Panda Awards 2020 Winners Announced

Thursday’s Panda Awards (22nd October) was an exceptional evening celebrating the best of wildlife film making and photography talent in the world.

The recipient of the Golden Panda award, the most coveted international prize in the international wildlife film and TV genre, was My Octopus Teacher, produced by Sea Change Project and Off the Fence; A Netflix Original Production – a moving account of wildlife cameraman Craig Foster’s journey to improved mental health. He began free diving in a cold underwater kelp forest off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. It was here he befriended a common octopus, hiding in plain sight within a jumble of shells on the sea floor, and the film outlines the blossoming of their relationship.

Sea of Shadows, produced by Terra Mater Factual Studios in association with Appian Way, Malaika Pictures, The Wild Lens Collective for National Geographic Documentary Films, was the winner of two awards. The Audio Network Music Award and the Doclights/NDR Naturfilm, Producer/Director Award. The film followed a multinational team of scientists, activists, journalists and undercover agents who go up against drug cartels and illegal traffickers to save the Vaquita, the most endangered whale on earth.

An additional award, the Panda in the Pocket was given to Dynasties: Chimpanzee the first episode in the series produced by BBC Studio’s Natural History Unit.

The judges decided that there had to be two winners of the Nat Geo WILD Series Award. H20: The Molecule that Made Us, produced by Passion Planet Ltd and WGBH Boston for PBS - a landmark series that tells the human story through our relationship to water. The second recipient was Seven Worlds One Planet, produced by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, BBC America, France Télévisions, ZDF, Tencent Penguin Pictures and China Media Group CCTV9, in which David Attenborough reveals the mind-blowing marvels of our seven continents.

The ORF Production Team Award, recognising the art of collaborative working by the teams behind the best of natural history films, was given to the Plimsoll Production Team for Night on Earth: Dusk Till Dawn, a series focusing on the how the night unfolds to reveal the magic in the air, drama in the deep and danger on the ground as animals around the globe arise with the sunset.

David Attenborough: A Life on our Planet, produced by Silverback Films and WWF for Netflix, is a film that outlines Attenborough’s witness statement, vision for the future and how we can work with nature to overturn the climate emergency, walked away with the NHK Scripted Narrative Award.

Sue Martineau, Interim Wildscreen CEO said: “This year’s awards highlight the importance of capturing diminishing biodiversity and the urgency of tackling climate change on film. Optimism and providing solutions around conservation stories were also a running theme throughout the entries, finalists and winners of the 2020 Panda Awards competition. We were thrilled with the exceptionally high calibre of entries this year. The importance of these films and photos are as crucial as ever to share extraordinary and impactful stories.”

The full roll of Wildscreen Panda Award winners is:

  • Golden Panda - My Octopus Teacher - Recipient: Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed
  • Audio Network Music Award - Sea of Shadows Recipient: H. Scott Salinas
  • Panda in the pocket - Dynasties Chimpanzee Recipient: Rosie Thomas
  • Aurum Photo Story Award Recipient: Brent Stirton for Pangolins in Crisis
  • The Nat Geo WILD Series Award - 1st Winner H20: the Molecule that Made Us
    2nd Winner Seven Worlds One Planet
  • ORF Production Team Award - Night On Earth: Dusk Till Dawn Recipient: Plimsoll Productions
  • UWE Editing Award - Disney Nature Penguins Recipient: Andy Netley
  • Icon Films Emerging Talent - Clorofilia Recipient: Andrés Sehinkman, Jonathan Barg, Leandro Vital, Armin Marchesini Weihmuller and Ailín Salas
  • NHK Scripted Narrative Award - David Attenborough: A Life on our Planet Recipient: David Attenborough with Jonnie Hughes
  • Dolby Cinematography Award - Our Planet: One Planet Jamie McPherson, Roger Horrocks, John Aitchison, Paul Stewart, Gavin Thurston, Warwick Sloss, Mateo Willis, Sophie Darlington, Matt Aeberhard
  • Dolby Sound Award - The Flood Recipient Richard Lambert and Roy Noy
  • Doclights/NDR Naturfilm, Producer/Director Award Recipient: Richard Ladkani, Walter Köhler and Wolfgang Knöpfler for the film Sea of Shadows

You can also view recently released keynote conversations on the Wildscreen YouTube channel.

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