News archive

Wildscreen Festival Tanzania Filmmaker Case Studies: Jigar Ganatra

In the first in a series of Tanzanian filmmaker case studies, we meet Jigar Ganatra, Co-founder and Chair of AFRISOS.

Tanzania: The next generation of wildlife filmmaking talent

Why Tanzania is one of the world’s richest sources of untapped potential when it comes to wildlife filmmaking.

BBC Studios Natural History Unit Announced As Headline Sponsor for Wildscreen Festival 2024

The broadcaster is lending its support to the world’s biggest wildlife film festival.

Meet Gina – Our Head of Marketing & Communications

1. Tell us a bit about your role!

I’ve just joined the team as Head of Marketing and Communications and the core of my role is helping to grow and scale Wildscreen’s reach and impact here in the UK and internationally. On a practical level that means being responsible for our digital strategy and content, as well as building and nurturing relationships within the wildlife film making industry, as well as the wider community in the environmental and education sectors.

2. What’s your background?

I joined Wildscreen fresh from the RSPCA, where I worked with the team in Bristol to deliver exciting cross-channel campaigns to boost support and fundraising to aid their work with vulnerable animals. I’ve got 18 years’ experience in content production, digital marketing and communications across a variety of sectors including not-for-profit, the arts, B2C (fashion and lifestyle), B2B (finance, engineering and more).

 I’ve always been in interested in the film industry though – actually one of the first work experience placements I did was at Variety magazine many years ago – so I guess I was always meant to return to this industry!

3. What motivates you?

When you work for a not-for-profit, the most rewarding thing is seeing the impact your work has on the people you’re trying to support. I’m inspired by the progress Wildscreen has made in democratising access to natural world storytelling. It has a valuable platform to amplify the voices of people who might not otherwise have the chance to tell their stories. I’m really excited to get to know them all and hear what they have to say. Also, I am very nosey, which I think helps when you work in communications.

4. If you could change one thing about the natural history industry, what would it be?

I’m new to this sector so I’ve still got a lot to learn, but from what I’ve seen so far it appears that women are underrepresented behind the camera, so it would be nice to see more opportunities for female cinematographers and crew.

5. What are your hopes for the future of Wildscreen in your department?

I’d love for Wildscreen to expand its reach internationally and to be able to bring together even more people across continents to share their perspectives. On a personal level, I’d like to feel I will be making a difference in terms of getting the Wildscreen brand out there and helping people to understand our philanthropic goals.

6. Favourite moment working at Wildscreen?

I’ll have been here a few weeks by the time you read this. So far I’ve really enjoyed getting little sneak previews of upcoming films from some of our production partners. I’m the type of person who likes to binge-watch tv series, so having seen short snippets I’m now dying to follow those stories through and find out what happens…but I can’t because they’re all top secret!

7. What’s your favourite story from nature?

I come from Seychelles and one of our most famous nature stories is that of the Coco de Mer. It’s a type of plant that’s only found in our country and there’s a male and female variety, each of which bears a striking resemblance to certain parts of the human anatomy. The female plant bears the feminine-shaped Coco de Mer seed and the male plant, a catkin.

Our local legend is that on stormy nights, the two plants share a passionate embrace to fertilise the female’s seed. If you’re unfortunate enough to happen upon this exchange though, they say you’ll either go blind or die on the spot. So that’s something to look forward to if you ever visit.

8. Describe working for Wildscreen in three words!

Meaningful, empowering, fun.

9. If you could turn into any animal for a day, what would you be and why?

Probably one of my cats. Cats have a nice life, don’t they?

10. What’s a fun fact about you?

I once held and fed an injured wild bat. He was receiving vet treatment and so I was allowed to handle him briefly, before he was eventually returned to the wild. He was a bit suspicious of me but I think he really enjoyed the mealworms I gave him!