fishing is part of their heritage and daily subsistence.
For centuries, the ocean has been at the heart of global food provision, and the future will be no different. Incredibly, if we take decisive action to address today’s crises and manage the sea more sustainably, the ocean could provide two-thirds of the protein needed to feed the world in 2050.
As it stands, overfishing, climate change, habitat degradation, and pollution all pose existential threats. We still have time to act, but we must act now. Around the world, coastal communities like the Kitasoo / Xai’xais First Nation in Canada are on the frontlines of these threats.
From a 75-year-old fisherman and poet from Peru to the octopus gleaners in Madagascar who once vibrant reefs have turned to rock, five individuals and coastal communities share meditations on a life entwined with the sea, the tragedy of dwindling ocean resources, and the sustainable solutions that can be achieved through harnessing centuries of traditional knowledge.
These five short films send a powerful message that we must work together to secure an abundant future for food from the sea, by embracing sustainable management that works for people and nature, and by ensuring the ocean's benefits are distributed equitably.
Under a haze of wildfire smoke and with her ancestors watching from above, Keely Weget-Whitney steps into the frigid and fast-moving waters of the Fraser River with one goal in mind: make people care. / 8 minutes.
Like millions of fisherwomen around the world, Kokoly relies on the ocean to live, as both a source of income and nutrition. With local fish stocks in Madagascar depleted and once vibrant reefs turned to rock, Kokoly’s life is now one of survival. / 15 minutes
The power and wisdom of native sustainability has gone overlooked for too long. This short film shares the story of the Kitasoo / Xai’xais Nation’s traditional herring harvest in Klemtu, Canada. / 5 minutes
Fredy Guardia is a 75-year-old fisherman and poet. For six decades, he has taken his boat out on the ocean near Lima, Peru. “Home at Dawn” is Guardia’s meditation on a life at sea, the power of memory, and the tragedy of dwindling ocean resources. / 5 minutes
From the coasts of Madagascar to the islands of French Polynesia, as a member of The Tide community, you can help support coastal communities around the world—working together to restore ocean health, protect vital species and habitats, and secure an abundant future of food from the sea: only.one/tide
Introducing the Mammalz Mighty Network – Think of it as Mammalz 1.5
Yay Mammalz Community!
We're excited to announce there's a new way for us to stay connected with each other and share our nature, science, and adventure experiences while we build Mammalz 2.0.
We've started a Mammalz Mighty Network where we can continue what we started together!
Mammalz Fall 2021 Update
Hello Mammalz Community!
I hope you all had a wonderful summer and are looking forward to fall adventures. As we continue our progress toward building out the new live experience of Mammalz 2.0, we have some exciting announcements to make regarding the direction Mammalz is taking with what I’ve come to call the three C’s; content, creators, and community.
In short, our focus on content will be on quality vs quantity. We will provide our creators with more educational opportunities to teach the necessary skills to become world class live streamers. Finally, we will be engaging our community with more opportunities for active involvement in many aspects of the Mammalz experience.
I am reminded daily of the mantra of modern media “content is king.” While the phrase itself is a bit dated, the tenet holds true. People come to watch great content and it is our job to give top quality live content to our community. We want people to be supremely entertained, inspired, informed, and above all, hungry for more. Without quality content, Mammalz does not succeed.
What we discovered in the first version of Mammalz is that user generated content has its limits. When you couple that with live streaming, it becomes a large mountain to climb. Opening a platform without leading by clear, compelling examples didn’t provide the quality experience we intended. Lesson learned.
Our solution however, is simple. Our team has over 45 years of combined experience creating award-winning content. We know storytelling, we know technology, we know how to take an idea and make it come to life on screen, we know what works and what doesn’t. So, starting today, Mammalz will be in the production business, producing live content with our creators. We will be partnering with creators to produce new in house live experiences via Mammalz TV. These will include not only our Mammalz Community Spotlight events, but other events such as world’s first live streams, birding events, climbing, and safaris.
We are going to produce the best live streaming experience possible with some of the world's top creative talent. Keep an eye out for future announcements.
We know that live streaming is new to many creators. We also know that many scientists, naturalists, educators, and adventurers are wonderful personalities that have compelling stories to tell. We want to ensure that we are giving our talent the tools they need to succeed. So, we are creating a new initiative to give creators the knowledge, inspiration, and training to become world class live streaming creatives. This initiative will include a mix of virtual and in-person sessions covering a wide swath of subjects from live streaming tech, storytelling, filmmaking techniques, engaging with your audience, naturalist sessions, and even entrepreneurship. We want our creators to feel a true sense of belonging and part of a family that knows we have their backs.
And finally our community is something that we take great pride in at Mammalz. We are working on ways to give the community a chance to take a more active role in the Mammalz experience.
