Graduates' wildlife films nominated for 'Green Oscars'

Issue date: 09 July 2018


Eline Schellekens and Lindsey Parietti

Two emerging wildlife film directors who graduated from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) will compete for “Green Oscars” at this year's Wildscreen Festival in October. Their short films are nominated for the Bristol event's 2018 Wildscreen Panda Awards, the wildlife film and TV industry's highest accolade.

Eline Helena Schellekens and Lindsey Parietti created their short films as part of UWE Bristol's Master's programme in Wildlife Filmmaking last autumn, before graduating this year. They are the first filmmakers from the University to garner nominations for the prestigious film festival.

Blood Island, directed by American filmmaker Parietti, is nominated for both the Emerging Talent and Short Film Awards. Her gripping film unravels the emotionally charged story of a group of chimpanzees captured and bred for medical research in West Africa, and the surprising fight for their lives that ensues.

The documentary was also honoured with a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award for Best Student Documentary at a ceremony in Los Angeles on 29 June.

M6NTHS, directed by Dutch filmmaker Schellekens (pictured), is nominated for a Short Film Award. The film is a beautifully crafted perspective on the first six months of life as seen through the eyes of a piglet whose only glimpse of the outside world comes through a tiny window. Told without human intervention or narration, the film is a brave and understated testament of life on an industrial farm.

Now in its sixth year, the MA in Wildlife Filmmaking generates exceptional talent for the industry in partnership with the BBC's Natural History Unit.

Wildlife Film Programme Director Peter Venn said: “We're incredibly proud of Eline and Lindsey, these nominations are a fantastic achievement and thoroughly well-deserved. Their films are powerful, highly emotive and individual. They also show what can be achieved in giving filmmakers the freedom to be creative.”

Venn added: “Eline and Lindsey bring empathy, compassion and honesty to their craft and challenge audiences to rethink our relationship with the natural world and the living beings in it.”

Talking about her film, Schellekens said: “It is time to look the animals we eat in their eyes again.”

Parietti said: “It's a huge honour to join the tradition of incredible wildlife films coming out of Bristol.” The heroes in Blood Island show that we all have the power to impact the natural world around us.”

The prestigious Wildscreen Panda Awards have sat at the heart of the Wildscreen Festival since they were presented at the first festival in 1982.

The award ceremony will close the 2018 Wildscreen Festival on 19 October at the Passenger Shed in Bristol. Tickets will be available on the Wildscreen website wildscreen.org.

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