Comedian John Bishop and Tigress productions took the UWE Bristol sponsored Panda Award

Issue date: 19 October 2016


John Bishop pictures second left receiving award

Comedian John Bishop and Tigress Productions took the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) sponsored Panda Award for Most Popular Broadcast, at Wildscreen Film Festival 2016 last week.

John and the production team from the Clifton based company, received the award for John Bishop's Gorilla Adventure, which drew huge audiences when it aired in 2015. The presenter and production staff were given the award by UWE Bristol's Director of Creative Industries, Lynn Barlow, in front of almost 1000 people at the Colston Hall.

Sir David Attenborough, Wildscreen patron, was guest of honour at the bi-annual Panda Awards, which have been called 'The Green Oscars' and are keenly sought by the world's most successful and celebrated wildlife filmmakers.

John said: “I am completely blown away to win a Panda. It was a fantastic programme to make and I am really proud to have been a part of it.”

MA students from the University's prestigious Wildlife Filmmaking course were volunteers and stewards for the week-long Wildscreen festival which included masterclasses, talks and screenings from international broadcasters and producers.

It's estimated that almost 40% of the global content production in natural history and natural world programming is made in Bristol. The BBC's Natural History Unit, which celebrates its 60th birthday next year, has spawned a number of independent companies in the city including Tigress, Icon Films and Silverback Films - whose current production for Netflix will look at the world's most endangered habitats.

Lynn Barlow, who chaired the Festival Advisory Group for the 2016 festival, and is also a trustee of the Wildscreen Charity said, “It was an incredible festival. Netflix opened the week with their campaigning documentary, The Ivory Game, produced by Tera Mater studios and Executive Produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. Sir David Attenborough was in conversation with Chris Packham; Chris also received the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Pandas.

“Our students were immersed in the festival all week. They got to meet and talk to the delegates and attend some of the sessions, making invaluable contacts for their future careers.”

There was also a UWE Bristol led panel discussion regarding Diversity in the industry, with Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust scholarship winner, Alice Owen, who embarked upon her MA in Wildlife Filmmaking in September.

UWE Bristol's MA in Wildlife Filmmaking is now in its fifth year and has an employment rate of more than 95%.

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