The IWFF Children’s Matinee Program Returns in 2015

The 2015 IWFF Children’s Matinee Program is continuing with the momentum from last year’s hugely successful program. UM Spectrum will join us again in 2015 with even more pre-show performances. We are also working on screening programs geared directly towards middle and high school students, with guest speakers and question and answer sessions. Over 2,000 students came to IWFF in 2014. Most of the students and teachers said that it was the best program in years, and they can not wait to see what is in store for 2015. We hope you will join us and find out.
 With hundreds of award winning entries from around the world, you can always expect an excellent program during the school matinees. Many films are suitable for multiple age groups, but films in the morning (9:30-11:30am) target grades K-5 and afternoon (12:30-2:30pm) films are best for grades 6-12. You can count on engaging, fun, and age appropriate films. Student tickets will continue to be only $3.00!
We will contact schools in January with details. Registration will begin January 5th, and has an online option this year. Full details will be sent along with the official registration letter. Please share this info with your school-to teachers, principals, parents and students.
Experience the magic of wildlife films through one of Missoula’s oldest traditions
Don’t miss the 38th IWFF April 18-25, 2015 

2015 Open Call

A herd of zebra stampedes along the Boteti River.

IWFF is now accepting submissions for the 2015 festival, happening in Missoula, Montana April 18-25 at the historic Roxy Theater.

Now in its 38th year, the week-long event will feature new and exciting films, special guests, workshops, seminars, field trips, technology sessions, product demos, parties and dynamic networking events. With 6000 annual attendants, IWFF engages Missoula’s progressive community with dozens of screenings and the annual WildWalk Parade and Wild Fest family event.

A filmmakers’ festival, IWFF focuses on films and filmmakers, and celebrates emerging filmmakers and the future of wildlife & environmental media. Our expanded programming welcomes all films about the natural world, from environmental and conservation films, to issue driven explorations of earth and its inhabitants.

With twelve categories to choose from (listed below), online submission is available via Withoutabox and Submittable.

  • Regular Deadline: January 9
  • Late Deadline: January 23

Submit online via Withoutabox or Submittable.  Links, rules and guidelines below.

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Entry Categories

Theatrical Feature
Films over 51 minutes produced for the purpose of being exhibited in a theatrical setting.

Broadcast Feature
A television program produced specifically for broadcast on commercial or public television or Internet. Program can be one-off production or part of an ongoing television series. 

Broadcast Series
Up to two episodes which represent a Limited Television Series. These programs constitute a single entry. Please submit no more than two hours total running time.

Independent 
Programs made by an independent producer or production house – not by or on contract to any major broadcaster.

Short Film 
Films designed for exhibition in a theatrical setting, Television or Internet broadcast, that run less than 50 minutes in length.

Newcomer
Programs produced by a person or team newly established as a producer in the professional film or television field and no longer considered amateur. This category will accept films made with support from a major broadcaster.

Student
Programs produced by a student while attending an accredited university. A copy of the filmmaker’s student ID and at least one faculty reference must be provided. Films in this category should operate with the festival mission an/or primary categories.

Environmental
Environmental relates to people & cultures, the habitat or the environment where humans co-exist with wildlife; it’s also about where we live, work and interface with wildlife and the broader environment.

Conservation
Conservation relates to any program that features or emphasizes wildlife conservation. What are we doing, what is happening, how is the future of a species or group of species being impacted or being saved? The program entered must have a clear and well-defined wildlife conservation message.

Human-Wildlife Interactions
Programs that emphasizes social, cultural, economic or spiritual aspects of people and their relationship with wildlife.

Children & Young Adults
Programs produced specifically for broadcast to a youth audience. Information and presentation should be based on a young person’s comprehension level. This category accepts programs designed to inform about non-domesticated species, but may use tame or captive animals.

Government Agency 
Programs produced by any government agency to educate or inform the public or a special audience on a particular wildlife issue, topic or species.

Entry fees vary by category and deadline.  Please visit withoutabox.com or submittable.com for more information and a complete list of rules and guidelines.

What’s Happening in the Wild – Closing the festival with the winning films

Congratulations to our Winning Films!

After viewing, deliberating and debating, the IWFFl’s competition jury has reached consensus on our awards categories. The winners are:

Best of Festival Short - PRIDE
Best of Festival Feature – KILLER WHALES: BENEATH THE SURFACE
Best Cinematography: SHORT – CATALINA ISLAND
Best Cinematography: FEATURE _ ON A RIVER IN IRELAND
Best Editing - TOUCHING THE WILD
Conservation - DamNation
Judges’ Merit Award for Best Science Content - FLIGHT OF THE BUTTERFLIES

Award screenings of select winners will show at 7 and 7:15 pm today at the Roxy Theater. The lineup is:
7:00 pm: AWARDS SCREENINGPride, Catalina Island and Touching the Wild
7:15 pm: AWARDS SCREENING: Killer Whales: Beneath the Surface and On a River in Ireland

Special Event!

Bat Honey presents  Squidbelly 

11:00 am, Special Admission $5 or FREE with a Festival Pass

IWFF is please to welcome a magical, musical puppet show by the immensely talented Bat Honey. Follow the young boy Gumeris as he encounters a magic book, a misunderstood squid, an Ambassador Gorilla, and many more in his quest to uncover the mystery of the missing fish in this puppet musical extravaganza! “Squidbelly” features an original script, original songs and fifteen handmade puppets!

Bat Honey is comprised of Britt Juchem and Ariel Gregory, a Missoula-based artist duo. Their art is uniquely comedy-driven and possesses a surreal approach to storytelling which reflects their unique perspective.  They have toured nationally with shows in Portland, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Boston.  They also tour the rural communities of Montana performing in libraries and small schools.

