The countdown is on for the five day industry film festival and competition devoted to all things wildlife and environment. The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, which runs from September 28 to October 2 in Wyoming will be celebrating its 20th biennial anniversary with a bang, complete with a focus on new media and distribution methods, doc premieres and a lifetime achievement award for conservationist Richard Leakey. Lisa Samford, executive director of the fest, gives realscreen a preview.
How are you marking the 10th anniversary?
We’re doing what we can to gather up as many of the early participants as possible and we’re going to be doing a focus on the transition of natural history filmmaking over the last 20 years. Many of the legends, the people who really forged the way, will be in attendance.
Why are you focusing on new media in your sessions?
Internet streaming is a whole new distribution pathway that filmmakers and consumers are becoming more and more engaged with. It’s pretty stunning how strongly Internet delivery of traditional television broadcast has grown. And certainly that’s going to be reflected in our programming.
What are some highlights?
We’ll be doing forums with the United Nations on Thursday [October 1] and Friday [October 2] on the issues that are concerns of the present day. Nobody’s really talking about whether climate change is real or not, the conversation is now what adaptations need to happen in order for sustainability. The UN has identified four programming subject areas that they presume to be the most important: water, forests, ice sheets and desertification. We’ll be doing a forum in partnerships with those issues. Richard Leakey, [the politician, paleoanthropologist and conservationist], is going to get our lifetime achievement award and is the keynote speaker on October 2. [As well] 3D is something that we’re exploring.