The first step in that is to bring the community back together. With that, I am very excited to invite you all to join us on our new place to socialize, the Mammalz Mighty Network. This is our community hub where everyone can share their nature, science and adventure experiences while we build out Mammalz 2.0. As always, it’s free to join. It’s easy to access as well.
Just go to community.mammalz.com to sign up on the web or you can download the Mighty Networks app and sign up that way.
I am so excited for the future of Mammalz and I can’t wait to reconnect with you all.
Our planet – with natural history filmmaker Keith Scholey
Keith Scholey is an internationally acclaimed wildlife and natural history filmmaker. He joins us to talk about his career filming the life of the planet and to explore why 2021 is a pivotal year for climate change action. Join us and be part of the conversation. All the family is invited.
Hosted by Gerry Pecht, Norton Rose Fulbright's Global CEO and moderated by Rob Marsh, Partner and Deanne Barrow, Senior Associate at Norton Rose Fulbright.
Keith Scholey series-produced Our Planet (Netflix Original), was executive producer of A Perfect Planet (BBC), and was director and executive producer of David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet.
Recent credits include Wild Planet: North America and Deadly Islands (Discovery Channel) and African Cats (Disney).
Born in East Africa, he began his career as a wildlife stills photographer. Later, as editor-in-chief with the BBC Natural History Unit, he worked on Life of Birds, Blue Planet, and Wild Africa.
He is the founder of Silverback Films. His productions have won numerous awards: Emmys, BAFTAs, RTS Television Awards, Wildscreen Pandas and accolades from the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, among others.
In China, Pandas Are Undergoing ‘Survival Training’ to Live in the Wild Again
The VR documentary “Panda Go Home” captures efforts to rewild giant pandas in China.
In the secluded mountainous areas of Sichuan Province in southwestern China is a panda breeding base called Wolong National Nature Reserve, part of the China Giant Panda Research and Conservation Center. Here, panda keepers are decked out in onesies smelling of female panda urine and feces, dragging a bunch of bamboo shoots to feed panda cubs. The ultimate goal of this bizarre but adorable set-up? For these monochromatic bears to go back to the wild and survive with as little human intervention as possible.
Captive breeding has helped save pandas from the brink of extinction, but they remain a vulnerable species.
At the China Giant Panda Research and Conservation Center, comprising several different panda bases across Sichuan Province, researchers and panda keepers have rolled out a survival training course to teach captive pandas how to survive in the wild.
In 2017, the film crew of the 20-minute documentary Panda Go Home headed to Sichuan to document efforts to rewild pandas in their ancestral habitat. The film offers an immersive glimpse into the fascinating process through virtual reality.
In the first stage of rewilding, a mother panda lives with her cub in a training area that simulates a wildlife environment. There, they are free to roam around, and keepers refrain from intervention unless the safety and health of the pandas are threatened.
On Wednesday 29th September, the documentary film The Story of Plastic was honored with a News & Documentary Emmy in the category of Outstanding Writing!
This was the first feature documentary from The Story of Stuff Project, which started producing online content in 2007 with founder Annie Leonard's groundbreaking documentary,The Story of Stuff, which unleashed a torrent of pent-up demand for honest conversation about our consumption-crazed culture.
Learn how the mass production of single-use plastic has put us in the biggest environmental crisis in history:
Taking place on Wednesday, 10th November from 7:15pm - 9:15pm and hosted by Patrick Kielty, the awards showcased the very best documentaries from the UK and abroad across a variety of genres. Watch here:
Ellen Windemuth, Waterbear CEO on Filmmaking, Conservation & OSPREY
Ellen Windemuth, CEO of WaterBear Network, the new free streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet, in conversation with SEASON OF THE OSPREY filmmaker Jacob Steinberg.
Ellen was founder and CEO of Off The Fence, and has produced more than 500 hours of programs including this year’s Academy Award documentary winner MY OCTOPUS TEACHER. Ellen’s lifelong passion is to connect the art of filmmaking with wildlife conservation... and that's the topic of her conversation with Jacob just weeks before the premiere of his "Season of the Osprey" for PBS's Nature series. OSPREY is a co-producion of WNET and Love Nature.
Non-profit streaming service for wildlife and environmental titles, Ecoflix, launches
Ecoflix, a streaming service focused on environmental and wildlife-related titles and spearheaded by American philanthropist and animal advocate David Casselman, was unveiled on Tuesday (Nov. 2) with plans for an imminent global launch.
The new platform was founded to inspire and drive positive change in the world, Casselman said, and to contribute to efforts to protect the natural world. Ecoflix’s original programming will focus on animals and plant species, along with nature-based solutions and measures to mitigate climate change. Fresh Start Media creative director Marshal Corwin has headed up the platform’s slate.
Ecoflix will launch with the support of a variety of non-profits from around the world. Founding NGO partners include Bron Free, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the United Nations’ Trillion Trees Campaign and National Park Rescue. The global launch is set for November 9.
Part of the revenue from all Ecoflix memberships will be donated to affiliated NGOs, as selected by subscribers when they sign up. Ecoflix memberships will also be tax deductible in the U.S. The goal is for Ecoflix profits to support animal and planetary causes around the world, with all profits going toward natural world campaigns that the Ecoflix Foundation supports.
In an interview with Realscreen, Casselman said the intent behind the site is to “use the power of film and connect with NGOs built around a circle of giving.”
Environmental platform Ecoflix launches with feature documentary ‘Free Billy’
Ecoflix, a not-for-profit global streaming platform with a focus on wildlife conservation and environmental issus, launches today (November 9) with Marshall Corwin’s elephant documentary Free Billy.
With offices in the US and the UK, Ecoflix is available as a subscription-based service around the world in all territories with Vimeo access – China, North Korea and Indonesia are understood to be without access – or as a downloadable app. Subscriptions are priced as $6.99 per month or $47.99 per year, with all profits going to fund the platform or towards environmental campaigns that Ecoflix supports.
The platform is the brainchild of CEO David Casselman, a former US trial lawyer with over 40 years of experience with animal and conservation-related work, who is self-financing the platform. He also features in Free Billy. Corwin, whose credits include the BBC’s Panorama, is Ecoflix’s creative director.
Free Billy is the platform’s first original feature documentary. It chronicles the decades-long campaign to free an Asian Bull elephant who has lived in the Los Angeles Zoo since he was four years old. It is narrated by UK actress Virginia McKenna.
The Free Billy movement has seen celebrities such as actress Lily Tomlin, singer Cher, and many others campaign for his freedom. The new film is narrated by Born Free Co-Founder Virginia McKenna OBE, features interviews including elephant expert Joyce Poole, with music produced by Mickey Shapiro, Lynne Peterson and Mick Fleetwood.
There’s Now A Fully Vegan TV Network – And It’s Free
UnChained TV offers what mainstream cable networks won’t: transparent and compassionate “infotainment”
A new all-vegan streaming TV network is here, and it’s poised to make a splash in mainstream media, all while driving the vegan movement forward.
Called UnChainedTV, the platform features plant-based cooking shows, documentaries, talk shows, and breaking news. Films and TV series are also on offer – including thrillers, and adventure and conservation content – as well as music videos by vegan artists. The best part? It’s all free.
It comes as global streaming rates reach an all-time high, with more people seeking out engaging, thought-provoking content from the comfort of their homes. And simultaneously, the public’s interest in sustainable and compassionate lifestyles continues to grow.
UnChained TV unites these concepts, working to usher in a new era of cruelty-free, plant-based living.
“We give viewers thought-provoking content they cannot get on mainstream television networks. We offer solutions to the world’s leading problems: the climate crisis, deforestation, wildlife extinction, human hunger and human disease,” said the network’s founder Jane Velez-Mitchell.
“People who click on UnChainedTV get a window into a life-changing transformation.”
Velez-Mitchell is no stranger to the television industry. An award-winning journalist, she has worked inside mainstream media newsrooms for decades, including in New York and Los Angeles. She was a host of her own on CNN Headline News (HLN) for six years.
Velez-Mitchell wants to bring similar content to UnChainedTV, too.
“We have the capacity to go LIVE and have a whole slate of shows just like any mainstream cable TV network, like CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News. That’s the next step as we grow our vegan network,” the entrepreneur told Plant Based News.
“Having worked in national cable television, as well as syndicated TV and local news, I know how a network runs and grows and we are going to make that happen for this lifesaving information. The technology is in place and that’s the most challenging part. So, now we are ready to roll,” she continued, adding that they’re building the “vegan CNN.”
On the 18thSeptember 2021 Dan Burton, adventurer, photographer, campaigner, tragically lost his life in a mid-air paramotor collision with fellow campaigner Sacha Dench, who was seriously injured. They’d almost completed their pioneering Round Britain Climate Challenge expedition, which thisdocumentary had been following. Dan’s family, Sacha herself and all involved are keen that their story is told and their urgent message spread. This film is dedicated to Dan.
This inspiring film sees Joanna Lumley travel around the UK following adventurer Sacha Dench as she takes to the skies with just her electric paramotor to attempt an epic journey around the British coast whilst raising awareness about climate change.
As Sacha takes flight, Joanna will be tagging along by land, and, on one occasion, by air, as the pair meet environmental heroes along the way who show them surprising and fascinating ways to live more planet-friendly lives and, in this crisis, find hope.
Dubbed The Human Swan, Sacha Dench first hit the headlines when she flew with endangered swans from Arctic Russia to England. The film sees Joanna head to Scotland to meet Sacha, to see her green, clean electric paramotor in action for the first time and to hear about her latest challenge – to fly around the UK and arrive in Glasgow ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP26, being held there.
