UK wildlife conservation organization Wildscreen will move the 20th annual Wildscreen Festival online in October due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Running from October 19-23, the reimagined festival will include keynotes, masterclasses, sessions, commissioner meetings, film premieres and screenings with director interviews, and a new program of one-to-one meetings.
More than 300 films will be available between September to December, while all of the industry content will be available at the end of the festival week.
The first keynote is an interview with Sky’s group chief executive Jeremy Darroch, and the week will also include a virtual version of the Wildscreen Panda Awards, on October 22. BBC Studios has also been named as the principal sponsor.
Three-month industry passes will cost £125 (+ VAT where applicable), with concessions offered at £50. Full ticketing options will be announced in July.
“We already had plans for live-streamed content and networking events hosted in global hubs beyond Bristol during the 2020 Wildscreen Festival to reduce the environmental impact of the event and bolster greater access and inclusion across the industry,” said Lucie Muir, CEO of Wildscreen Festival, in a statement. “The pandemic has accelerated and focused us on those ambitions and gives us the opportunity to be bold and reimagine what a future Wildscreen Festival and industry could look like. Though we love Bristol and it’s our home, the pandemic has shown more than ever that we need to nurture and support natural world storytelling talent and audiences around the world and demonstrate leadership in democratising the industry.”
“Never has communicating the threats facing our natural world and the bold solutions required to protect and restore it been so vital,” added Wildscreen’s patron, renowned naturalist Sir David Attenborough. “Wildscreen, with its convening power is uniquely placed to support and challenge those who can tell the stories the world needs to hear and see.”