The screening of the 4th edition of our Good Natured Film Festival took place on the 8th of July in the Oxford Museum of Natural History with doors opening at 6pm for an art exhibition in collaboration with UK Youth for Nature and Alicia Hayden! We had four categories of films this year: Animation, Life on Earth, People & Nature, and Students. The winner of each category will have the opportunity to take part in a mentoring session with a filmmaking expert.

The winners for this  fourth edition of Good Natured are:

Winner: The Invention of Less – Directed by Noah Erni
Runner Up: Plants Under Pressure – Directed by Lauren Cook

Winner: A message from Sheeka – Directed by Mei Fujimura
Runner Up: Our Friendly Little Bugs – Directed by Marie-Jo Long

Life on Earth:
Winner: Yellowstone 88 – Song of Fire – Directed by Jerry van de Beek and Betsy De Fries
Runner Up: Glasgow’s Wild Side 2022 – Directed by Elizabeth Jane Penman

People & Nature:
Winner: The Oyster Farmer – Directed by Kika Tuff
Runner Up: Growing Up with Foxes – Directed by Amy Elizabeth Beton

Overall winner: The Invention of Less – Directed by Noah Erni

Public’s Favourite: The Invention of Less – Directed by Noah Erni

Alongside our Good Natured Short Film Festival, we have teamed up with UK Youth For Nature, the UK’s leading youth-led network calling on the politicians & governments of the UK to take urgent action and tackle the loss of nature. They curated a photographic exhibition all about insects that will be featured at the Museum of Natural History at 6pm on the night of the festival.

Check out the virtual exhibition here

Couldn’t attend the event in Oxford? Not a problem! The virtual Film Festival is now available for you to watch below.

The Overall Prize Sponsor:

We are thrilled to announce our Overall Winner prize: a 1-year membership to Wildscreen Network!

The Wildscreen Network supports the global wildlife TV industry by bringing together the best photographers, filmmakers, and creative professionals with the most committed conservationists. Through their webinars, networking events, and digital platform, they help the people in the industry find the best jobs and the production companies find the best talent.

This amazing prize will be an incredibly valuable tool for the overall winning filmmaker to make new connections, attend events across the country and access the virtual Wildscreen library of webinars over the past two years.

Thank you to Wildscreen for donating this brilliant prize!

The judges:

Jonnie Hughes:

Jonnie is a multi-award-winning producer/director, who has worked with Silverback Films since 2012 and was the creative lead on the Our Planet ‘Halo’.

He was producer/director of the phenomenally successful David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet, and co-author with Sir David of the accompanying book. Most recently he was series producer of the BBC landmark series, The Earthshot Prize: Repairing Our Planet.


Alan is the Academy Award winning Writer and Director of the Animated Short-Film, “Piper.” Alan has been honored with an ASIFA-Hollywood Award, an ICFF Award for Outstanding Career and in 2018, Alan was recognized by House Commons of Canada for his artistic and cultural contribution to the city of Niagara Falls, Ontario. Alan began his career in animation at 16 years of age and joined Pixar Animation Studios in January 1997 where he worked for nearly 25 years, animating on feature films, from “A Bug’s Life” to “Lightyear.” Alan took the role of Directing Animator for “Finding Nemo” and the role of Supervising Animator for “The Incredibles,” “WALL•E,” “Brave” and “Incredibles 2.” In 2021 he directed the TV Series short, “Chore Day – The Incredibles Way.” Alan Barillaro currently resides in British Columbia, Canada with his family.

Lucy Lapwing:

Lucy Lapwing is a self-described nature nerd, naturalist and lover of all things wild. Working in conservation and campaigning, she’s passionate about connecting people to the weird, freaky, beautiful and funny species we share our lives with through science communication.

Dr. Paula Kahumbu:

Paula Kahumbu is one of Africa’s best-known wildlife conservationists. She is the CEO of WildlifeDirect and brainchild of the Hands Off Our Elephants campaign with Her Excellency Margaret Kenyatta, the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya. The campaign is widely recognized for its singular successes in advocacy and the engagement of the people of Kenya to support the protection of elephants. She is the producer and host of Africa’s first wildlife documentary series made by Africans for Africans called Wildlife Warriors. Paula is the winner of the Whitley Award Gold Award 2021, ROLEX National Geographic Explorer of the Year for 2021, The Whitley Award 2014, National Geographic Howard Buffet Award for conservation leadership in Africa in 2010 and is a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. She received a special commendation at the United Nations Person of the Year celebrations for her critical role in creating awareness and mobilizing action around the crisis facing elephants in Kenya. She is recognized as a Kenyan conservation ambassador by Brand Kenya and in 2015 received the Presidential Award and title of Order of the Grand Warrior (OGW). She is a trustee of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Maun Science Park Botswana. Paula received her PhD in Ecology from Princeton University where she studied elephants in coastal Kenya.