“Of all the brave people I admire, few are braver than the airborne adventurer, Sacha Dench. Dubbed The Human Swan, she’s flown her tiny paramotor thousands of miles to help save a threatened species. Now, Sacha’s taking on the greatest challenge of all, the climate emergency. She’s ditching diesel for an electric motor to fly all around Britain. It’s so easy to wring our hands in despair, but, I promise you, if we all act together, it’s not too late to make a difference.Sacha’s rising to the challenge, shall we follow her?” Joanna Lumley
Channel 4 commissions “What Killed the Whale?” from STV Studios
Glasgow-headquartered STV Studios will produce a TV event investigating how climate change is killing whales, in a special commissioned for Channel 4.
The 90-minute program, What Killed the Whale?, will see explorer and biologist Ella Al-Shamahi travelling across the UK to discover why so many whales are washing up and dying on the country’s shores. Pollution, fishing, ship strikes and other human activities are each covered as potential causes.
Al-Shamahi will work with some of the UK’s leading frontline science organizations as they respond to fatal whale strandings, while the production team will capture the whales’ autopsies. Lab analysis of the autopsies will be used to better understand why whales are dying, the effect humans are having on oceans and potential solutions.
“There has never been a more critical time to take a temperature check on the health of our oceans and we will be face-to-face with the incredible whales who are the tragic victims of our climate emergency,” said Craig Hunter, creative director of factual for STV Studios, in a statement.
Discovery unveils New Zealand expansion plans for 2022
Discovery Inc. has announced its 2022 plans for New Zealand, including an increase of 70% in local content, the launch of two more channels and the expansion of its ThreeNow channel.
The media giant’s two new free-to-air channels in the region will be Gusto and Rush, both of which will launch in March 2022.
Gusto, formerly Choice TV, will include both local and international entertainment content. Non-fiction titles available at launch include Changing Rooms UK and Big Family Farm, with the world premiere of the homegrown New Zealand production Great Southern Truckers as the first of several planned local series. Rush, meanwhile, offers “unapologetically high-energy shows” across the adventure and survival genres.
Netflix Drops ‘Back to the Outback’ Trailer and Poster
All-new 3D/CG animated comedy follows a group of ‘deadly’ animals who make a break from the Australian Wildlife Park; streaming December 10, the family adventure sets out to prove just because something is different, doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful.
Netflix just dropped an official trailer and key art for their upcoming 3D/CG animated family comedy, Back to the Outback. In the film, which hits the streamer December 10, the hunt is on when a group of “deadly” animals (along with a celebrity koala named Pretty Boy) escape the Australian Wildlife Park and head “back to the Outback.” They’re dangerously cute and on the loose. Back to the Outback stars Isla Fisher; Tim Minchin; Eric Bana; Guy Pearce; Miranda Tapsell; Angus Imrie; Keith Urban; Aislinn Derbez; and Jacki Weaver.
Tired of being locked in a reptile house where humans gawk at them like they’re monsters, a ragtag group of Australia’s deadliest creatures plot a daring escape from their zoo to the Outback, a place where they’ll fit in without being judged for their scales and fangs. Read more: awn.com/news/netflix-drops-back-outback-trailer-and-poster
Filmmaker Discovers Unique Bee Personalities in His Garden
He filmed a tent-making bee spend 5 hours building an intricate nest.
When the pandemic lockdown started in 2020, wildlife filmmaker Martin Dohrn found something interesting to do right in his own backyard. He adapted some of his camera equipment to focus on very tiny creatures and then began filming the bees in his small garden in Bristol, England.
During the spring and summer of 2020, Dohrn filmed more than 60 species of bees right outside his home. He watched massive bumblebees and minuscule scissor bees, that are just the size of a mosquito.
He watched bees laying eggs, attacking insects to protect their nests, and fighting one another over mates and territories. He filmed one industrious red-tailed mason bee constructing a nest using a shell and hundreds of sticks.
Treehugger: As a wildlife filmmaker, you’ve turned your lens to all sorts of magnificent (and massive) creatures. How do bees compare as subjects?
Martin Dohrn: There is a difference when filming any animal, between filming ‘what the species does,’ which is exciting and interesting, and what an individual animal does, which is an order of magnitude more interesting.
Most people would have imagined that in filming insects you could only film what the species does. But with this film, I discovered that you could film the lives of individuals in a way I really didn’t anticipate.
The Earl of Grantham Hugh Bonneville is narrating two wildlife series for Smithsonian Channel.
The Downton Abbey star is leading Wild Tales from the Farm and The Crown’s Ancient Forest, which will air as part of the ViacomCBS’ network’s Wild Wednesdays lineup.
