2021 Winners

Congratulations to the 2021 winners, selected by our final jurors, Janet Han Vissering, Ami Vitale and Pipaluk Lykke. 

Category: Short Short

Gamechangers: The Football Team Scoring Conservation Goals

Category: Short 

Nest 38

Category: Feature



Category: Series

A Perfect Planet


Category: Student

Life on the Rocks


Category: Children's

Sea Lions: Life by a Whisker


Category: New Vision

Under Review: Katahdin


Category: Living With Wildlife

Home For All


Category: Animal Behavior

Leopard Legacy


Category: Wildlife Conservation

After the Wildfires


Category: Sustainable Planet

River's End



Special Jury Awards

The Snow Leopard Calling


  The Condor and the Eagle


2021 Finalists

Congratulations to the 2021 finalist films, selected by an anonymous preliminary jury. Our final jurors are currently viewing and making decisions. The 2021 category winners, special jury awards, and the Best of Festival award will be announced on April 30 in a special IWFF ceremony.

Animal Behavior

Any program that includes especially notable footage of animal behavior that is rare, impactful in terms of our understanding of the natural world or was captured using innovative techniques.


A program 45 minutes or longer in length made for reaching audiences through theaters, the internet, or television.

Living With Wildlife

Any program that focuses on the complex and interdependent relationship between humans, animals, and the environment.

New Vision

Any program that displays an innovative, forward-thinking approach to filmmaking within this traditional genre offering a new vision of what wildlife filmmaking can be and how these stories are told.


A series is three or more programs of any length made for reaching audiences through theaters, the internet, or television. Submission requirement: select three episodes representative of the series.


A short film under 40 minutes in length.

Short Short

A short film under 10 minutes in length.


Any program made while the filmmaker was enrolled in an academic institution - finalists must verify enrollment.

Sustainable Planet

A program with a strong conservation message that features inspiring activism in response to our changing planet. Films may address growing public awareness and education, experimenting with innovative solutions or profiling activism toward a more sustainable planet.

Wildlife Conservation

A program with a strong conservation message that follows the future of a species, highlights newfound biological research, represents the scientific process accurately and presents solutions for the betterment of wildlife sustainability.

Young Adult & Children's

Any program that engages a deeper understanding of the natural world and wildlife in younger viewers. 

2021 Theme: Rising From the depths

Whales are the guardians of the oceans and, as they navigate the tumultuous currents, they serve as a steadfast symbol for all of us as we navigate the currents of life and the climate crisis.