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Wildscreen evolves Panda Awards and introduces Official Selection for 2020

Wildscreen, creators of the world’s largest and most prestigious wildlife film and photo Festival today announces the launch of the newly revamped Panda Awards, the highest honour in the global wildlife and environmental film industry. The 2020 Wildscreen Festival will also feature an Official Selection screening programme and a bold new award to recognise best practice in sustainable production. David Allen, multi award-winning filmmaker, is also announced as Final Jury Chair. 

Wildscreen Panda Awards 

The wildlife industry takes global audiences to the world’s most remote, inhospitable and threatened environments, shining a spotlight on species and habitats that most will not experience. This form of documentary has never been more important or needed, with biodiversity being threatened to the point of no return. The Panda Awards celebrates the human endeavour, commitment and unique skill that it takes to tell nature’s stories. As this industry thrives, the demand for the content our industry creates has never been greater.

In 2020, the Wildscreen Panda Awards will focus on the craft and impact on audiences. The eleven categories in the 2020 Panda Award competition are: Cinematography, Editing, Emerging Talent (film and photo) Music, Photo Story, Producer/Director, Production Team, Scripted Narrative, Series and Sound.

The 2020 competition sees the introduction of two new awards recognising the talent of individuals and teams: the Producer/Director award and the Production Team award recognising the collaborative nature of the genre and the remarkable endeavour of the entire team, from pre to post production.

All films nominated across the eleven categories will be eligible for the Golden Panda Award, selected by the Final Jury.

New for 2020, the Sustainable Panda Award will recognise the production that best uses sustainable practices to reduce the environmental damage across the entirety of a production. Each production entered in to the awards will need to outline the measures taken in their submission.

David Allen, head of Passion Planet, is also announced as Chair of the 2020 Wildscreen Panda Award Final Jury. David is no stranger to the awards having won no less than seven Pandas, including the 2018 Theatrical Panda Award for The Serengeti Rules and the Golden Panda Award, for My Life as a Turkey in 2014 is announced as the Chair of the 2020 Wildscreen Panda Award Final Jury.

David Allen said: “In 1989 I had a short film selected for the ‘Newcomer Panda Award’, I didn’t win, but I have been attending the Wildscreen Festival ever since. Thirty years later, it’s a true honour to be asked to Chair Final Jury for the 2020 Wildscreen Panda Awards. The Pandas are truly regarded as the highest accolade in our genre, and at this particularly important time for both our industry and our planet, I can’t wait to see this year’s entries.”

Wildscreen Festival Official Selection – New for 2020

As we enter a new decade, we are at a time in our history when stories about the natural world have never been more important – we are the first generation to understand humanity’s impact on nature and the last to be able to protect and restore it. Wildscreen believes in the power of visual storytelling to spark positive and restorative action for our natural world, globally. Bold, authentic and varied stories that speak to different audiences with urgency and hope have never been so necessary.

The inaugural Wildscreen Official Selection will be a global launch pad where creative innovation is recognised, new voices are discovered and where there is equality in opportunity from which a truly inclusive natural world storytelling genre evolves.

The Official Selection is open to anyone with a story about nature to share. Entrants will be able to submit long or short form content, including emerging technologies or platforms. A team of programmers will curate a screening programme featuring original and creative stories about the natural world. The natural world is beautifully diverse and this strength will be reflected through the voices heard, tools used and stories shared within the Wildscreen Official Selection. The programme will consist of premieres, global voices and brave innovations.

The 2020 edition of the industry Festival takes place 19-23 October 2020 in Bristol, UK. The Official Selection screening programme will take place between 17-25 October and be open to both industry and public audiences.