It’s just over 4 months until Wildscreen Festival 2014 and my excitement levels are beginning to rise! Tickets are on sale, speed pitching applications have opened, and the list of nominees has been released, filling my TV-watching schedule from now until the festival. There’s a few immediately recognisable titles on the list – David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive, Animal Odd Couples, Dolphin: Spy in the Pod, Chimpanzee to name a few – and many more that I’m sure contain a plethora of magic moments I am yet to discover.
There’s a couple in particular that I’m really excited to see in the list of nominees. The first, nominated for the People & Nature Award, is The Bat Man Of Mexico, one of the current Natural World series that I’m really enjoying. The programme follows Rodrigo Medellin, a conservationist who has dedicated his life to saving bats in his home country, Mexico, where the majority of the population regard bats as dirty, vermin of the skies. He tells fascinating stories about his life in the service of his favourite animals (including having to feed vampire bats from his own blood) and embarks upon a journey tracking the lesser long-nosed bat as it migrates across the country. An important pollinator of the agave plant, join Rodrigo as he works to save not only the animal he loves, but also his favourite drink, tequila. Watch it on iPlayer here, but you better hurry – there’s only 3 days left!
The second nominee that I’m particularly excited about is for the Newcomer Award, and it’s a film called We Are Rhino. The film is by Spencer Austin, who was a student on the Wildlife Filmmaking course that I’m about to start (the film was made for assessment on the course), and it looks at 3 different approaches to rhino conservation in South Africa. Follow a rhino farmer, sanctuary owner and anti-poaching soldier – all with very different views – as they all dedicate their lives to putting into practice what they feel is the solution for saving the rhino from exctinction. It’s a great film, and it’s really exciting for me to think that I might finish my course with the necessary skills to make something so powerful. Watch it below and if, like me, you feel like your excitement bubbling up inside you… Why not buy a ticket to Wildscreen Festival? Early bird tickets are on sale until August.