Fifty tons of camera equipment, 27 countries and 6 500 malaria tablets later; introducing Africa, a seven part wildlife series, co-produced by BBC Bristol and Discovery Channel. Boasting never-been-seen footage of Africa’s greatest and smallest wonders, from the mighty lion to the dung beetle, Africa unlocks the secrets of a continent that holds the earth’s most spectacular wildlife. The series has been nominated in three categories in this year’s prestigious ROSCAR Awards, which take place in Durban on 25 July at the Sibaya World of Entertainment. The event forms part of Wild Talk Africa, the largest international wildlife and natural history film festival and conference in Africa.
Affectionately known as the Rhino Oscars, a record breaking 445 ROSCAR entries from 32 countries were received this year; almost double the amount from entries received in 2011. “The standard and quality of this year’s submissions proves that natural history and wildlife is a growing genre,” Director of Wild Talk Africa, Donfrey Meyer said. “The judges have a monumental task ahead of them in terms of deciding the final winners per category.”
The final judging process will take place next week, from the 18 to 22 July, at the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi game park. Ten high profile judges, including the likes of Chris Cole, the executive producer for the BBC, Helen Hawken, the commissioning editor of Discovery and Jordan Hall, the manager of Development of National Geographic Wild, will converge on in the luxurious reserve for a heated debate, ultimately to decide on the final selection per category.
Categories in the ROSCARS include; best sound design, best environmental production, best editor and best African production. Nominations for the coveted ROSCAR awards include; The Unlikely Leopard, narrated by Jeremy Irons, this is the latest offering from highly acclaimed South African filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert. Touching the Dragon, a thrilling story of a man and his best friend, a crocodile, and Saving Rhino Phila, which looks at a new breed of poachers that have declared war on South Africa’s billion dollar rhino trade.
Wild Talk Africa, alongside Wildscreen in the UK and Jackson Hole in the States, has firmly established itself as one of the top three natural history film festivals in the world. Strongly focused on wildlife, conservation and cultural programming, the four-day festival and conference will include seminars led by key figures in the international broadcast industry.
Attracting filmmakers from across the world as well as experts in broadcasting, Durban Wild Talk Africa’s programme has been designed for everyone; from workshops in adventure filmmaking and shooting for 3D, to a music rights workshop and making content for the internet – there is an immense body of knowledge available for the filmmaking industry. Nine of the ROSCAR entries will be screened to the public during the Durban International Film Festival, as part of the city’s greater vision to build Durban’s “golden mile” as a hub for film market activity in the month of July, similar to what Cannes is to Europe.
“Combined with the continent’s two major film festivals, the Durban International Film Festival and the Durban Filmmart, Wild Talk Africa firms up a truly strong film industry package for visitors, both local and international,” Head of Durban Tourism Philip Sithole said.
Registration for the Durban Wild Talk Africa, which takes place from 23 to 26 July, is currently open, visit www.wildtalkafrica.com for further information and to view the 2013 programme.
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Director: Donfrey Meyer