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First speakers announced for Wildscreen Festival Tanzania

Award-winning Tanzanian Filmmaker, Erica Rugabandana, unveiled as headline speaker; short doc “Chameleon Corridors” set for world premiere.

Wildscreen Teams up with BBC Studios Natural History Unit and AFRISOS for First Ever Festival in Tanzania 

Wildscreen has announced the launch of a brand-new event: Wildscreen Festival Tanzania, in partnership with BBC Studios Natural History Unit. 

The two-day event runs 6th – 7th June 2024 in the vibrant East African city of Arusha, and builds upon the NHU’s collaboration with Wildscreen as Headline Sponsor of last year’s Wildscreen Nairobi Festival. The Festival is being produced in partnership with Tanzania based non-profit AFRISOS, with whom Wildscreen has supported through a number of outreach and mentoring schemes in recent years. 

The new mini-festival will feature African storytellers and filmmakers sharing their expertise and experience alongside key global industry players. Content will span headline talks, panels, workshops, commissioning sessions and networking and is open to all aspiring and established African film industry professionals as well as the global natural history film industry.  

The event marks Wildscreen’s second outside-of-UK festival in Africa signifying the continent’s importance within the industry past, present and future. Wildscreen Festival Nairobi, which took place in June 2023, included two full days of inspiring sessions, networking events and screenings. It featured 35 speakers, each sharing their expertise and experience as African storytellers with over 200 industry professionals at the sold-out event. 

Whilst a vast amount of natural history content is generated featuring Africa’s wildlife and landscapes, the opposite is true of African filmmaking talent which is largely under-represented in the industry.  

The event will be programmed with the support of a Festival Advisory Board, chaired by Faith Musembi, Producer/Director (BBC Studios NHU). 

Speaking about the launch, Wildscreen CEO Lucie Muir said: “There were so many tangible impacts off the back of the inaugural event in Nairobi last year, whether it be connections, jobs, film funding or simply demystifying how the wildlife factual genre works. 

We want to build on that energy and momentum, to support a more equitable international wildlife storytelling community. We’re excited to grow the event this year, opening up access and opportunity further by convening the African and international filmmaking community together in Tanzania.”   

The new event will precede Wildscreen’s successful biannual global festival, which will be held in Bristol from 14-18 October 2024. Its 2022 event saw 1,700 delegates from 40+ countries attended online or in person in Bristol, UK. As a world first, Wildscreen also piloted three global hubs last year in Nairobi, Cape Town and Bangalore, with the East African hub scaling unexpected heights of success.  

Jonny Keeling, Head of BBC Studios Natural History Unit, said: “We are thrilled to be headline sponsors for Wildscreen Tanzania. Following the success of Nairobi last year, we are excited to partner with Wildscreen again – to celebrate and recognise the role of African storytellers in the world of wildlife filmmaking. 

Supporting in-country talent is key to building a more inclusive and sustainable industry. This event promises to bring together programme makers from across the African continent to share new ideas and new opportunities.” 

Jigar Ganatra, Chairman of AFRISOS commented: “Over the last few years, there has been an upswell of authentic storytellers from the continent who have shown immense talent in the wildlife filmmaking industry. The energy for raising our voices for the world to hear and see our perspectives as Africans has led to a refreshed wave of natural world storytelling.

As a local community of filmmakers and photographers, we are electrified by the fact that our work is being acclaimed internationally, and now, for the first time, the big players are coming to our doorstep to celebrate our achievements and pave a path for future collaborations.

It’s about time a bridge is built between African wildlife filmmakers and the international industry –  Wildscreen Tanzania promises to be that bridge, and AFRISOS is thrilled to be a major partner in this movement.” 

To register your interest for the event and to keep up-to-date with Wildscreen news and festival developments, please register here.