The Mentors:

Sam Sutaria:

Sam is VP, Strategy & Development at WaterBear Network and one of the founding team of WaterBear: the first interactive streaming platform dedicated to the future of our planet. Sam leads the commercial strategy and business development of the network and production studio, and in just the last year has spearheaded partnerships with the New York Times, UN Foundation, Natura &Co, Nikon Europe, MAVA Foundation, Jack Wolfskin and more.

Sam is also the host of WaterBear’s talk show: “The Bear Hug” and oversees the nonprofit arm of the group: the Resilient Foundation. Prior to WaterBear, Sam led the The European Nature Trust (TENT), produced at Nice and Serious and trained with the BBC Natural History Unit. He is also the Founder of social enterprise DrawFor, and a Trustee of the Barnes Film Festival and the Hartswood Trust.

Osnat Shurer:

Osnat Shurer is producer of the Academy Award®-nominated films, “Raya and the Last Dragon” and “Moana.” Shurer joined Walt Disney Animation Studios in 2012 as vice president of development, working with filmmakers to move features and shorts through the creative process. Previously, she served as the executive producer of the shorts group at Pixar Animation Studios, responsible for Pixar’s short films. Prior to joining Pixar in 2002, Shurer produced and directed film and television in various mediums – live action, animation, live television and various interactive presentations for museums. She worked on documentaries and narrative films throughout the world, in such places as India, China, Tibet, Japan, Africa and Europe, with directors ranging from Michelangelo Antonioni to Alfonso Cuarón.

Pete Cooper:

Pete is a lifelong naturalist who works professionally as an ecologist and conservationist for the Derek Gow Consultancy, an organisation specialising in native species reintroductions and rewilding. Pete is responsible for overseeing conservation breeding and reintroduction programmes for species including glow-worms, harvest mice and wildcats and guiding within a wilding area using large herbivores such as beavers and iron age pigs. Keen to ensure as many people as possible can develop a respect and love for the natural world, he is an enthusiastic nature writer and now runs a TikTok with thousands of followers designed to engage an awareness for wildlife and conservation through bite-size content that is in equal parts amusing and informative.

Lucy Bailey:

Lucy Bailey is a multi – award winning director and producer. Her documentaries span the genres of natural history, documentary, anthropology and medicine. She has worked for the BBC, National Geographic, YouTube, Channel 4 and Comic Relief, travelling around the world making both long from documentaries and short films as well as working for NGO’s. The critically acclaimed ‘Mugabe and the White African’, was her first feature length documentary. This multi award winning cinema film gained Lucy a film BAFTA nomination for ‘Outstanding directorial debut’, won a Grierson, BIFA, Silverdocs grand jury prize, Camera Justicia Human Rights film award, and was also Emmy nominated and Oscar shortlisted. She holds an MA in Anthropology and Geography.

More judges and mentors for the 2022 edition of the festival will be announced throughout the month so keep an eye on this page to get all the updates!


“Judging on Conservation Optimism for me was great. Seeing such a range of films, covering a broad range of styles and topics was fantastic. Films like these really can make a difference, grabbing new audiences, educating and inspiring change.” – Luke Massey, 2021 Judge and Wildlife Photographer and Cameraman

“Alli Sadegiani [2021 Mentor] was very generous with his advice and even offered an additional session to show me the ropes with a new animating software which he thought would help advance my work. I found it really enlightening to learn about life as a professional animator and how he was animating the characters in some of my favourite films!” – Lauren Cook, 2021 Overall Winner

“The Film Festival was a great experience! It was useful to be connected to the Conservation Optimism team and have our networks connect in a way that may not otherwise have happened. It was sad that we couldn’t do it in person at a physical event, but the virtual festival worked well and allowed our international audience to be involved as well. Having the mentoring session with Damon Gameau [2020 Mentor] was very useful. We are still in touch and opportunities are still developing from it, which is exciting. I hope to get involved again next year!” – Leo Plunkett, 2020 Conservation Optimism Film Winner

“In the mentoring session, Lucie Muir [2019 Mentor] gave me advice on my films, helped me get work experience on natural history programmes and helped me to make contacts. She is a wonderful person and gave me a great boost in the industry. And to this day, she is still looking out for me. I really could not imagine a better mentor!”- Yaz Ellis, 2019 Winner for Student Film

Curious to see which films were shortlisted on our third edition last year? You can watch the 2021 Film Festival below:

And you can also get some advice from the 2021 judges by watching this video: