Documentary

Wildscreen’16: “The Ivory Game” earns top honors

A Netflix Original documentary exposing the illegal ivory trade has been named the 2016 winner of the international wildlife film and TV’s industry highest accolade, the WWF Golden Panda Award. The announcement was made ...
October 13, 2016

A Netflix Original documentary exposing the illegal ivory trade has been named the 2016 winner of the international wildlife film and TV’s industry highest accolade, the WWF Golden Panda Award.

The announcement was made at a ceremony held Oct. 13 at the Wildscreen Festival held in Bristol, England.

Produced by Austria-based Terra Mater Film Studios and Paul Allen’s Vulcan Productions, with Leonardo DiCaprio as executive producer, The Ivory Game beat out 43 other titles from 11 countries to secure the “best of the festival” trophy. The film also won the Panda Award for Best Theatrical Entry.

The festival also honored veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough, whose work, at age 90, earned him three Pandas. David Attenborough’s Light on Earth (produced by Terra Mater and Ammonite Films) won both the Technical Innovation category and NHK Science Award, while Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur (produced by BBC, BBC Worldwide and PBS) was awarded the Jury’s Special Prize for its “epic scale, compelling storytelling and restrained but excellently judged use of CGI.”

Among other winners, Racing Extinction, from Okeanos Foundation for the Sea & Discovery Channel, won the BBC Earth Creative Innovation Award; Rolf Steinmann’s In Between won for best short film; and British TV presenter, author and photographer Chris Packham take home The Christopher Parsons Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Of Packham’s contributions, festival CEO Lucie Muir noted in a statement his ability to share “his personal passion for the natural world via film, television, photography and online networks and, so, ignites the same care and enthusiasm in very many others, especially younger people.”

Calling it “as gripping as a thriller drama in style”, Muir also singled out The Ivory Game (pictured), which will drop on Netflix globally Nov. 4, as an example of wildlife filmmaking innovation.

“A major talking at this year’s Wildscreen Festival has been the growing success of independents, not only at finding fresh ways to tell wildlife stories but also new ways to share them,” said Lucie Muir, festival CEO, in a statement.

In all, more than 20 trophies were handed out at the ceremony, which was hosted by Steve Backshall and Liz Bonnin.

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