Wildscreen has announced the winners of their 2022 Panda Awards, granting My Garden Of A Thousand Bees the top prize: the Plimsoll Golden Panda Award. Filmed during lockdown, the feature film by wildlife filmmaker Martin Dohrn explored the secret lives of 60 bee species (mirroring this year’s winner of Wildlife Photographer Of The Year nicely).
The Panda In The Pocket award went to Terra Mater Studios and Bonne Pioche for The Bastard King which chronicles the life of a lion from cub to King. Eric Bendick’s Path of the Panther which followed the elusive Florida animal received awards for both categories it was nominated for (Save Our Seas Foundation Impact Award and the Off the Fence Production Team Award).
The 2022 Panda Awards also saw the first ever winner of the Sustainability Award which went to Springwatch 2021 for their efforts to reduce their carbon footprint during filming. David Attenborough and the BBC’s The Green Planet was also recognized, taking the Terra Mater Studios Series Award.
“As a key part of Wildscreen Festival for 40 years, the Panda Awards has continued to celebrate the best in natural world storytelling among the globe’s leading innovators and creators, as well as fresh talent entering the sector,” said Lucie Muir, CEO of Wildscreen Festival, in a statement emailed to IFLScience.
“This year’s inspiring selection of shorts, features and series uncovered some of nature’s most fascinating and enduring stories, bringing them to a worldwide audience. Congratulations to everyone who was recognised and we look forward to seeing the evolution of natural world storytelling over the next few years.”
Interested in becoming a wildlife filmmaker? National Geographic Content and National Geographic Society announced that they will be launching their Field Ready Program for a third year at Wildscreen Festival. The initiative aims to promote diversity and inclusion in wildlife filmmaking.
“Field Ready provides historically underrepresented early-career National Geographic Explorers with mentorship and hands-on experience needed for them to tangibly break into the film industry,” said Kaitlin Yarnall, the National Geographic Society’s chief storytelling officer.
“When we create pathways for emerging voices, we take the critical steps toward diversifying filmmaking—a field that has historically lacked representation. Our storytelling and impact truly become so much stronger by hearing more perspectives and creating different narratives.”
Find out more about what it’s like to be a wildlife filmmaker from one of Wildscreen and National Geographic’s own in our interview with presenter and explorer Bertie Gregory.