Wildscreen reveals new board and Festival’s 20th anniversary dates

Charity takes over Natural History Network

Wildscreen today announces the appointment of its new board of trustees and sets the date for the 20th anniversary of the Wildscreen Festival, celebrating the best and boldest in natural history storytelling.

Wildscreen, the not-for-profit organisation dedicated to bringing conservation to the creative industries, will have a new-look board led by Chair Laura Marshall, CEO of Icon Films which includes Board Members:  

Julian Hector - Head of BBC Natural History Unit
Keith Scholey - Director, Silverback Films
Jessica Sweidan - Founder, Synchronicity Earth
Lynn Barlow - Assistant Vice-Chancellor Creative and Cultural Industries Engagement, University of the West of England; Journalist and broadcaster
Andrew Doe – Digital Entrepreneur
Nicholas Rogers – Accountant and Charity Trustee
Con Alexander - Partner, Veale Wasbrough Vizards LLP

The 2020 edition of Wildscreen Festival will take place from 19-23 October 2020 in Bristol, UK. The 2018 edition saw nearly 1,000 industry delegates from 38 countries gather in Bristol to experience over 100 events, with speakers including Hans Zimmer and Executives and creatives from National Geographic, Animal Planet and the BBC.

The 20th anniversary Wildscreen Festival is being developed to nurture and support the thriving natural history content industry built on real impact for nature. It will focus on bringing together funders and makers to enable the creation of content for change, growing audiences and transforming the natural world genre into an inclusive global community of authentic and emerging voices.

With accessibility and inclusivity at its core, the festival aims to provide opportunities for bursaries, pitching and funding. Taking place ahead of two major global events – COP26, the UN climate change summit taking place in Glasgow and the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) in China – the 2020 Festival will be at the heart of the global conversation tackling our current climate and biodiversity crises.

Wildscreen today also announces that it has acquired the Natural History Network (NHN). The company has been gifted to Wildscreen by its founders, Lizzie Green and Vicky Halliwell, who have built the NHN into a well-respected industry membership organisation.

Natural History Network was launched in 2011 to support the global wildlife TV business through news, events, networking and talent recruitment.  It has become a respected cornerstone of the Bristol wildlife production ecosystem and has a growing international membership, with over 300 individual members and 25 company members.

Laura Marshall, Chair of Wildscreen, said: We are excited not only to reveal a new board of trustees comprising some of the industry's most influential and experienced creatives, but also the incredibly generous donation of the Natural History Network to the Wildscreen charity. The Network is a natural fit for Wildscreen and its vision of an ongoing, global convening of the wildlife content industry and conservationists.

“We look forward to welcoming the wildlife content world to Bristol in October 2020 at a time when our planet needs bold and impactful stories to change the behaviour of the global community. Wildscreen enables and drives the industry to tell those stories with cohesion, inclusion and bravery”.

Wildscreen patron, Sir David Attenborough, said Never has communicating the threats facing our natural world and the bold solutions required to protect and restore it been so vital. Wildscreen, with its convening power is uniquely placed to support and challenge those who can tell the stories the world needs to hear and see. Wildscreen, the Festival and its global community of storytellers have my full support.” 

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