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WCSFP ’20: “My Octopus Teacher”, “Cosmos: Possible Worlds” pick up inaugural Buzzies

Netflix’s My Octopus Teacher and National Geographic’s Cosmos: Possible Worlds were among the non-fiction projects to have been feted with inaugural Buzzies awards at the 2020 World Congress of Science and Factual Producers (WCSFP). The ...
December 11, 2020

Netflix’s My Octopus Teacher and National Geographic’s Cosmos: Possible Worlds were among the non-fiction projects to have been feted with inaugural Buzzies awards at the 2020 World Congress of Science and Factual Producers (WCSFP).

The 28th annual edition of WCSFP wrapped Thursday – running virtually from Dec. 8-10 – after playing host to a record number of 1,248 content producers, scientists, researchers, science journalists and communicators from more than 50 countries.

The event’s first-ever awards celebrate excellence in science and factual storytelling across 15 different categories. Winners were selected from 77 shortlisted nominees and were announced throughout the three-day virtual event.

Buzzies were presented to the top science, history and natural history projects in short-form, long-form and multi-platform work, as well as for categories concerning innovation and biggest impact.

My Octopus Teacher (pictured) from the Sea Change Project and Off the Fence was the big winner of the night, taking home hardware in the best natural history long format and biggest impact of the year tracts.

The 85-minute documentary charts diver Craig Foster, who also produced the film, as he swims every day over the course of one year with a wild octopus that lives in a kelp forest off the coast of South Africa.

Elsewhere, Nat Geo’s science docuseries Cosmos: Possible Worlds (Possible Worlds in association with Fox) walked away from the night with the best science long format award while presenter Neil deGrasse Tyson received the award for best host/presenter in a science/history or wildlife program.

Individual achievement Buzzies were also awarded in categories of diversity leadership, mentor of the year, lifetime achievement, emerging producer and science communicator of the year.

The 2021 World Congress of Science and Factual Producers will be held in Strasbourg, France, the original location for Congress ’20. Venue and event dates will be announced in the New Year.

Winners of the inaugural Congress ’20 Buzzies are listed below, with credits provided by WCSFP:

BEST MULTI-PLATFORM FACTUAL PROJECT 

The Last Hours of Pompeii
Broadcasters: France Télévisions, Planète +, RTBF, ZDF, CuriosityStream, CCTV9, Ceska TV, RTS, SBS, SVT, NHK, RAI.
Production companies: Gedeon Programmes, Parc archéologique de Pompéi, Curiosity Stream, RTBF Télévision belge, EBU, RMN-GP, UBISOFT, INRAP, HTV vive Arts, Réseau Canopé

BEST HISTORY LONG FORMAT 

Enslaved: The Lost History Of The Transatlantic Slave Trade
Broadcasters: EPIX, CBC
Production company: Associated Producers/Cornelia Street Productions

BEST HISTORY SHORT FORMAT 

Hunt For The U-576
Broadcaster: CuriosityStream
Production company: Curiosity Studios

BEST NATURAL HISTORY LONG FORMAT 

My Octopus Teacher
Broadcaster: Netflix
Production companies: A Netflix Original Documentary, Sea Change and Off the Fence

BIGGEST IMPACT OF THE YEAR 

My Octopus Teacher
Broadcaster: Netflix
Production companies: A Netflix Original Documentary, Sea Change and Off the Fence

BEST SCIENCE LONG FORMAT 

Cosmos: Possible Worlds
Broadcaster: National Geographic
Production companies: Possible Worlds, LLC., in association with Fox for National Geographic

BEST SCIENCE SHORT FORMAT 

Braincraft
Broadcaster: YouTube
Production company: BrainCraft Studios

BEST NATURAL HISTORY SHORT FORMAT

Night At The Aquarium
Broadcaster: CuriosityStream
Production company: Diatom Studios

BEST HOST/PRESENTER IN A SCIENCE/HISTORY OR WILDLIFE PROGRAM 

Cosmos: Possible Worlds
Broadcaster: National Geographic
Host/presenter: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Production company: Possible Worlds, LLC., in association with Fox for National Geographic

MOST INNOVATIVE FACTUAL PROGRAM/PROJECT 

BBC Earth – Micro Kingdoms: Senses
Broadcaster: Magic Leap
Production company: BBC Studios & Preloaded

EMERGING PRODUCER OF THE YEAR 

Alexandria Christos, Red Rock Films International

MENTOR OF THE YEAR 

Melanie Wallace, NOVA, WGBH

BEST SCIENCE COMMUNICATOR

Vanessa Hill, BrainCraft Studios 

DIVERSITY LEADERSHIP AWARD 

Akanksha Sood Singh, The Gaia People

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD 

Alison Leigh, Leigh Brown Productions

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