Wild Tales from the Farm, which premieres on November 3, chronicles a year in a quiet corner of Southern England, where dramatic stories of family conflict, romantic betrayal, and fierce rivalries play out among the species living in and around a picturesque organic farm.
The four-part series, narrated by Bonneville, was commissioned by Love Nature in association with Smithsonian Channel and Arte France.
The Crown’s Ancient Forest, which premieres on December 1, is a one-hour documentary hot in the heart of Southern England where a royal forest lies. The doc, hosted by Bonneville, captures a wild and magical place of ancient beauty that’s hardly changed since King William the Conqueror proclaimed it as his hunting grounds some 900 years ago. It will tell a year in the life of the forest, told through the eyes of its most iconic inhabitants: New Forest Pony spring foal, a pair of rare goshawks nesting in the ancient woods and a fallow red deer stag.
It is produced by Big Wave Productions for Smithsonian Channel and Terra Mater Factual Studios.
“An ancient landscape and a contemporary haven for Britain’s wildlife, The New Forest is one of the nation’s jewels,” said Bonneville. “It is a unique and precious environment, brilliantly captured in this enthralling and thought-provoking film.”
Master Wildlife Filmmaking 36: Lisa Samford - Executive Director, Jackson Wild
From her beginning as a journalist & graphic designer to her current role as Executive Director of Jackson Wild, Lisa discusses the importance of drive and passion.
Lisa Samford left a career in journalism to become a documentary filmmaker, specializing in difficult and remote expedition projects.
She has filmed across five continents on a diverse collection of projects exploring topics ranging from science and discovery, violent crime, espionage, and ethnographic and archeologic expeditions to intimate personal portraits of author Wallace Stegner and conservation pioneer Mardy Murie.
Joining the ranks of the urban refugee, Lisa returned to Jackson Hole to raise her son with paleontologist Wallace Ulrich.
As Executive Director of the internationally renowned Jackson Wild (formerly Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival) since 2004, Lisa curates and oversees all programming including its annual Summit and International Film Competition, Global Partnerships, Media Labs and Impact Coalitions as well as its annual United Nations World Wildlife Day Film Showcase.
Lisa is committed to amplifying the power of media to inspire wonder for our living planet and ignite action to restore and protect it through high-impact collaborations as well as elevating diverse global perspectives that directly engage new audiences to address the critical challenges facing our world.
Billie Eilish and John Lewis’ New Documentary Takes On Environmental Racism & Food Injustice
“They’re Trying to Kill Us” exposes injustices and food deserts in Black communities in the US.
Co-director of "Cowspiracy" releases new documentary "They're Trying to Kill Us" which explores the influences of hip hop, racial injustices, and food deserts in America.
Pop icon Billie Eilish and fitness influencer and “Bad Ass Vegan” John Lewis are teaming up for a new documentary exploring the cause and effects of environmental racism and food disparities in Black communities across the US.
They’re Trying to Kill Us, releasing online Nov. 11, employs an all-star cast and crew to tell an intricate story of food inequality and injustice through the lens of hip hop and urban culture.
Directed by Keegan Kuhn, co-director of Cowspiracy and What the Health, and Lewis, the new documentary is a staggering look at how structural racism and concerted government efforts have impacted the health of Black and Indigenous communities across America.
The film follows Lewis as he crosses the country, looking for answers as to why Americans of Color experience higher rates of chronic disease while “examining the intersections of food, disease, race, poverty, institutional racism, and government corruption,” according to the movie’s website.
Eilish, a vocal vegan and environmental activist who’s supported Global Citizen events including One World: Together at Home and Global Citizen Live, joined the film as an executive producer alongside vegan NBA athlete Chris Paul.
“I want people to see this film. It is so important to help all of us understand the depth of the issue, and that we must all take action to change the food system,” said Eilish.
Meet Conservationist 3 Who Created India’s First Wildlife OTT Platform
In conversation with wildlife presenter, filmmaker and conservationist Suyash Keshari, the maker of India’s first wildlife OTT platform, ‘Safari with Suyash’ and on how he developed an affection towards tigers and wildlife.
Navigating the unexplored territory of presenting raw, vivid, unfiltered and unscripted virtual safari tour, this 25-year-old wildlife presenter, filmmaker and conservationist from India, Suyash Keshari released the trailer of 'Safari with Suyash - TV', which will be the world’s first and one of kind wildlife OTT platforms.
The platform will pioneer the first-ever virtual safari experiences in India that will bring the beauty, excitement and wonder of Bandhavgarh National Park into the homes of people across the world by taking them on a virtual safari. In an interview with Outlook, he mentions that the pandemic has shown us how important it is for us to connect with nature and also get a deeper, more meaningful understanding of wildlife which can lead to better conservation measures.
