Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival
September 1, 2008

Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

October 5 to 9, 2009 in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Film submission deadline: June 1, 2009

Festival programmer: Lisa Samford, executive director

What is your programming process?

In June, preliminary peer judging committees review the films submitted into competition. These committees select three programs from each entry category to move forward. Our programming decisions center around those approximately 45 finalist films. Just prior to the festival, a final jury of five judges selects the winning film for each category, as well as the Best of Festival and any films they wish to recognize with a special jury award.

What’s your advice to filmmakers submitting?

Sometimes it’s useful to enter multiple categories so a film will be reviewed by more committees; if a film moves forward as a finalist in more than one category/craft, it gets more attention. As a programmer, I also like to learn about films that are not going to meet our completion deadline or simply don’t fit the categories that I might consider for ‘out of competition’ screenings.

What’s the standout film for you from the most recent festival?

Crude was really compelling – and timely. The film tells the story of oil, from the inside out, in an intriguing and visual way. The Queen of Trees was exquisite both visually and in its poetic storytelling, and I found Buddha, Bees and the Giant Hornet Queen equally amazing.

What are some of the biggest challenges in putting on the festival?

Held in Grand Teton National Park, we are a remote location with a limited number of flights and spotty cell coverage. But that is part of the attraction, too. It is a casual and intimate event where participants have tremendous access to each other. Last year we hosted our first public festival, and balancing the requirements of our private industry event with the broader expectations of a public event is demanding, but it was hugely rewarding and we will expand our efforts in 2009.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.