Sponsored by the Montana Arts Council

Showing Today

11:00 am: SPECIAL FEATURE: Squidbelly
11:15 am: 
Catalina Island and Meet the Coywolf
12:15 pmTiger Experiment and Orangutans: The Great Escape
1:15 pm: Sticky and Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
2:00 pm: Cheetah Race to Rule and Islands, Philippines: Islands of Mystery
3:15 pm: We are the Land and Elemental
4:30 pm: White Diamond
5:30 pm: Land of the Tiger, Tide, and Arabian Goddess
7:00 pm: AWARDS SCREENINGPride, Catalina Island and Touching the Wild
7:15 pm: AWARDS SCREENING: Killer Whales: Beneath the Surface and On a River in Ireland

Events

Wrap Party (Location TBA). 8:00 pm


Check out a PDF of our Program Booklet

 


 

About the Films

Catalina Island

image-223532-fullJust 22 miles off the coast of Los Angeles lies Santa Catalina Island. Home to over 25 endemic plant and animal species, Catalina is the last bastion of true wildland in Southern California. Catalina Island’ explores the unique ecology and conservation strategies taking place on the island as told through the eyes of the island’s most iconic species: the American Bison, the Catalina Island Grey Fox, and the Bald Eagle.

Meet the Coywolf

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Susan Fleming, Canada, 52 min.

A mixture of western coyote and eastern wolf, the coywolf is a remarkable new hybrid carnivore that is taking over territories once roamed by wolves and slipping unnoticed into our cities. Its appearance is very recent – within the last 90 years – a blip in time in evolutionary terms. Beginning in Canada but by no means ending there, the story of how it came to be is an extraordinary tale of how quickly adaptation and evolution can occur, especially when humans interfere. Tag along as scientists study this new top predator, tracking it from the wilderness of Ontario’s Algonquin Park through parking lots and backyards in Toronto all the way to the streets of New York City.

Tiger Experiment

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Axel Gomille, Germany, 28 min.

Tigers are under threat. Poaching and the destruction of their habitat are the main reasons why their wild populations have decreased by a frightening 96 percent – to around 4000 individuals. About half of them live in India. The decision about their future has to be made there. When a wild tigress left behind two orphaned cubs, instead of taking them to the zoo, they were raised by the forest department and reintroduced to the wild. It is the first such effort in the world that could perhaps set a precedence for the future. But will these tigers behave like their wild counterparts, could they even become man-eaters? If this experiment proofs to be successful, it would open up completely new avenues for conservation.

Orangutans: The Great Ape Escape

An Orangutan at BOS

2013, UK, 55 min.

Leonora is no ordinary orangutan, she is a pioneer. With her three year old son in her arms, she is about to set off on an epic journey back to the wild – the great ape escape. It is a long way from what she is used to. After being orphaned as a baby, she has spent the majority of her life in a rescue centre. She is leaving behind 600 other orangutans, all of whom are relying on her for their chance at freedom. If Leonora can make it, they could too.

Sticky

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Jilli Rose, Australia, 19 min.

Exiled from the tropical paradise where they evolved, a handful of remarkable stick insects, the last of their kind, clung to life on a single, windswept bush on a remote sea stack for 80 years. Now they’re back from the brink of extinction, but when can they go home?

Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

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Angela Sun, 2013, USA, 57 min.

Angela Sun’s journey of discovery to one of the most remote places on Earth, Midway Atoll, to uncover the truth behind the mystery of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Along the way she encounters scientists, industry, legislators and activists who shed light on what our society’s vast consumption of disposable plastic is doing to our oceans, and what it may be doing to our health.

Cheetah: Race to Rule

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South Africa   46 min.

Gunner is a young cheetah born into a cheetah coalition. From the moment he opens his eyes the odds are stacked against him. He is the runt of the litter. And from now on, Gunner will have to fight hard for every scrap of food and attention. But when both his siblings are tragically killed Gunner becomes the sole survivor and carries a new burden. His coalition is destroyed. Life becomes harder by the day and without support from his brothers, defending his territory grows more difficult. Against all odds Gunner rescues his legacy and earns his territory. Gunner’s no longer a runt, he’s a ruler!

Wildest Islands, Philippines: Islands of Mystery

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Allison Bean, UK, 5 min.

The Philippines, over 7,000 islands, forming one of the most ancient archipelagos in the world where both the wildlife and the people have had to adapt to survive. Much of the country is mountainous and suffers earthquakes and eruptions from around 20 active volcanoes. Typhoons and strong storms assault the coast, shaping human civilisations. Enveloped within an otherworldly landscape of sea, jungle and insurmountable cliffs – the Philippines harbours one of the highest bio-diversities of wildlife on the planet. A vast number of species are endemic to the Philippines including the Philippine Tarsier, Carnivorous Plant species and the Palawan Bearcat. On these isolated islands, it is not only the wildlife that has had to adapt to survive, so too have the Filipino people…

We Are The Land

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Andrew Heskett, Lauren Lindberg, Ryan Westra, 2013, USA, 13 min.

Amidst national controversy surrounding the potential dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking,’ environmental activist Pauline Matt stands alone to protect her native homeland – the Blackfeet Reservation of northern Montana.

Elemental

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Gayatri Roshan, 2012, Canada/India/Australia,  92 min.

Elemental tells the story of three individuals united by their deep connection with nature and driven to confront some of the most pressing ecological challenges of our time. The film follows Rajendra Singh, an Indian government official gone rogue, on a 40-day pilgrimage down India’s once pristine Ganges river, now polluted and dying. Across the globe in northern Canada, Eriel Deranger mounts her own “David and Goliath” struggle against the world’s largest industrial development, the Tar Sands, an oil deposit larger than the state of Florida. A young mother and native Denè, Deranger struggles with family challenges while campaigning tirelessly against the Tar Sands and its proposed 2,000-mile Keystone XL Pipeline, which are destroying Indigenous communities and threatening an entire continent. And in Australia, inventor and entrepreneur Jay Harman searches for investors willing to risk millions on his conviction that nature’s own systems hold the key to our world’s ecological problems.

The White Diamond

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Werner Herzog, 2005, Germany/Guyana, 90 min.

Acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog follows enigmatic airship engineer Dr. Graham Dorrington as he embarks on a trip in the heart of Guyana to test his new helium-filled invention above the rainforest. Dubbed the “white diamond” on account of its unique teardrop shape, the expedition begins with some early mishaps but is soon airborne high above the treetops. With every success though, Dorrington is haunted by a similar expedition twelve years ago that killed his friend as they were testing an airship much like the “white diamond.” Herzog magnificently captures Dorrington’s struggles to atone for what he calls “a stupid, meaningless accident” while at the same time presenting stunning never-before-seen images of the true beauty of nature.

Land of the Tiger, Tide, and Arabian Goddess

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Moushumi Basu, 2013, India, 58 min.

The world’s largest mangrove delta — the Sunderbans, bordering Bay of Bengal in South Asia is well-known for its Royal Bengal Tigers and its unique Eco system. But little is known of the indigenous forest communities, surviving at the edge of this tiger territory for generations. They are compelled to enter into these menacing forests day after day, out of hunger– in search of fish and crabs or honey. Life to them, is striking a constant balance with death while braving the tigers and tides in these watery jungles. The film explores the livelihood challenges of the natives, their culture and ethos reflected through their ultimate kinship they share with the forests and its terrifying protagonist- the man eating tiger.

Pride

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Roshan Patel, USA/India, 14 min.

Pride explores the cultural relationship between residents of Gujarat, India and the last remaining population of Asiatic Lions in the world. With fewer than 50 lions living in the wild at the turn of the 20th century, rural communities started working with the government to create a haven for this top predator and are successfully securing this animal’s place in the ecosystem.

Touching the Wild

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David Allen, USA     55 min.

Joe Hutto’s idea of research is anything but normal, dedicating seven years of his life to becoming a wild mule deer. Incredibly, these keenly intelligent animals come to regard this stranger as one of their own. Accepted by the matriarch, he walks among them and can lie with a pregnant doe talking to its unborn fawns. As he crosses the species divide Joe is tapping into a new understanding about these elusive animals. The captivating joy he feels for his new family is nothing short of infectious, but this human predator also learns to see the world from the point of view of prey – sharing their world so personally finally takes a toll that sends him back to his own kind. Produced by Nature/WNET.

Killer Whales: Beneath the Surface

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UK, 2013, 55 min.

 The killer whale was long feared as a sea monster until, in May 1964, one was brought into captivity for the first time. This spawned a journey of discovery into the killer whale’s true nature. It quickly became clear, these were not mindless killers – they were, in fact, highly intelligent social creatures. Today, our understanding is deepening still further and the latest revelations are among the most sensational – not only will these top predators ‘adopt’ and care for injured and abandoned orphans, but it seems there’s no longer just the ‘killer whale’.

On A River In Ireland

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John Murray, Ireland, 58 min.

On a River in Ireland follows Colin Stafford Johnson on a journey along the River Shannon – Ireland’s greatest geographical landmark and the longest river in Ireland and Britain.For 340km, the river carves its way through the heart of the country, almost splitting the country in two. On its journey, the Shannon passes through a huge palette of rural landscapes, where on little known backwaters wild animals and plants still thrive as almost nowhere else in Ireland. The film follows the river from dawn to dusk over four seasons capturing it’s ever changing moors and exploring the countless waterways, islands and lakes that make up the entire river system.

 

 

What’s Happening in the Wild – Friday, April 18

Special Event!

IWFF Awards with Whizpops! & IMAX® Showcase

6 pm, Special Admission $5 Kids are FREE

The IWFF Awards just got a whole lot more fun! The evening begins with a CD release party for the new record by Missoula’s own Whizpops! – the fun and lively band that the Missoulian calls “kids’ music done right.” Following the show we’ll announce the Best Of Fest and Merit Award winners.  After the awards stick around for two extraordinary IMAX productions Journey To the South Pacific and Island Of Lemurs: Madagascar.

Sponsored by Animal Planet

Showing Today


3:00 pm: Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero
4:00 pm: Spirit Creatures: Niassa’s Invisible Realm and Jaguars are Born Free
6:00 pm: SPECIAL FEATURE: IWFF awards with the Whizpops! at the Wilma Theater
7:00 pm: Island of Lemurs: Madagascar and Journey to the South Pacific at the Wilma Theater

Events

Anatomy of a Story – an informative session hosted by NATURE’S Janet Hess. 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Life on Terra (with sponsored pizza lunch) A look at the successful Life On Terra podcast hosted by filmmaker and MSU faculty member Gianna Savoie. Sponsored by MSU. 1:00 -2:30pm (Pizza at Noon)
New Technologies/New Behaviors – How are high tech drone cameras and micro field units revealing behaviors we never knew? How can science utilize this knowledge for better conservation? Featuring Elizabeth White, Producer/Director at the BBC Natural History Unit and Beau Larkin from MPG Ranch. 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Award ceremony and iMax Showcase at the Wilma Theater - 7:00 pm

Check out a PDF of our Program Booklet


 

About the Films

Bill Bailey’s Jungle Hero

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UK 120 min.

Comedian Bill Bailey tells – and joyfully re-enacts – the story of Alfred Russel Wallace, the “geeky Victorian collector” whom Bailey paints as the greatest naturalist of his era. Wallace’s role in working out how species evolved has been overshadowed by Darwin: each independently came up with the theory of evolution, but Wallace’s tireless efforts, collecting tens of thousands of specimens in the islands of what is now Indonesia, have been sidelined. Bailey wants him back in the pantheon, so he retraces Wallace’s steps and has fun catching frogs, meeting monkeys and eating toasted dragonflies. You can tell he’s in his element, crashing through jungles, wading in rivers, pinning butterflies to boards  – with a payload of fascinating history on a neglected hero.

Spirit Creatures- Niassa’s Invisible Realm

Spirit Creatures 1 Colleen Begg 2014

Keith Begg South Africa   48 min.

