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Wildscreen Teams up with BBC Studios Natural History Unit for First Ever Festival in Africa
(4 April 2023 – Bristol) Wildscreen has announced the launch of a brand-new event: Wildscreen Festival Nairobi, in partnership with BBC Studios Natural History Unit.
The inaugural two-day event runs 30th June – 1st July 2023 in the Kenyan capital and builds upon the NHU’s collaboration with Wildscreen as headline sponsor of last year’s Festival and Nairobi Hub. The new mini-festival will feature African storytellers and filmmakers sharing their expertise and experience as well as 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 first outside-of-UK festival in Africa signifying the continent’s importance within the industry past, present and future. 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, which includes: Paula Kahumbu, CEO WildlifeDirect; Caroline Cox, Production Executive, BBC Studios Natural History Unit; Janet Han Vissering, SVP Development and Production at Nat Geo Content; Sreya Biswas, Head of Natural History, BBC Commissioning; Nashipae Orumoy, Director Strategic Communications, African Wildlife Foundation; Chloe Sarosh, Executive Producer, Wildstar Films; Jeff Wilson, Director, Silverback Films; and Asif Choudhury, Deputy Permanent Representative UNEP and UNHabitat and the British High Commission, Nairobi; Michael Masheti, Production and Liaison Officer Kenya Film Commission.
Speaking about the launch, Wildscreen CEO Lucie Muir said: “We are breaking new ground for the natural world film making industry, bringing the focus of many documentaries back to the places they originate from. Giving the spotlight to African storytellers is long overdue. Teaming up with BBC Studios Natural History Unit and our other Kenyan-based partners who have a shared interest and passion means we are at the start of developing something very special, that will result in a more supported talent pipeline, a more equitable industry and ultimately more extraordinary stories to be told.”
The new annual event comes hot off the back of Wildscreen’s most successful biannual global festival in October 2022 where 1700 delegates from 40+ countries attended online or in person in Bristol, UK. As a world first, Wildscreen also piloted three global hubs 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 delighted to be partnering with Wildscreen on their first-ever African mini-festival. Supporting in-country filmmaking talent is key to building a more inclusive and sustainable filmmaking industry. This event promises to bring African filmmakers and the wider production community together like never before.”
Paula Kahumbu, CEO of WildlifeDirect said: “Wildscreen Festival Nairobi has the potential to wake a sleeping giant. WildlifeDirect is so proud to be a key partner in realising this dream.”
To register your interest for the event and to keep up-to-date with Wildscreen news and festival developments, please register here.