When you think IDFA, you think Amsterdam. When you think Sundance, you think Utah. When you think Wildscreen, you think… India? After a quarter century in Bristol, the film festival will hold touring workshops and screenings in India starting next January to avoid being, as Wildscreen CEO Harriet Nimmo says, ‘an event in Bristol that the privileged few can come to.’ Nimmo has been working with the British Council and the British High Commission on the India event, and plans for it to happen every two years, just like the original.
Wildscreen also hopes to expand into China and Brazil. ‘They’re key populations because those countries are developing fast and they’ve still got biodiversity, yet it’s under threat from very rapid population development,’ says Nimmo. ‘In the Western world, and the US and UK especially, we take access to these wildlife films for granted. We’ve all grown up with them, and yet you go to those countries and realize most of the people have never seen a tiger film.’
But even those who can’t make it to a Wildscreen event can benefit from ARKive, a mammoth online gathering of biological records of each species that uses film, photos and audio recordings. ‘We have 2,000 species now, 16,000 still images, and 60 hours of moving images,’ says Nimmo. ‘We’re getting 20,000 individual visitors a day online.’ With momentum building, Nimmo wants to build closer relationships with us media donors and conservation networks, so ARKive plans to open a us office in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History at the end of the year.