Virtual Edition
19 - 23 Oct, 2020

Panda Awards Jury

We would like to extend a HUGE thank you to our amazing nomination jury.

The jury deliberated over the hundreds of submissions, carefully and considerately selecting each nominee based on the criteria of each category. The submissions were incredibly strong and they had to make some very difficult decisions!

Special thanks to: Jeff Wilson (Jury Chair), Segun Akinola, Vanessa Berlowitz, Hannah Boot, Natalie Cash, Nainita Desai, Martin Dohrn, Martin Elsbury, Robbie Garlands, Susan Gibson, Hannah Gregory, Jonny Gunton, Hannah Hoare, Makoto Kita, Wolfgang Knoepfler, Petra Löttker, Patrick Makin, Harry Marshall, Ben Masters, Robert Morgenstern, John Murray, Will Norrie, Teresa Nunn, Candice Odgers, Gautam Pandey, Jo Shinner, Lynn Sinclaire, Alex Stoloff


Panda Awards Final Jury

The Panda Awards Final Jury was comprised of 5 outstanding members of the global wildlife community who shared their passions, skills and experience to deliberate the best of the natural history industry and determine our outstanding award-winners. We are exceedingly grateful for their time and dedication, meeting at unusual hours and engaging in passionate discussion to select the Panda Awards for Wildscreen Festival 2020.

Hiromichi Iwasaki

Executive Producer, Natural History Unit, NHK Enterprises, INC., Japan

Hiromichi Iwasaki has been natural history programming for over 30 years in NHK. He has succeeded in capturing the first-ever images of the giant squid in its natural habitat. “Legends of the Deep: Giant Squid” has aired with 25 countries and won Panda Prize in Wild Screen 2014.

His NHK credits include award-winning Vampire from the Abyss ‘, Live from the Galapagos’, : Series Producer of ‘Global Family series’ and the ‘Planet Earth’ with BBC/Discovery Channel. He has also worked as the Head of the Natural History Unit. Iwasaki has been involved in another landmark series, such as Wild JAPAN with Animal Planet, JAPAN: Earth’s Enchanted Islands with the BBC.
He is actively making use of the latest technology to reveal the mysteries of the deep sea and produced DEEP OCEAN series by 4K with ZDF/National Geographic WILD/Curiosity Stream and currently DEEP OCEAN 2 by 8K.


Ruth Johnston

General Manager, Vulcan Productions, USA

Ruth Johnston is the General Manager of Vulcan Productions. She leads Vulcan Productions’ award-winning creative media projects across multiple genres and platforms, producing content and campaigns that entertain, inspire, change the way people understand and activate on the world’s toughest challenges. Vulcan Productions is sunsetting in early 2021, until that time the team will continue to tell great stories and empower audiences to take action on important issues.

Ruth’s recent work includes Black Woodstock, Master of Light, Hungerward, The Reason I Jump, The Cold Blue, and Ghost Fleet. She manages Vulcan's content for emerging technologies including augmented and virtual reality, including X-Ray Fashion which premiered at the Venice Film Festival, Ghost Fleet VR which premiered at Sundance, and Drop in the Ocean which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Before becoming General Manager, Ruth served as Director of Production Management and Business Operations. Prior to joining Vulcan, Ruth was COO of Lion TV in New York, supervising the production of documentary, investigative, entertainment and historical programming for the majority of cable and broadcast networks including PBS, Discovery, National Geographic, MTV and A&E.

Shekar Dattatri

Director/Cameraman/Producer/Writer, India

Naturalist, producer, director, cameraman, and writer, Shekar Dattatri is one of the pioneers of wildlife and conservation filmmaking in India, having started his filmmaking journey in 1983 with an old Bolex camera. Although passionate about making meticulously crafted natural history films – which he pursued for over a decade – the plight of India’s wildlife and wild places moved him to give up this first love and devote his energies to making hard-hitting conservation and advocacy films, some of which have resulted in tangible changes on the ground.

During his time contributing to international television programming, Shekar was privileged to work with a variety of broadcasters and production houses, both as a producer/director and as a freelance cameraman. These included National Geographic Television, The Discovery Channel, BBC NHU, and Natural History New Zealand. In 1998, the trade magazine, Television Business International, rated him as one of its top ten rising stars of wildlife filmmaking in the world. Several of his films have won awards at national and international film festivals including the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, USA, International Wildlife Film Festival, USA, Earthvision, Japan, the Sondrio Film Festival on Parks and Protected Areas, Italy, and Vatavaran, India.

Since 2000, he has pursued conservation and advocacy filmmaking almost exclusively, frequently working with extremely low budgets. His first such film, ‘Mindless Mining – the tragedy of Kudremukh’, made for less than $500, played a pivotal role in turning the tide of political and public opinion and helped end highly destructive open cast mining within a rainforest in India’s Western Ghats, one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. In 2008, he received a Rolex Award for Enterprise for his conservation Filmmaking.

Shekar has officiated on the final juries of national and international wildlife photography and film festivals, including the Japan Wildlife Film Festival in 2007, an earlier stint on the Wildscreen jury in 2008, the Sondrio Festival on Parks and Protected Areas in the same year, and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, 2020.

He is the author of three books on nature for children, and the co-founder of, India’s most authoritative conservation portal.

Jeff Wilson (Nomination Jury Chair)

Series Producer / Director, Silverback Films, UK

Jeff Wilson is a Series Producer / Director based in Bristol, UK currently working for Silverback Films . Jeff was was raised in East Africa as the son of two conservationists and from a very early age developed a passion and in-depth understanding for the wildlife of our planet . After training as a biologist , Jeff joined the BBC Natural History Unit in 2001 , where he went on to work on series such as "Life of Mammals" , "Planet Earth" and "Frozen Planet" .

After leaving the BBC , Jeff has directed feature films for Disneynature as well as the recent hit series "Our Planet" for Netflix and is currently directing and series producing a new multi-part blue chip series for the BBC through Silverback Films . Jeff has worked and lived in over 65 countries on all 7 continents , in some of the most remote and challenging locations on earth – from the Hindu Kush mountains of Pakistan, to the jungles of Papua New Guinea, to the most remote corners of the Arctic , and has worked at the forefront of technological developments within the wildlife filming industry for over 15 years .

David Allen (Final Jury Chair)

Producer, Passion Planet, UK

Passion Planet, established in 2011, has swiftly secured a stellar reputation for innovative and inspiring science and natural history documentaries. After a prolific twenty-year career as a leading Producer in his field, multi Emmy-award winning DAVID ALLEN now heads up a large team of leading creatives, producers and experts across Planet’s specialist output.

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