South African children’s series Siyaya: Come Wild With Us has won the Best Documentary award at the Golden Bee International Children’s Film Festival, which was held in New Delhi, India, last month.
The series, which aims to bridge the gap between young children and nature, tries to instil curiosity in younger viewers to know more about the natural world in an entertaining and fun-filled way.
The show was made possible by a collaboration between CapeNature, SA National Parks and Wesgro, the tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for Cape Town and the Western Cape.
The documentary is produced and directed by renowned biologist Francois Odendaal and Irene Reynolds Schier. It has aired in more than half of the world’s countries and can be seen locally on multiple platforms from SABC2 to the Mindset Network on DStv. It is also available on video-on-demand service Showmax.
The fifth season of the series will premiere on October 6 on SABC2, where it will air every Wednesday at 16.00. CapeNature said the first three seasons have already been licensed by international broadcasters such as National Geographic in the Middle East and North Africa.
According to CapeNature, the Golden Bee festival drew 186 entries from 18 countries covering three categories: documentaries, short films and feature films.
“How can we expect future generations to care about nature, our wild places and the beautiful creatures in them if they don’t have the opportunity to learn to love nature?” Odendaal said.
“We are overwhelmed by youngsters on our Facebook page who want to go on Siyaya expeditions. We want to be able to reach out and enable young people beyond just the films. The Siyaya project welcomes any partners that can help to make this possible.”
Rao Narender Yadav, Golden Bee festival director, added: “The series had all the elements of an invigorating experience. It is a fascinating visual treat for all, putting children in the lap of nature, exploring, learning and, most importantly, understanding nature.”