BAFTA award nominations for wildlife filmmaking students

Issue date: 24 May 2017

Two documentaries from a wildlife filmmaking course at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) have been shortlisted in the 2017 BAFTA Student Film Awards.

The films, Ada Bodjolle's Amazonia Dammed and Tania Esteban's Lion's Tale, are among 45 shortlisted from more than 400 entries worldwide.

The MA Wildlife Filmmaking course, now in its sixth year, is run in partnership with the BBC's Natural History Unit and has an employment record of more than 95 per cent.

UWE Bristol is one of only two universities – along with University of California Berkeley - to receive a brace of nominations in the documentary category of the awards, which will be presented at a ceremony in Los Angeles on 22 June.

A Lion's Tale is a follow-up to award-winning 1960s conservation film Born Free, highlighting the ongoing human-wildlife conflicts in Kenya with interviews with Virginia McKenna of the Born Free Foundation.

Tania (pictured), who has worked on BBC Wild Cats and The One Show as a researcher/translator since graduating from UWE Bristol last year, said: “I was incredibly humbled and thrilled to be nominated alongside my best friend and course mate Ada.

“It means a lot because I have been passionate about Born Free and African wildlife since I was eight. I never dreamed it would be possible to film and follow the story of my conservation heroes.”

Amazonia Dammed tells the story of the Munduruku people's struggle to protect the heart of the Amazon rainforest against a 'mega-dam' project. The film, which seeks to raise awareness of the need to preserve rainforests, invites the audience to discover how the indigenous population is fighting an impossible war.

Ada, who will graduate from the MA Wildlife Filmmaking course next month, said: “I am so grateful and honoured to see my film shortlisted. The nomination will hopefully help raise awareness of the struggle of indigenous communities in the Amazon and, most importantly, their vital role in the protection of this majestic rainforest.”

Peter Venn, leader of the MA Wildlife Filmmaking course, said: “This is a really distinguished international competition and to be on the shortlist proves that our students are producing world-class films during their time at university. It's a great accolade for them.”

UWE Bristol was recently ranked sixth in the UK for Film Production and Photography courses in the Guardian University Guide 2018.

Ada and Tania were recently interviewed by BBC Radio Bristol about their nominations, listen again on SoundCloud.

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