Northern Mozambique’s Cyao people both revere and struggle against wildlife on a daily basis. To help them cope they regularly call on their ancestral spirits, some of whom are embodied in animals. This invisible realm called ‘Majini’ greatly influences how people think and act. It seems to be connected to just about everything from man-eating lions and the bushmeat trade to the elephant poaching crisis sweeping across Africa today. ‘Spirit Creatures’ documents Keith and Colleen Begg’s journey to gain a deeper understanding of people’s spiritual relationships with wildlife inside Mozambique’s Niassa National Reserve. They are lead to an important sacred site called Chemambo where all the yellow baboons are believed to be people. Understanding local culture helps the Begg’s become more effective conservationists.

Jaguars Born Free

Leandro _ Anah excersizing the cubs

UK, 55 min.

Three tiny orphaned jaguar cubs are discovered in a Brazilian forest. A family decide to take the place of their mother and train them to become wild again. Over two years they must learn to climb trees, swim, and hunt for their dinner. If they can be successfully released, it will give new hope to these rare animals. Narrated by Zoe Wanamaker.

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar

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David Douglas, USA, 39 min.

Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman narrates Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, the incredible true story of nature’s greatest explorers – lemurs. Captured with IMAX 3D cameras, the film takes audiences on a spectacular journey to the remote and wondrous world of Madagascar. Lemurs arrived in Madagascar as castaways millions of years ago and evolved into hundreds of diverse species but are now highly endangered. Join trailblazing scientist Patricia Wright on her lifelong mission to help these strange and adorable creatures survive in the modern world.

Journey To South Pacific

1. Jawi and Whale Shark

Stephen Judson & Greg MacGillivray, 2014, USA, 40 min.

 Narrated by Cate Blanchett, Journey to the South Pacific will take moviegoers on a breathtaking IMAX® adventure to the lush tropical islands of remote West Papua, where life flourishes above and below the sea. Join Jawi, a young island boy, as he takes us on a journey of discovery to this magical place where we encounter whale sharks, sea turtles, manta rays, and other iconic creatures of the sea. Home to more than 2,000 species of sea life, this exotic locale features the most diverse marine ecosystem on earth. An uplifting story of hope and celebration, Journey to the South Pacific highlights the importance of living in balance with the ocean planet we all call home. With stunning photography by 2013 IWFF Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Howard Hall.

What’s Happening in the Wild – Thursday, April 17

Special Event!

Science Is Fiction: 8 Underwater Films by Jean Painlevé

8 pm, Special Admission $10, Free with Festival Pass

One of the first filmmakers to descend underwater with a movie camera, French avant-garde filmmaker Jean Painlevé created hypnotic and surreal films that capture the beauty and weirdness of life undersea. His evocative images are taken to a new level of dreaminess by NextDoorPrisonHotel (The Roxy’s resident silent film duo, John Sporman & Travis Yost) who will perform their original score to eight of Painlevé’s rarely seen films.

Hyas and Stenorhynchus (Hyas et stenorinques) 1927, 13 min.
Sea Urchins (Les Oursins) 1954, 11 min.
How Some Jellyfish Are Born (Comment naissent des Méduses) 1960, 14 min.
Liquid Crystals, (Cristaux liquides) 1978, 6 min.
The Sea Horse (L’ Hippocampe) 1933, 13 min.
The Love Life of the Octopus (Amours de la pieuvre) 1967, 13 min.
Shrimp Stories, (La Crevette), 1963, 13 min.
Acera or the Witches’ Dance, 1972, 12 min.

Presented by special arrangement with Les Documents Cinématographiques
Sponsored by The Montana Film Office

Showing Today


3:30 pm: Wild Thailand and A Day in the Life of Lolita
5:00 pm: Game of Lions and The Mating Game
5:30 pm: Ocean Odyssey
8:00 pm: SPECIAL FEATURE: Science is Fiction: 8 Underwater Films by Jean Painlevé  with live accompaniment by NextDoorPrisonHotel 

Events

Artists as Activists Roundtable – Filmmakers and Media-makers discuss the role of advocacy in creative work. Featured participants include M. Sanjayan, Feodor Pitcarin, Deia Schlosberg, Dave Mizejewski, Rob Whitehair and Gianna Savoie. 9:00 – 11:00 am at The Downtown Dance Collective, 121 West Main Street.
Works in Progress – Filmmakers screen scenes from developing projects and receive feedback from a panel of industry professionals.  12:30 – 3:00 pm
New Frontiers and Social Media – How are social media platforms changing distribution and exhibition? How do you make content go viral? What’s on the horizon for filmmakers & broadcasters? Panelists include Susannah Smith, Roshan Patel, Pam Voth and Steve Bumgardner 3:30 – 5:00 pm
After Party sponsored by the Montana Film Office – Le Petit Outre, 129 South 4th Street, West. 9:00 pm

Check out a PDF of our Program Booklet


 

About the Films

Wild Thailand

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Kanit Prukprakarn and Peter Ringgaard, 50min.

Thailand is a land of incredible beauty with more than 50% protected national parks accounting for nearly 10 % of the country’s surface, but its stunning array of wildlife is forgotten and rarely seen. In this 2 part episodes we follow the courtship and mating rituals of the Great-horn-bills. Elephants digging strange holes in search of life giving salt. Sam-bar deers fighting for dominance. Pheasant tailed, polyandrous birds mating and giving birth to chicks. Macaques, playing and fighting in the rain forest. The long tailed deer, living in the hostile environment of the northern mountains. A black bear, dancing, digging and scratching. The vampire castle, filled with waterfall climbing cave-fish, like ghosts, aliens on earth. Birds creating a symphony, designing and building complicated, individual constructions.

A Day in the Life of Lolita the Performing Orca

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Daniel Azarian, USA, 9 min.

World-renowned orca biologist Dr Ingrid N. Visser visits Lolita, a killer whale that has been captive in Miami, Florida for the past forty-three years. This short documents Dr Visser’s visit as well as her thoughts and scientific observations concerning Lolita’s current living conditions.

