Wildscreen Festival 2020 is thrilled to announce that ground-breaking filmmaker and explorer James Cameron will be appearing at this year’s event in conversation with BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit producer Orla Doherty.
The acclaimed writer/director/producer of blockbuster hits such as Avatar, Titanic and The Abyss, Cameron is currently executive producing two National Geographic series – OceanXplorers and Secrets of the Whales. OceanXplorers, produced by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit with OceanX Media, is a global cross-platform television event that will bring to life the magical worlds of our oceans across six ambitious episodes. Secrets of the Whales is a four-part natural history series for National Geographic from Red Rock Films. Filmed across three years in 24 locations, the series ventures deep into the world of whales to reveal life and love from their perspective.
At the world’s leading international nature film festival’s biannual event in October, Cameron will reveal why he’s so passionate about our oceans and what drives him to explore them. Doherty will also quiz the moviemaking maestro about his love of adventure, science and technology, about the evolution of natural history documentary filmmaking and about the environmental themes that lie behind much of his storytelling.
Cameron has a longstanding relationship with National Geographic. As part of the Deepsea Challenge expedition, and in partnership with National Geographic, he famously made a record-breaking solo dive to the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep in a custom-built submersible that he co-designed.
He’s been a National Geographic ‘Explorer at Large’ for nine years and has also executive produced Akashinga: The Brave Ones, the story of a team of women-only rangers and their fight to protect some of Africa’s key species from poaching in Zimbabwe. The short film, winner of two Jackson Wild awards among others, will receive a special screening at Wildscreen.
James Cameron said: “I feel very much at home in the natural history film-making community, so I’m pleased to be joining everyone at Wildscreen to share some of my personal experiences working in the field. The oceans-related projects I’m producing all share elements I love – new tech used for scientific inquiry wrapped in great storytelling that visually excites and emotionally resonates. I’m proud to work with my longtime partner, National Geographic, as well as BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, to bring viewers incredible and surprising new insights into our oceans and the rich and abundant life we need to protect and preserve.”
BBC Studios Natural History Unit producer Orla Doherty commented: “This is a rare and exciting opportunity to hear from one of the world’s best storytellers and film-making visionaries on his feature films and documentaries about our natural world. I’m eager to hear about what motivates him as a natural history filmmaker and where he sees tech and innovation taking us both as messengers and as residents of a fast-changing planet.”
Sue Martineau, interim CEO Wildscreen added: “We are honoured and delighted to have James Cameron the ‘world’s most successful director’ appearing at Wildscreen Festival 2020. We know that he will appeal to an extremely diverse and varied audience. We can’t thank him enough for taking time out of his very busy schedule to support Wildscreen.”