Blue-chip natural history series Blue Planet II, from the BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, leads this year’s Wildscreen Panda Award nominees.
The annual awards, which will be handed out during the Wildscreen Festival this October, honor the best in natural history storytelling.
BBC’s Blue Planet II (pictured) leads the pack with seven nods, including in the Impact Award, the Popular Broadcast Award and the Cinematography Award categories. The seven-part ocean epic, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, debuted last October across BBC1 and BBC Earth throughout Europe, and on BBC America this past January.
Keo Films’ Rise of the Warrior Apes, which offers an investigative approach to natural history documentary, follows closely behind with five nominations in the craft categories, while Nutopia’s One Strange Rock earned three nominations.
The 2018 line-up also sees the first ever virtual reality contender in the awards’ 36-year history, with The Protectors, from Here Be Dragons with Annapurna Pictures and African Parks for National Geographic, receiving a nomination for the Innovation Award.
The BBC Natural History Unit is the most-nominated production company with seven nods across 17 categories. Keo Films follows with four nominations.
“We’re at a point in our history where we either choose to protect nature or we all suffer the consequences. Storytelling is a powerful tool for positive change and it was so encouraging to see a particularly strong field in the Impact award category in 2018,” said Wildscreen CEO Lucie Muir in a statement. “It was so strong in fact, that we took the decision to double the number of nominees, creating two sub-categories – small and large budget – recognizing that big impact and change is possible on any budget. These stories share hope and optimism for the future of our natural world and our place within it.”
An international jury made up of more than 40 producers, broadcasters and craft professionals reviewed nearly 800 entries to select this year’s nominees. In total, 37 titles from 12 countries are nominated across the festival’s 20 categories.
The Wildscreen Festival takes place from Oct. 15 to 19 in Bristol, UK. The winners will be announced during a ceremony at The Passenger Shed in Brunel’s Old Station on Oct. 19.
The full list of nominees can be accessed here.