The Wildscreen Festival, the Bristol, UK-based event that celebrates wildlife and environmental film and TV, is expanding to China.
The first Wildscreen China event took place Oct. 28-30 in Beijing, featuring public screenings of over 15 Wildscreen Panda Award-winning and nominated productions. Wildscreen’s Panda Awards, which are given out biennially to honor outstanding achievement in the craft of natural world filmmaking and storytelling, have come to be known as the “Green Oscars.”
Films screened at Wildscreen China include Oxford Scientific Films’ Animal Odd Couples, Hebrides: Islands on the Edge, produced by Maramedia with Otter Films, and Icon Films’ River Monsters – Demon Fish.
An “Interactive Nature Zone” designed to engage audiences with the natural world using all five senses helped to support the screening program in Beijing. It included: talks and photography exhibitions featuring Chinese wildlife filmmakers and photographers such as Dong Lei, Huang Yifeng and Wu Lixin; short films provided by conservation organizations such as WildAid, WWF, IFAW and Conservation International; VR experiences; projections; nature listening stations; and educational and craft activities for children.
According to Lucie Muir, CEO of Wildscreen (pictured), the charity behind the Wildscreen Festival, Wildscreen China affords the organization the opportunity to help increase the visibility of natural history films and TV programming in the country, and engage vast audiences who can make a real difference in some of the world’s most important conservation areas.
“This year the festival in China is very much targeted at a public audience and giving them the opportunity to see some of the amazing natural history content Wildscreen’s community has created over the past few years,” Muir told realscreen. “Looking to the future, our ambition is to not only deliver public screenings but to also nurture natural world storytelling within China through a series of industry-led events.”
Wildscreen China was delivered in partnership with Earthland and one of China’s pioneering wildlife photographers and founder of Wild China Film, Xi Zhinong. It was also supported by the British Embassy, WildAid and WWF China.