MISSOULA, MT— The 45th International Wildlife Film Festival today announced the winners of the 2022 event. One winner was selected in each of 12 categories with additional jury awards for deserving films.
This years jury was made up of Roshan Patel, Resident filmmaker & Photographer at Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institut, Erim Gómez, Assistant professor of wildlife biology at the University of Montana and Colleen Thurston, Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma's Gaylord College of Journalism and a current Sundance Indigenous Film Fellow.
“I don't know if the exhilaration in the air was from being at an actual film festival with special guests and Q&As again but the 2022 line-up seemed to sparkle with energy, resilience, curiosity, and creativity,” says IWFF Director Carrie Richer. “This year's winners span the globe and demonstrate exceptional filmmaking. Our awardees exemplify scrappy, bold work and that grit has been a value of IWFF's for 45 years now.”
Special awards screenings of select winning films will happen at The Roxy Theater on Saturday, April 30th. The majority of the selections and award winners from the 45th Annual IWFF are available to watch during the IWFF Virtual Festival which runs from May 1-7, online and available worldwide. Virtual tickets and festival information are available at wildlifefilms.org.
Best Short Short
- LA VOZ DEL MAR: HOPE FOR HAWKSBILL TURTLES
- DEVERAUX BANK: REFLECTIONS OF A CULTURAL ORNITHOLOGIST
- FIRE OF LOVE
- WILDLIFE WARRIORS
Best Student Film
Best Youth Program
- THE ROYAL ELEPHANTS OF SAMBURU
Best New Vision Film
Best Living with Wildlife program
- RETURNING HOME
Best Animal Behavior program
- MY GARDEN OF A THOUSAND BEES
Best Wildlife Conservation Program
- KǪ̀K’ETÌ: WALKING WITH CARIBOU
Best Sustainable Planet Category
- THE TERRITORY
Best of Festival
- THE TERRITORY
Special Jury Awards
SON OF MONARCHS
Jury Statement: Son of Monarchs is a timely story of a Mexican biologist, Mendel (Tenoch Huerta), who is living in New York but returns home to the state of Michoacan after his grandmother's passing. Mendel's journey parallels the life history and challenges of Monarchs. The jury recognizes this film for its creative use of Monarch as a metaphor, artistic style, and its depiction of Latinos scientists conducting innovative research while capturing the human experience.
Dr. Paula Kahumbu
Jury Statement: Wildlife Warriors is a refreshing and much-needed perspective in wildlife media. It shares stories of community based conservation and is created, authored and voiced from within the community. Dr. Paula Kahumbu is the guiding voice throughout, as the series host. As a leading wildlife conservationist, Dr. Kahumbu serves as a role model for Wildlife Warriors' audience of school aged children - and beyond. The jury recognizes her enormous contribution within the field of wildlife television with a Special Jury Award for Presenter or Host.
Dr. J. Drew Lanham
Jury Statement: In Deveaux Bank: Reflections of a Cultural Ornithologist, we met Dr. J. Drew Lanham. His unique perspective and dynamic storytelling offer a glimpse into the complex relationship between human history, land and wildlife conservation in this country in a truly impactful way. The jury believes Dr. Lanham's clear articulation of his unique and important perspective deserves to be recognized with a Special Jury Award.
Founded in 1977 at the University of Montana, IWFF is the first and longest running event of its kind. The vision of the IWFF will always be to foster an engaged, enlightened community that finds itself through cinema, and helps the planet to heal. The mission of the International Wildlife Film Festival is to promote awareness, knowledge, and understanding of wildlife, habitat, people, and nature through excellence in film. For more information visit wildlifefilms.org.