Wildscreen, BBCS launch Tanzania festival
Conservation charity Wildscreen, BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit (NHU) and non-profit organisation Afrisos have partnered to launch an event titled Wildscreen Festival Tanzania.
The festival will take place on June 7-8 in the East African city of Arusha and will enhance NHU’s partnership with Wildscreen, following its role as the headline sponsor of last year’s Wildscreen Nairobi Festival, according to the backers.
Wildscreen Festival Tanzania will open its doors to aspiring and established professionals from the African film industry and participants from the global natural history film sector. In addition, African storytellers and filmmakers will have the opportunity to share their insights and expertise alongside prominent figures from the global industry. There will be keynote speeches, panels, workshops, commissioning sessions and networking opportunities.
The event’s programming will receive support from a festival advisory board chaired by Faith Musembi, producer/director at the NHU. It will precede Wildscreen’s biannual global festival, scheduled to take place in Bristol, England from October 14 to 18.
Wildscreen CEO Lucie Muir said: “There were so many tangible impacts off the back of the inaugural event in Nairobi last year, whether it be connections, jobs, film funding or simply demystifying how the wildlife factual genre works. We want to build on that energy and momentum, to support a more equitable international wildlife storytelling community.”
Jonny Keeling, head of the NHU, added: “Following the success of Nairobi last year, we are excited to partner with Wildscreen again to celebrate and recognise the role of African storytellers in the world of wildlife filmmaking. Supporting in-country talent is key to building a more inclusive and sustainable industry. This event promises to bring together programme makers from across the African continent to share new ideas and new opportunities.”
Jigar Ganatra, chairman of Afrisos, said: “Over the last few years, there has been an upswell of authentic storytellers from the continent who have shown immense talent in the wildlife filmmaking industry. The energy for raising our voices for the world to hear and see our perspectives as Africans has led to a refreshed wave of natural world storytelling.
“As a local community of filmmakers and photographers, we are electrified by the fact that our work is being acclaimed internationally, and now, for the first time, the big players are coming to our doorstep to celebrate our achievements and pave a path for future collaborations. It’s about time a bridge is built between African wildlife filmmakers and the international industry – Wildscreen Tanzania promises to be that bridge.”
Wildscreen’s first festival outside of the UK was in June 2023 in Nairobi, which showcased 35 speakers, all of whom shared their expertise and experience as African storytellers with an audience of over 200 industry professionals. Last year, Wildscreen initiated trials for three global hubs located in Nairobi, Cape Town and Bangalore, with the East African hub surpassing expectations and reaching remarkable levels of success, according to the company.