April 2019
Missoula, Montana

IWFF supports wildlife and environmental media that has the potential for far-reaching creative and cultural impact. Part of our mission is to provide a place to foster self-expression and a sense of community around wildlife filmmaking.

IWFF LABS is for filmmakers and scientists to advance ideas, tools and working methods that will address pressing environmental, wildlife and conservation issues through media.

Potential IWFF LABS Fellows

1. Science students, novice researchers and environmental journalists focusing on ecology, biology, wildlife science, evolution or conservation and have an interest in using visual media to expand their science communication skills

2. Graduate filmmaking students or emerging filmmakers, journalists or other media makers interested in deepening their science communication skills and advancing their wildlife filmmaking careers.

IWFF LABS 2019 begins FRIDAY, APRIL 12 and culminates in the LABS films screening at the IWFF Awards Ceremony on FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 2019. Fellows must be available for the entire range of dates. 

IWFF LABS will accept 16 Fellows into this highly competitive program.

IWFF LABS is tuition free, lodging and two meals a day are provided. Additional food and travel costs will be the responsibility of the Fellow.



Professional wildlife filmmakers serve as Mentors providing instruction as well as cultivating long-term industry relationships with the Fellows. The IWFF Program Leader Colin Ruggiero facilitates lectures, discussions and hands-on workshops that will feature Mentors in their areas of expertise (production, editing, pitching, etc.). Colin Ruggiero’s multi-faceted experience as a teacher and a filmmaker ensures that LABS students will walk away with new-found knowledge, skills, and confidence as science communicators.

During the week, Fellows also create a ready-to-launch, polished mini-documentary with a local conservation organization or scientific research team. The films will premiere at the IWFF Awards Ceremony. In past years, IWFF LABS films have been selected for the National Geographic Short Film Showcase and won awards at film festivals across the world.

IWFF 2019 LABS Mentors include out-of-the box storytellers and thinkers and will be announced shortly. Past Mentors have included representatives from BBC (Neil Nightingale)NATURE, bioGraphic, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, New West Studios, and Grizzly Creek Films.

Questions? Email [email protected]

IWFF LABS is made possible through a collaboration with the University of Montana Wildlife Biology Program.