Game of Lions    

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Beverly and Dereck Joubert, 2014, South Africa   48 min

Only one out of eight lions survive into adulthood. Their fate has always been a mystery that has stumped conservationists and scientists for years. Game of Lions is a film about the hidden lives of these surviving males before they become kings. This is a game of kings, as each bloodline fights for its ultimate survival and right to win a pride. Those that do not survive are the noble offspring that fate or natural selection simply determined would be dead ends in their particular family tree. Each survivor however, is the result of hard battles against hunger, attack by older males, run-ins with different nomads all trying to win the ultimate prize: life.

The Mating Game

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UK, 2013, 55 min.

David Attenborough narrates the charming and fascinating story of some real-life animal romantics. There are show-offs and singers, dancers and fighters, stories of undercover affairs and heart-warming devotion. These include a male polar bear that plays hard to get, a lemur whose odor bags him a mate, and a lizard who is tender and faithful to the very end. It reveals that animals can be loving, complex, funny and inventive – it is all part of the mating game.

Ocean Odyssey

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Fedore Pitcairn, 57 min.

Commissioned by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, OCEAN ODYSSEY takes viewers on an undersea journey to remote and magical places. Follow Feodor Pitcairn, a pioneer in underwater HD cinematography, as he explores the marine ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands, Rajah Ampat in Indonesia, the Maldives, the Azores, Hawaii, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, the Channel Islands, British Columbia, the Gulf of Mexico, French Polynesia and Belize. Filmed in high definition, with commentary by Feodor Pitcairn and fellow cinematographer Bob Cranston, OCEAN ODYSSEY is a stunning film that reveals some of the most amazing underwater footage ever seen and offers reflections by two of the most prominent cinematographers at work today.

What’s Happening in the Wild – Wednesday, April 16

Special Event! 
An Evening with M. Sanjayan

At The UC Theatre at The University of Montana, 6 pm. FREE ADMISSION

IWFF and The University of Montana are pleased to welcome leading global conservation scientist, writer and an Emmy-nominated news contributor Dr. M. Sanjayan to this year’s festival to present an episode from his upcoming Showtime documentary series Years Of Living Dangerously.

Sanjayan has focused on the role of conservation in improving human well-being, wildlife and the environment.  He serves on Conservation International’s senior leadership team as Executive Vice President and Senior Scientist.

 Sanjayan’s broad-reaching television experience includes numerous documentaries for Discovery Channel and the BBC and serving as a frequent contributor to CBS News.  He is currently filming his new TV series, Earth – A New Wild airing on PBS in 2015.  He is also the science correspondent for Years of Living Dangerously, a Showtime documentary series debuting in April 2014. In January 2014 he returned as the featured contributor to the BBC World News series The Power of Nature.

His scientific work has been published in journals including Science, Nature and Conservation Biology. Raised in Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone, Sanjayan’s unique background and expertise have also attracted mainstream media coverage in Outside, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, Afar and The New York Times.

Sponsored by The President’s Office at The University of Montana

Showing Today


6:00 pm: SPECIAL FEATURE: Years of Living Dangerously with Dr. M. Sanjayan. Free Screening at the UC Theater
7:00 pmLegends of the Giant Squid and Mystery of Eels
7:15 pmAatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys

Events

Daylong Field Trip to the National Bison Range and the breathtaking Mission Mountain Range – Sponsored by Nature. 9:30 am – 2 pm
Canon Camera Demonstration – Capture the views of and learn about Canon’s new line of cinema cameras during the National Bison Range field trip. 9:30 am – 2 pm
After Party – Sponsored by the School of Film and Photography, MFA in Science & Natural History Filmmaking at MSY. The Loft, 119 W Main St. 8:00 pm

Check out a PDF of our Program Booklet


 

About the Films

Legends of the Deep: The Giant Squid

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Yasuhiro Koyama and Leslie Schwerin, USA/Japan, 52 min.

The giant squid is a perfect example of what is still a deep-sea mystery in the 21st century. Reaching amazing lengths of up to 18 meters, they are the largest squid in the world, yet they have never been seen alive in the deep sea. One of best chances of encountering a giant squid is in the waters off the Japan’s Ogasawara Islands. Using two state-of-the-art submersible vessels and special ultra-sensitive, high-definition cameras for deep-water use, film crews, along with some scientific experts, launched an expedition 1,000 meters beneath the sea. After 100 dives totaling 400 hours, they finally succeeded in capturing footage of a giant squid in its natural, deep-ocean habitat. The previously unseen, shimmering beauty of a giant squid lies ahead.

The Mystery of Eels

Nature: The Mystery of Eels

USA 55 min.

Though much of the natural world is discovered and understood, a few great mysteries remain. Consider the eel, unappealingly snake-like and slimy, with strong jaws and rows of sandpapery teeth. Aside from these fearsome qualities, we know little about the life of this amazing fish. Where it goes, what it does, and how it dies, nobody knows. Hailed by poets as the siren of the North Sea, this shadowy creature has fascinated researchers for centuries. And now James Prosek, artist, writer, and eminent naturalist, takes on the mystery of eels, shedding light on the cultural history, biology, and economics surrounding the creature, as well as the passions it inspires in those who seek to know it. Produced by Nature/WNET.

Aatsinki: The Story Of Arctic Cowboys

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Jessica Oreck, 2013, Iceland, 85 min.

One year in the life of a family of reindeer herders in Finnish Lapland. A study of hard work, hard earned leisure, and an intricate bond between man and nature. Brothers Aarne and Lasse Aatsinki are cowboys of the Arctic. Quiet but good natured, dare-devilish but humble, rugged but gentle, and exceptionally knowledgeable when it comes to their little slice of wilderness. These men are what John Wayne wanted to be. The brothers, along with their wives and children, live well north of the Arctic Circle in Finnish Lapland, where they are the leaders of a collective of traditional reindeer herders who manage the last group of wild reindeer in all of Finland. Aatsinki follows the family for the span of one year, quietly observing their seasonal routines and the difficulties and joys of a life so closely tied to the land.

