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Witness the wild with Wildscreen

Published on Thursday, 29th September 2016

Bristol's two-yearly Wildscreen Festival - the world’s biggest celebration of the best in wildlife film, television and photography – is opening up more events than ever to the public this October.

As well as running a five-day industry programme for around 1,000 international delegates, the charity behind the event is also expanding the breadth and scale of its public outreach, including by inviting the public to take part in its centrepiece event: the October 13 ceremony at which the world’s top wildlife filmmakers and broadcasters will gather to hear who has won Wildscreen’s latest Panda Awards – the industry’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Other highlights of the festival’s Witness The Wild public programme include:

  • Free bicycle-powered screenings and pop-up cinemas in parks and community buildings;
  • A free open-air photography exhibition at College Green from October 7 to 28, featuring large-scale images by some of the world-class nature photographers also taking part in a new photography day school;
  • The creation by the highly-rated Louis Masai of two new pieces of street art depicting lesser-known endangered species;
  • Daily showings at Watershed from October 10 to 16 of this year’s Panda Award nominated documentaries - a choice of 43 titles, 10 of them never previously shown in the UK;
  • A rare UK appearance by the renowned National Geographic photojournalist Tim Laman, sharing experiences and images from his 30 years of work in rainforests, including his intimate portraits of orangutans (as shown above) and of birds of paradise;
  • Wildscreen Trustee Keith Scholey giving the Bristol Vision Institute’s Richard Gregory Memorial Lecture on the theme:  Science and wildlife films: perfect partners;
  • Insider insight and behind-the-scenes anecdotes from TV presenter Liz Bonnin about the making of the ground-breaking and BAFTA winning BIG BLUE LIVE.

Many of the events are free while ticket prices for others start from £6.50 full / £4.50 concessions. Full details of the public programme, including booking links, can be found at

Wildscreen CEO Lucie Muir, (pictured) says: “Bristol’s biennial hosting of the Wildscreen Festival gives the city an unrivalled opportunity to see some of the world’s finest examples of wildlife and environmental film, television and photography and to hear from some of our most engaging natural history storytellers.  For the first time this year, our public programme is spreading beyond the city centre, and will be more varied and ambitious than ever before. We are particularly thrilled to be taking screenings out to local communities, by the addition of street art – as much a Bristol speciality as wildlife film  – and that our outdoor photography exhibition will not only feature images of extraordinary power but will also set new standards for sustainability.”

The Wildscreen Festival’s public programme accompanies a week-long industry one, running from October 10 to 14 and offering a daily mix of insider insights, pitching sessions, discussions, tech updates, masterclasses, and screenings as well as a Virtual Reality zone and a trade show.  

The biggest event of the week will be a glittering ceremony at the 1800-seat Colston Hall on Thursday 13 October during which the latest winners of Wildscreen Festival’s coveted Panda Awards will be announced.  It will be opened by Sir David Attenborough and hosted by Steve Backshall and Liz Bonnin.

Principal sponsors of the Wildscreen Festival 2016 are BBC Earth, BBC Worldwide, Disneynature and Nat Geo Wild.