Suyash has always been that kid who wanted to play in the backyard, run in the farm, watch the ants’ parade in a line and climb up guava trees to wait for the birds to come so that he could eat the fruits with them. It was also him sitting by a pond in the middle of the summer in 45-degree heat just to observe the fish, the herons and other birds come to drink or hunt.
Enabling viewers to join the safari from anywhere in the world, the virtual experience has been curated to take the audience through the epic adventure of a safari, learning how to track different animals, understanding their behaviour, learning about conservation issues and revealing the many secrets of the tiger capital of the world.
Speaking to Outlook, Suyash elaborates on how the concept has been curated consciously to ignite the viewer's curiosity towards nature and bring their deep embedded love for nature to the forefront.
What made you come up with the idea of a wildlife OTT platform?
Connecting with our wild world is absolutely vital, and safaris are one of the best ways to do that. When you are on a safari you learn about different species and their behaviour, the conservation issues that surround that species and the entire habitat. You learn to appreciate the fresh air, sounds of birds, the texture of the soil, and the relationship between different animals, trees, shrubs, birds and even the land. All of this develops a deeper and more meaningful connection with nature. People also learn not to fear but rather have a healthy respect for wildlife and respect their right to survive.
The pandemic showed how important it is for us to connect with nature and that developing a more meaningful understanding of wildlife can lead to better conservation measures. With all that in mind, we are creating 'Safari with Suyash – TV' which will be India’s first OTT platform dedicated to wildlife. We will be bringing the beauty, excitement and wonder of wildlife into people’s homes across the world. The tentative launch is scheduled in the mid of October 2021.
Royals committed to climate protection: William and Charles rely on television culture
The royal family uses the medium of television to fight the climate crisis: Prince William introduces pioneers of environmental protection in a BBC documentary; His father Prince Charles started a new TV channel.
Weeks ahead of the start of the United Nations Climate Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, the royals are on television intensifying their commitment to environmental protection. Prince William (39) is teaming up with nature filmmaker David Attenborough (95) to host a new BBC documentary. From October 3, “pioneers” of environmental protection will be presented who have found innovative solutions to the most pressing climate problems.
Ambitious Environment Award
He is the winner of the Environment Award given by the oldest grandson of the Queen. “This is a moment of hope, not of fear,” William said in a trailer released on Saturday. That’s why they created the Earthshot Prize, “the most ambitious environmental award in history.” It takes “a decade of action” to repair the earth, William said.
His father, Prince Charles, 72, also relies on television for climate protection. The heir to the throne launched a channel on the Amazon Prime streaming service focusing on climate change issues. RE:TV seeks to present projects around the world that can contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable economy. Queen Elizabeth II’s eldest son called for “action now” to address the future problems of the planet. New movies are planned, but also existing content.
Solutions for sustainability.
“I’ve spent a lot of my life getting people and companies excited about the problems and solutions to the climate crisis,” Charles said. RE: TV must capture the will and imagination of humanity and advocate for the most inspiring solutions to sustainability around the world.
Tune in to C21FM to hear from Silverback Films’ Keith Scholey
Silverback Films' Keith Scholey discusses upcoming documentaries fronted by Prince William, Sir David Attenborough and YouTuber Jack Harries ahead of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference; Vertigo Films' James Richardson on why the present UK production boom is both a blessing and a burden amidst Covid and Brexit; and Mipcom director Lucy Smith on what to expect from next month's physical event in Cannes.
Discovery and Liberty Global owned All3Media acquired UK natural history producer Silverback Films at the end of last year. The company, set up by former BBC execs Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, is behind some of the most groundbreaking, breathtaking and vital documentaries of our time.
A long-term working relationship with iconic presenter Sir David Attenborough resulted in the series Our Planet for Netflix and now another for the BBC called The Mating Game, which debuts on October 3. But before that another new Silverback show, Earthshot: How To Save Our Planet, fronted by Prince William, will make its debut.
The two new programmes come as world leaders prepare to gather for the COP21 UN Climate Change Summit at the start of November, with Silverback’s first project for YouTube, A Seat At the Table, debuting to coincide with the event.
Scholey spoke to Clive Whittingham about these developments and how the company continues to push the boundaries of natural history filmmaking.
Climate change: Sir David Attenborough in 'act now' warning
"If we don't act now, it'll be too late." That's the warning from Sir David Attenborough ahead of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
The broadcaster says the richest nations have "a moral responsibility" to help the world's poorest.
And it would be "really catastrophic" if we ignored their problems, he told me in a BBC News interview.
"Every day that goes by in which we don't do something about it is a day wasted," he said.
Sir David and I were speaking at Kew Gardens in London during filming for a new landmark series, The Green Planet, to be aired on BBC1 next year.