What’s Happening in the Wild – Tuesday, April 15

Showing Today

3:00 pm: William and the Windmill
3:30 pm: Killer Whales: Beneath the Surface
5:00 pm: Chattahoochee Unplugged
5:15 pm: Snows of the Nile and Black Mamba- Kiss of Death
7:00 pmDamNation
7:15 pmTouching the Wild and She Wolf
8:45 pm: Encounters at the End of the World

Events

Welcome Session: 9:30 am – 11am
Adventures in Science - with Greg Trenish 10-11 am
Animal Corridors – John Davis, trekker and scout at TrekWest leads this informative discussion. 11:00 am-12:00 pm
Positive outcomes – Panelist discuss real world strategies and successful outreach initiatives. 1-3pm
Touching The Wild - a conversation on Animal Handling with Dave Mizejewski – 3:00 – 4:30
Cocktails & Tour - Montgomery Distillery 6:30pm

 


About the Films

William and the Windmill

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Ben Nabors, 2013, USA/Malawi/South Africa, 88 min.

 William Kamkwamba, a young Malawian, builds a power-generating windmill from junk parts to rescue his family from famine, transforming his life and catapulting him on to the the world stage. His fame and success lead him to new opportunities and complex choices about his future, distancing him from the life he once knew.

Killer Whales: Beneath the Surface

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UK, 2013, 55 min.

 The killer whale was long feared as a sea monster until, in May 1964, one was brought into captivity for the first time. This spawned a journey of discovery into the killer whale’s true nature. It quickly became clear, these were not mindless killers – they were, in fact, highly intelligent social creatures. Today, our understanding is deepening still further and the latest revelations are among the most sensational – not only will these top predators ‘adopt’ and care for injured and abandoned orphans, but it seems there’s no longer just the ‘killer whale’.

Chattahoochee Unplugged

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Rhett Turner, 2014, USA, 56 min

Chattahoochee Unplugged’ is about the removal of two dams the Eagle Phenix dam and the City Mills Dams in Columbus, Georgia. The program shows the behind the scenes of these two dams being removed and in its place put in a world class white water course. The white water course was designed by the same designer who designed the Ocoee Olympic Course for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. The show also goes into detail about why Columbus because it is a fall line river at this point on the Chattahoochee River and gives a brief history of the city. The show contaminates with an incredible white water rafting and kayaking shots.

Snows of the Nile

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Nathan Dappen, Neil Losin, USA, 20 min.

Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains rise 5000 meters from the heart of Africa. At their summits are some of Earth’s only equatorial glaciers. But these ‘Mountains of the Moon,’ whose existence caused a sensation in Europe when they were first climbed in 1906, are changing fast. Snows of the Nile follows two scientist/photographers on an ambitious expedition to re-capture historical glacier imagery from the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda. If they could retrace the steps of the Duke of Abruzzi’s legendary 1906 expedition and re-capture the famous glacier photographs taken by Vittorio Sella, they could visualize the impacts of a century of climate change.

Black Mamba- Kiss of Death

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2013, South Africa, 46 min

It is Silly Season in Mamba Valley and like zombies from their graves, the heat draws Black Mambas from the shadows. They are on the hunt for summer lodgings but as the deadliest snake on the planet, they are not popular neighbors. Many will fall foul to a gunshot or the sharp end of a shovel. But some will be lucky enough to be rescued by a snake wrangling team with a passion for Mambas. One snake has a special mission, she is recently mated and ready to deliver a new generation of silver killers into Mamba Valley. She is the deadliest snake in Africa.

DamNation

Matilija Dam with scissors showing the way forward.

Travis Rummel & Ben Knight, 2014, 87 min.

This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. Dam removal has moved beyond the Monkey Wrench Gang. When obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other wild fish the right of return to primeval spawning grounds, after decades without access. “DamNation”’s majestic cinematography and unexpected discoveries move us through rivers and landscapes altered by dams, but also through a metamorphosis in values, from conquest of the natural world to knowing ourselves as part of nature.

Touching the Wild

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David Allen, USA     55 min.

Joe Hutto’s idea of research is anything but normal, dedicating seven years of his life to becoming a wild mule deer. Incredibly, these keenly intelligent animals come to regard this stranger as one of their own. Accepted by the matriarch, he walks among them and can lie with a pregnant doe talking to its unborn fawns. As he crosses the species divide Joe is tapping into a new understanding about these elusive animals. The captivating joy he feels for his new family is nothing short of infectious, but this human predator also learns to see the world from the point of view of prey – sharing their world so personally finally takes a toll that sends him back to his own kind. Produced by Nature/WNET.

She Wolf

Bob Landis, USA, 2014, 50 min.

The Lamar Canyon pack is one of the most famous of all Yellowstone’s wolf packs for one unusual reason: its leader was an especially powerful female, “’06″/832F (aka “The ’06 Female”). Filmmaker Bob Landis retraces the life of this incredible animal, the She Wolf, who was forced to leave her original clan and strike out on her own when she was still a young cub, confronting Yellowstone’s beautiful but merciless wilderness alone.

Encounters at The End of the World

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Werner Herzog, 2008, Germany/Antarctica, 99 min.

In the most hostile, barren, alien environment on the planet – you meet the most interesting people. Welcome to Antarctica – like you’ve never experienced it. You’ve seen the extraordinary marine life, the retreating glaciers and, of course, the penguins, but leave it to award-winning, iconoclastic filmmaker Werner Herzog, to be the first to explore the South Pole’s most fascinating inhabitants…humans. In this one-of-kind documentary, Herzog turns his camera on a group of remarkable individuals, “professional dreamers” who work, play and struggle to survive in a harsh landscape of mesmerizing, otherworldly beauty – perhaps the last frontier on earth.

