SPECIAL JURY AWARD – TISURE – 13 min. – GRAPHIC WARNING – SOME NUDITY
A couple who lives in the vastness of the mountains, where all they’ve got is each other. No matter what conflict arises, it has to be solved urgently. The sadness may let them feel there are no options. Seen from a distance, their perspective may be wrong.
BEST EDITING – END OF SNOW – 20 min.
Dr. Jane Zelikova explores the Fourteeners of Wyoming and Colorado in a search for the past, present, and future tales of their snowpack. She will form friendships, dig holes, and help map a way of living in a world beyond the End of Snow. Dr. Jane Zelikova is a tropical ecologist living in the mountains of Wyoming and Colorado. She dreams of snow in the summer and tropical forests in the dead of winter. But her snow-capped Fourteeners are changing – no longer bringing the deep winter snowpack once promised. This is a future from which she and the people of the West can’t run. What’s a wildly curious, adventurous girl to do? Embark on a journey into the mountains to find the tales of the past, present and future of snow. There will be adventure. Friendships will form. She will dig holes, and fall down those holes. But like any good story, the characters she meets will help show her the way, a map for living in a world beyond the end of snow.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – SUPER HUMMINGBIRDS – 60 min.
Ann Johnson Prum
With high speed camerawork and breakthrough new science, we enter the fast-paced world of hummingbirds as never before. Speed is their middle name. Their lives are moving faster than the eye can see. They possess natural born super powers that enable them to fly backwards, upside-down, and float in mid-air. And for the first time, we see them mate, lay eggs, fight, and raise families in intimate detail. They are great athletes, tender mothers, brave in combat, and up for any challenge. They are Super Hummingbirds, the smallest, most brilliant birds on earth.
BEST HUMAN/WILDLIFE INTERACTION FILM – RUNNING WILD – 7 min.
In February of 2014, a remotely triggered camera in Utah’s rugged Uinta mountains captured a picture of something no one thought possible in the area: a wolverine. This elusive creature hadn’t been spotted here for nearly 40 years. This one photograph set in motion a massive undertaking to find if these badasses of the animal kingdom were setting up shop here for good. Under the guidance of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, ultra runners took to the mountains setting up and checking camera traps around the ecosystem in search of more photographic evidence. The result? A comprehensive survey of wildlife in the range and a model for citizen science projects everywhere.
BEST CONSERVATION FILM – SHAPED BY FIRE – 10 min.
Two friends run 52 miles along the MT-ID stateline in a campaign to push the proposed Great Burn Wilderness closer to designation.
BEST BROADCAST FEATURE – GIRAFFES: AFRICA’S GENTLE GIANTS – 60 min.
Dr. Julian Fennessy has spent the last 20 years of his life studying giraffes. Now he’s starting to reveal their secrets – the most important being that they are disappearing. The giraffe population in Africa is down by 40 percent in just two decades. In collaboration with a determined Ugandan Wildlife Authority team, Fennessy wants to round up 20 of the world’s rarest giraffe to get them to safety through the wild heart of Uganda, which means embarking on a special voyage across the mighty Nile River. The stakes are high in this urgent and daring mission against poachers affiliated with organized crime, but if successful, the reward will be a brighter future for an animal we have somehow overlooked.
BEST SHORT FILM – MELTING STARS – 15 min.
Melting Stars unravels the mystery behind one of the most catastrophic species die offs in recorded history. In 2013 scuba divers off the West coast of British Columbia discovered that the starfish were dying in the millions and suffering horrific deaths. They were disintegrating into goo on the ocean floor and the environmental balance of the marine ecosystem was being changed. Soon the immensity of this epidemic came to light and what researchers had dubbed the Sea Star Wasting Syndrome was now affecting several star fish species all along the Pacific Coast from Alaska to Mexico. The virus was also discovered in preserved museum samples from the 1940’s. So what has changed? Melting Stars follows the clues on this marine mystery.
BEST ENVIRONMENTAL FILM AND BEST OF FESTIVAL – CHASING CORAL – 93 min.
Chasing Coral taps into the collective will and wisdom of an ad man, a self-proclaimed coral nerd, top-notch camera designers, and renowned marine biologists as they invent the first time-lapse camera to record bleaching events as they happen. Unfortunately, the effort is anything but simple, and the team doggedly battles technical malfunctions and the force of nature in pursuit of their golden fleece: documenting the indisputable and tragic transformation below the waves. With its breathtaking photography, nail-biting suspense, and startling emotion, Chasing Coral is a dramatic revelation that won’t have audiences sitting idle for long.
BEST STUDENT FILM – LUMOS – 8 min.
Get lost in the wilderness with a storyteller as she describes her first encounter with the magical lights of glowworms.
BEST BROADCAST SERIES – THE STORY OF CATS – 120 min.
Cats are among the most feared and revered creatures on the planet. Their power, strength, and enigmatic nature have fascinated us for centuries. They are one of the most studied mammals in the world yet only now is their real identity being understood – from their incredible hunting abilities, to their unique physiology and remarkable behaviors. With nearly 40 different species, thriving in almost any environment, the cat is one of the most successful predators since the dinosaurs. Using the latest camera technology and working with leading scientists, we are able to tell the story like never before. Join NATURE in this epic two-part event as we journey across the globe tracking down the origins of these diverse creatures. Take an in-depth look at what makes the family of felines unique and the evolutionary tricks and adaptations that truly make a cat, a cat.
LIFETIME ACHEIVEMENT AWARD – ALAN ROOT
FOUNDERS AWARD – JOHN HEMINWAY
BEST CHILDREN’S FILM – PLASTIC IS FOREVER – DYLAN D’HAEZE
NEWCOMER AWARD – THE HUNT – NOWHERE TO HIDE – ELLEN HUSAIN
BEST FEATURE FILM – MAGICAL MOORS – JAN HAFT