“Meat me Halfway”, Reducetarianism with Brian Kateman – The Doctor's Kitchen Podcast
"Finally, I can say I watched a genuinely balanced documentary about food and the environment. I’ve seen all the classics: “What the Health”, “Forks over Knives”, “Gamechangers”, “Food Inc” “Seaspiracy” and others like “Kiss the Ground”. I’m constantly asked about it on social media and friends. Did you see INSERT DOCUMENTARY NAME. What did you think? And invariably I always have to point out the flaws, the biases, the shock tactics, the spin.
But this documentary is refreshingly different. “Meat Me Halfway” produced by my guest today, Brian Kateman, is a documentary about finding common ground at the dinner table. It poses more questions than answers and it allows you to make your own mind up. It doesn’t have a clear ideology woven through the narrative and it’s more exploratory than it is explanatory or defensive.
When I was watching the movie, I made notes to pick up on with Brian when I knew I was going to speak to the documentary host, but a little later in the movie they discussed the nuance of that topic. I didn’t have any follow up questions to the answers they posed at the end of the movie, because there weren’t any answers. This is complicated.
And the conversation we’re having within our own avocado toast eating echo chambers, centres around idealism rather than practicality. And this is why I thought this documentary was particularly great.
Brian is also co-founder and president of the Reducetarian Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to reducing consumption of meat, eggs, and dairy to create a healthy, sustainable, and compassionate world. The ‘Meat Me Halfway book’ is out next year and ‘The Reducetarian Cookbook’ is available in all good bookstores.
Listen the end where I reveal my favourite meat alternatives and hacks to reduce your meat consumption whilst maintaining a nutrient dense diet." Dr Rupy Aujla
The path to going plant-based has obvious upsides, but can also be isolating and difficult. Shouldn’t there be some middle ground for people looking to make a change without totally upending their lives? Leader of the Reducetarian movement, Brian Kateman explores this issue through the lens of his own personal decision to reduce eating meat. Grappling with how to sort through conflicting advice, Brian seeks a practical path forward. "Meat Me Halfway" is a groundbreaking investigative journey that seeks to create some common ground at the dinner table.
Viva!'s Biggest Ever Campaign Has Launched – Take Away The Meat!
Viva! has created a vegan TV advert for Channel 4. Now, help them ensure it’s seen by millions.
Working with a top film production company, we have created a high-quality TV advert which will capture the attention of everyone who sees it.
Viva!'s new TV advert follows the journey of an everyday meat-eating couple as they decide which takeaway meal to order. Snuggled up on their sofa, with their beloved dog, they choose pulled pork from the food delivery app ‘Just Meat’.
Hungry in anticipation of their meaty meal, the couple race to the door when the delivery driver rings the bell. Upon opening the door, the couple are shocked to find an adorable little piglet on their doorstep and the delivery driver brandishing a butcher's knife announcing: “Just Meat, delivered fresh to your door.” Gob-smacked and confused, the couple don’t know what to do. Surely, they won’t kill the cute little piggy?
The advert encourages the public to make the connection between the animals they choose to keep as companions and the ones that are destined for their dinner table. Viewers are invited to consider the morality of eating meat, helping them to make the connection between animals and food. The solution? Try vegan of course!
The advert will be broadcast just before Valentine’s Day on Channel 4 and its associated networks.
A very generous donor has pledged to match EVERY donation we receive up to the value of £40,000! Not only that, we have also secured an additional grant from Channel 4 which will double the total again!
Help us bring the vegan message directly to an audience of over 16 million people, via their TV screens.
Why SHOULDN'T we support zoos and their conservation work?
Earthling Ed says "When I was growing up, a day out at a zoo was one of my favourite activities. I loved seeing all the different animals and I never once questioned whether or not zoos were ethical, or if they actually did benefit the conservation of animals in the wild."
Interestingly, I stopped going to zoos before I became a vegan, with the last zoo I visited being Barcelona Zoo. I had recently seen the movie Blackfish and had become passionate about the captivity of marine animals, but I hadn’t yet extended that concern to the captivity of terrestrial animals as well.
However, as I was wandering around Barcelona Zoo I came across a bear enclosure, inside of which was a bear sat forlornly looking around. I followed the gaze of the bear as they looked at each of the walls of the enclosure and it suddenly hit me, these are wild animals being held captive. They have no agency, no chance of escape and no freedom.
But even if animals aren't happy in zoos, isn't it all justifiable anyway because zoos do so much for conservation? Watch the video below to find out."
As the climate crisis intensifies and extreme weather events become more frequent, our society needs to take real action to address climate breakdown and ecological collapse while advancing social and environmental justice.
Changing our food system is one such critical step, particularly industrial animal agriculture which generates a substantial portion of global GHG emissions and uses over 80% of all farmland while providing only 18% of food calories.