 

What’s Happening in the Wild – Monday, April 14

Showing Today

5:00 pm: Path of the Pronghorn & Hunt for the Super Predator
5:15 pm: Invasion of the Giant Tortoise and Szigetkoz- The Delta of the Danube
7:00 pm: GMO OMG
7:15 pm: Valley of the Sharks
8:30 pm: Grizzly Man

Events

IWFF Registration at The Roxy, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Filmmaker’s Welcome Party : 6:00 pm

 


 

About the Films

Path of the Pronghorn

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Jake Willers, USA, 8 min.

Since 2003, Wildlife Conservation Society conservation scientists have been involved in a long-term study of the Path of the Pronghorn, an age-old migration route that connects summer range in Grand Teton National Park with winter range far to the south in the western Wyoming’s Green River Valley.

Hunt for the Super Predator

Search for the Ocean's Super Predator Image

Michael Lynch, Smithsonian, Australia, 58 min.

In the depths of Australia’s Southern Ocean a Great White Shark is savagely attacked by a far larger mystery predator. An electronic tracking device attached to its fin records a high speed underwater chase before the shark and its tag are devoured. Two weeks later, after being carried in the belly of the unknown killer, the still functioning tag is excreted and washed ashore, withholding clues that could reveal the identity of the sharks super predator. This is a story of a super predator’s underwater attack that leads investigators to a mysterious natural phenomenon that attracts the ocean’s most fearsome predators.

Invasion of the Giant Tortoise

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Theo Lipfert, USA, 27 min.

Invasion of the Giant Tortoises explores the controversial introduction of a non-native species to the African island of Mauritius. Once home to the dodo, Mauritius was teeming with giant tortoises until the arrival of man. The introduction of predators and habitat loss doomed these majestic creatures to extinction. Now biologists have embarked on a radical plan: to replace the extinct Mauritian tortoise with a close relative: the giant tortoise from Aldabra, a deserted atoll near the Seychelles. How will the island’s ecosystem respond? And how do the results of this experiment change how we thing about biodiversity?

Szigetkoz- The Inland Delta of the Danube

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Szabolcs Mosonyi, Hungary, 51min

In the Western access areas to Hungary life had speeded up – there are wind-mills, motorways, big cities and industrial parks all over the place. Yet, something is hiding between them. This is an enormous cone-shaped alluvial deposit with tiny villages, forests, and river branches. On one side of this region is today’s Szigetköz.

Flowing out of the Alps and Carpathians the Danube River created this land delta unique in Europe. Arriving at the plain the river broke into wide branches where unparalleled fauna developed. These days the river cannot change its course as freely as it used to in the old days. The decisive change came about some twenty years ago with the diversion of the river and the building of the hydroelectric plant of Gabcikovo. Seeing the grip of the built in surroundings the question is obvious: can the fauna preserve its former abundance?

GMO OMG

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Jeremy Seifert, USA, 2013, 90 min

The documentary explores the systematic corporate takeover and potential loss of humanity’s most precious and ancient inheritance: seeds. Director Jeremy Seifert investigates how loss of seed diversity and corresponding laboratory assisted genetic alteration of food affects his young children, the health of our planet, and freedom of choice everywhere. GMO OMG follows one family’s struggle to live and eat without participating in an unhealthy, unjust, and destructive food system. In GMO OMG, the encroaching darkness of unknown health and environmental risks, chemical toxins, and food monopoly meets with the light of a growing global movement to take back what we have lost. Has the global food system been irrevocably hijacked?

Valley of the Sharks

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John Ruthven, USA, 57 min.

“In the heart of the Pacific Ocean the sea around the Tuamotu islands is coursing with life. Hundreds of shards cruise though underwater canyons above a seabed carpeted with coral. Scientists often cite the relationship between healthy reefs and top predators, but they don’t really know how it works. Time and again as top predators disappear entire ecosystems below them fail. This film will find out why corals need sharks, just as much as sharks need corals. It uncovers how two of the most threatened groups of animals in the ocean are truly dependent on one another, and therefore must be protected if either of them are to survive into the future.

Grizzly Man

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Werner Herzog, 2005, USA, 103 min.

Grizzly Man documents the life and death of amateur grizzly bear expert and wildlife preservationist Timothy Treadwell. Treadwell lived unarmed among the bears for thirteen summers, and filmed his adventures in the wild during his final five seasons. In October 2003, Treadwell’s remains, along with those of his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, were discovered near their campsite in Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Reserve. They had been mauled and devoured by a grizzly, the first known victims of a bear attack in the park. (The bear suspected of the killings was later shot by park officials.) Was Timothy Treadwell a passionate and fearless environmentalist who devoted his life to living peacefully among Alaskan grizzly bears in order to save them? Or was he a deluded misanthrope whose reckless actions resulted in his own death, as well as those of his girlfriend and one of the bears he swore to protect?

 

 

What’s Happening in the Wild – Sunday, April 13

Showing Today:

3:00 pm: Saving Otter 501 and Shark Girl
3:15 pmBluebird Man and Parrot Confidential
5:00 pm: Lion Guardians and Congo: Deep and Dangerous
5:15 pm: La Soufriere and Flying Doctors of East Africa
7:00 pm: Pride and On A River in Ireland
7:15 pm: Great Zebra Exodus and Winning the War

Saving Otter 501

RW05-080.tifMark Shelley, Bob Talbot, USA, 55 min.

On a typical late summer day a baby sea otter washes up on the beach in Monterey, California, hungry, lost, injured. For decades marine biologist Karl Mayer and his small staff have worked unceasingly to bring this keystone species back from the brink of extinction so it can play its important role in the local marine environment. This is the story of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s 501st attempt to save an orphan otter. From her discovery as a stranded newborn pup crying on the beach through her rehabilitation in secret roof tanks atop the Aquarium, we follow as Otter 501 learns how to dive, hunt, eat, and fend for herself in the wild, where survival is a long shot at best. Produced by Nature/WNET.

 

Shark Girl

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Gisela Kaufmann, Australia, 58 min.