Today, vital ecosystems are being cleared for animal agriculture. This land use change accelerates biodiversity loss which exacerbates food insecurity worldwide and decreases the environment’s natural ability to sequester carbon.
Changing the way we produce and consume food can meaningfully address all these issues. Switching to a plant-based diet will significantly reduce our carbon footprint. Our leaders can assist this transition by divesting from industrial animal farming corporations. Governments currently extend massive financial support to animal farming with global farm subsidies valued at $540 billion each year. These funds further concentrate the factory farming of animals.
With no restrictions on polluting practices and toxic inputs, factory farms are able to maximize profits and expand their operations. These operations are detrimental to the health of the farmed animals and the wellness of workers and communities.
Emissions from factory farms pollute the soil, air, and water. Meat corporations have attempted to hide these harms behind ineffective solutions that distract from the enormous impacts of animal agriculture.
In order to maintain a healthy environment for all life on this planet and feed the growing human population, the future of food must become more sustainable.
We must invest in new forms of agriculture that protect and restore the environment. Many animal farmers are already transitioning to sustainable agriculture. We can accelerate this transition by picking what we put on our plates and telling our elected officials that transitioning to a plant-based food system is necessary for climate resilience.
To learn more about how animal agriculture impacts the environment, visit sentientmedia.org
Jane Goodall Has Fought to Save the Planet for 60 Years. Why Her Next Project Is About Lab-Grown Meat.
Legendary primatologist Jane Goodall will narrate Meat the Future, a forthcoming film about the next agricultural revolution where animals are no longer slaughtered for food.
World-renowned conservationist Jane Goodall recently signed on to narrate Meat the Future, a new film about lab-grown meat. Directed by award-winning filmmaker Liz Marshall—who also created animal-rights film Ghosts in Our Machine—the documentary follows cultured-meat company Upside Foods (formerly Memphis Meats) as it works on its mission of making traditional animal agriculture obsolete. Founded by cardiologist Uma Valeti, Upside Foods uses a small amount of animal cells and grows them in a bioreactor. The result is real, sustainable meat that is indistinguishable from its traditionally raised (and slaughtered) counterpart.
Meat the Future followed Upside Foods over the course of five years, from its first lab-grown meatball that cost $18,000 to produce to a chicken fillet and duck a l’orange it made for half the cost, in an effort to illustrate how the next agricultural revolution is taking shape. “Over five years, our lens was situated at the forefront of a historic and hopeful movement of change,” Marshall said in a statement. “What the future holds for cultivated meat is unclear, but I believe its revolutionary journey into the world will stand the test of time.”
The film premiered at a special presentation at the 2020 Hot Docs Film Festival in Canada and its worldwide sales rights (outside of Canada) are represented by MetFilm Sales. Since its Canadian premiere, Meat the Future has been updated for world distribution to include breaking news, music from Moby (who just signed on as an executive producer) and narration from Goodall.
Russell Brand on Viva!'s Vegan Podcast - November 2021
In this episode, Viva! Charity founder and director, Juliet Gellatley, chats with award-winning comedian, actor and activist, Russell Brand.
Russell is passionate about climate change, animals and veganism. He shares his thoughts on these issues in a lively conversation with Juliet.
The interview was recorded live at Vegan Camp Out 2021.
Viva!’s head of communications, Faye, joins Helen to break down the interview and expand on some of the topics discussed.
Christian Heschl is a multi-award-winning film & TV composer and musician located near Vienna. His diverse repertoire ranges from live-recorded epic full orchestral scores to pure production music or small intimate ensembles.
To date, he has composed music for numerous projects featured on international networks. These include National Geographic, DiscoveryChannel, PBS, AmazonPrime, SonyUK, NBC/SyFy, SWR, ARD, WDR, ARTE, ORF, and many more.
He is best known for scoring the highly acclaimed NBC/SyFy documentary “Todd McFarlane - Like Hell I Won’t”. It tells the captivating story of comic artist legend Todd McFarlane”, the creator of ”Spider-Man”, “Venom” and “Spawn”.
He also scored the PBS/TerraMater Film-epos “The Hippo King” directed by EMMY nominated director/cinematographer Will Steenkamp (BBC Planet Earth II, Hostile Planet, Primates).
"Wildlife-Film I believe is a great platform to meet and reach new amazing filmmakers I can collaborate with from around the globe.
"I'm really looking forward to exploring new people through this great community of wild-life filmmakers!"
Gijs van Amelsvoort – a film & TV composer based in The Netherlands, with a BIG love for nature, Wildlife & Natural History films, interesting stories, traveling, hiking, and good vegan food.
His music has been a score & underscore for numerous TV programmes, varying from BBC docu-series such as Gordon Buchanan's Cheetah Family & Me, Grizzly Bear Cubs & Me, to Earth's Great Rivers and Planet Earth UK, all the way to short films and popular TV shows.
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