Conservationist, filmmaker, activist, delinquent – 19-year-old Madison Stewart has been called many things, but to her friends she’s simply ‘shark girl’. Growing up on the Great Barrier Reef, Madison soon realized the creature she loves most is disappearing fast. Driven by fear, every year up to 80,000 sharks are killed in this UNESCO World Heritage Site for cheap steaks and luxury shark fin soup. Turning passion into action, she sets out to stop the slaughter and shatter our perception of these alleged man-eaters. SHARK GIRL is a powerful wake-up call and a moving record of one determined young woman to save the animal she loves most, but most others would like to see dead.

Bluebird Man

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Matthew Podolsky, Neil Paprocki, USA, 27 min.

Bluebird Man is the story of 91-year-old Al Larson, a self-taught conservation hero who has committed the last 35 years of his life to saving North America’s bluebirds. Breathtaking scenery, intimate conversations and stunning footage of all three species of bluebird create a powerful film with the goal of inspiring our next generation of citizen scientists.

Parrot Confidential

Nature: Parrot Confidential

Allison Argo, USA 55min

Exotic beauty, outrageous intelligence and remarkably advanced language skills have made parrots one of the world’s most popular pets. But unlike dogs and cats, parrots have not been domesticated. Their ear-shattering squawks and unpredictable behavior are designed for the rainforest, not for captivity. Sooner or later, some owners come to the conclusion that they have taken on a more difficult challenge than they can handle, and turn to overcrowded shelters and sanctuaries for help. From the suburbs of our own country to the wilds of Costa Rica, parrot owners, rescuers, breeders, and biologists involved in conservation programs share their stories and the stories of their parrots in this bittersweet and unforgettable film about the difficulties and consequences of keeping and caring for parrots as pets. Produced by Nature/WNET.

Lion Guardians

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Kire Godal, Kenya, 19 min.

Made for the Lion Guardians program this film is to help stop the rapid decline of lions. Just over 60 years ago there were estimated to be more than half a million lions in Africa. Today, fewer than 30,000 remain. Lion Guardians is a unique approach that relies on and preserves the cultural traditions of pastoralist communities in Africa, while at the same time actively engaging young warriors in protecting lions rather than killing them. This film is shown to communities that live with lions to introduce them to the Lion Guardians program, explain how it works, and to encourage them to participate and save their lion populations.

Made for the Lion Guardians program this film is to help stop the rapid decline of lions. Just over 60 years ago there were estimated to be more than half a million lions in Africa. Today, fewer than 30,000 remain. Lion Guardians is a unique approach that relies on and preserves the cultural traditions of pastoralist communities in Africa, while at the same time actively engaging young warriors in protecting lions rather than killing them. This film is shown to communities that live with lions to introduce them to the Lion Guardians program, explain how it works, and to encourage them to participate and save their lion populations.

Congo- Deep and Dangerous

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Thomas Behrend, Germany, 48 min

The Congo: more powerful and dangerous than any other river, yet a sanctuary and home for some of the most wonderful creatures on our Earth. ‘Wild Congo’ follows the second largest river on Earth from its source in Zambia on its journey through marshland areas and rainforests. The Congo’s journey stretches over a distance of 5000 kilometres, starting as a small stream and developing into a raging river that engulfs everything in its path. Biologists consider it to be the cradle of evolution: an experimental location for the emergence of new species! The shoebill, elephant fish and blind eel are just a few examples of the wildlife of the Congo and its astounding ability to adapt.

La Soufrière

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Werner Herzog, 1977, West Germany, 31 min.

As 75,000 people were being evacuated from the island of Guadeloupe in 1976, Werner Herzog characteristically flew in to film the predicted eruption of ‘La Soufrière’ volcano and find the one peasant reported to have remained behind.

The Flying Doctors of East Africa

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Werner Herzog, West Germany, 1970, 45 min.

 A documentary on the work of an independent group of physicians in remote areas of East Africa. A film about the differing mindsets of African patients and Western medicine, a difference that calls for a new way of thinking.

Pride

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Roshan Patel, USA/India, 14 min.

Pride explores the cultural relationship between residents of Gujarat, India and the last remaining population of Asiatic Lions in the world. With fewer than 50 lions living in the wild at the turn of the 20th century, rural communities started working with the government to create a haven for this top predator and are successfully securing this animal’s place in the ecosystem.

On a River in Ireland

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John Murray, Ireland, 58 min.

On a River in Ireland follows Colin Stafford Johnson on a journey along the River Shannon – Ireland’s greatest geographical landmark and the longest river in Ireland and Britain.For 340km, the river carves its way through the heart of the country, almost splitting the country in two. On its journey, the Shannon passes through a huge palette of rural landscapes, where on little known backwaters wild animals and plants still thrive as almost nowhere else in Ireland. The film follows the river from dawn to dusk over four seasons capturing it’s ever changing moors and exploring the countless waterways, islands and lakes that make up the entire river system.

Great Zebra Exodus

A herd of zebra stampedes along the Boteti River.

USA, 55 min.

When thunderclouds begin to gather over the Kalahari of Botswana each year, 20,000 zebras get itchy feet. As the first fat raindrops hit the dust, southern Africa’s biggest animal migration gets underway. In a never-ending quest for grass and water, the striped herds undertake an annual epic trek across the vast lunar landscape of Makgadikgadi Pans of the Kalahari. The story of this spectacular annual migration is told through the eyes of a single zebra family: a stallion, his three mares and their offspring. Documenting their journey across this otherworldly landscape, the film reveals their trials and triumphs as well as the fascinating social bonds that hold zebra families together.

Winning the War

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Mark Strickson, South Africa, 25min

Poaching is big business with rhino horn now worth more than gold. The only thing standing between South Africa’s animals and possible extinction is a new breed of anti-poaching rangers – prepared to lay their lives on the line for Africa’s wildlife.

The six-part series takes a unique look at the issue of poaching through the eyes of trainee rangers as some leave home for the first time, enter a brutal world of military training and finally head to the frontline of Africa’s Wildlife WarzoneWinning the War is a featured episode from within the Wildlife Warzone series.