The screening of the 2021 Good Natured Short Film Festival will take place at the Oxford Natural History Museum on the 29th of October and will then be released on YouTube. We have four categories of films this year: Animation, Life on Earth, People & Nature, and Students and the winner of each category will win a mentoring session with a filmmaking expert. All the films will be screened with English subtitles. We understand that people may need multiple types of accessibility accommodations so please let the Oxford Museum of Natural History know how we can best meet your needs when you book your ticket.

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The judges:

All the shortlisted films will be reviewed by our panel of judges who will then decide the winner of each category.

Lizzie Daly is a Welsh wildlife biologist, broadcaster, filmmaker and conservationist and a Teaching and Outreach Fellow at Swansea University. Lizzie has worked as a presenter on Cbeebies, CBBC, National Geographic, BBC Two, Animal Planet and BBC Earth. In 2018 Lizzie hosted the renowned Panda awards at WildScreen. In addition to broadcasting work, Lizzie continues to publish her own wildlife films on @LizzieDalyWildlifeTV. Lizzie is also very proud to be an academic teaching and outreach fellow at Swansea University and aims to continue to push boundaries when building the bridge between scientific understanding and reaching wider audiences.

With a lifelong passion to conserve elephants, Lizzie has always had a research interest in elephant behaviour in order to better understand elephant movements across a changing landscape. She is studying her PhD at Swansea University studying African elephant movements. Lizzie is a conservationist with a fierce passion to care for our oceans and protect our wild spaces. She is an ambassador for Orca, the Marine Conservation Society, the Jane Goodall Institute UK and an ambassador for Norwich Science Festival.

With over 20 years of experience in film and television production, Director and Producer Chris Renaud has established himself as one of the most prolific and consistent talents in the world of animation following the phenomenal box office success of movies such as Despicable Me (2010), Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax (2012) and Despicable Me 2 (2013). Along with Pierre Coffin and Eric Guillon, he also co-created the iconic yellow Minion characters featured in the Despicable Me films and the global smash Minions (2015).

He went on to direct The Secret Life of Pets (2016) which debuted in the United States to $104M, breaking the weekend opening record for any film based on an original concept. His work has been nominated twice for both the British and American Academy Film Awards.

Malaika Vaz is a National Geographic Explorer, TV Presenter and wildlife filmmaker from India. She hosts, directs and produces documentaries focused on the environment for networks like Nat Geo Wild, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Al Jazeera. Malaika is the co-founder of Untamed Planet, a documentary production house aimed at bringing conservation programming onto mainstream television globally.

Her recent TV series on the community-led conservation of Big Cats in India titled ‘Living with Predators’ is airing on Nat Geo Wild and Disney+. She is passionate about documenting transnational wildlife crime, and has been investigating the illicit trade pipeline in Manta Rays from India to China for the last 3 years, and filming the nexus between captive elephant tourism and trafficking. Over the past few months, Malaika has documented the impact of the pandemic on migrant communities in India with a film supported by National Geographic’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists and reported on bat conservation world for Al Jazeera’s award-winning environmental TV series Earthrise.

Luke Massey has been taking photos ever since he started stealing his sister’s camera when he was 12, taking it along with him on his nature walks. Being able to show people that the azure dot on the screen was indeed a kingfisher, instead of just telling them about it, sparked his passion for storytelling through imagery.

From the Spanish mountains searching for the Iberian lynx, to the backstreets of Delhi photographing black kites. Luke loves experiencing different cultures & places, meeting the people on the ground making a difference and living alongside incredible species. Luke hopes his work can be used as a tool to educate and inspire, showing people species close to home and further afield.

The mentors:

Our winners will get the incredible opportunity to be mentored by the following experts.

Animation Mentor:

Alli Sadegiani is a Swedish award-winning artist whose portfolio spans over multiple mediums and decades. As a character animator, he has contributed to critically acclaimed and Academy Award-winning blockbusters at Walt Disney Animation, DreamWorks, and Pixar Animation Studios. Staying close to his roots as an independent filmmaker he delves into human, social and universal conditions and is best recognized by striving to break the mold in an effort to entice and engage the audience.

Life on Earth Mentor:

Anne Sommerfield is a multi-award-winning Irish Wildlife Filmmaker whose documentaries have achieved massive global audiences on the BBC, National Geographic, Netflix, Discovery, and beyond. Specialising in Natural History for the last 16 years, Anne’s work on the Emmy Nominated “Meerkat Manor” was credited with changing the landscape of natural history storytelling. More recently her landmark series “Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough” drew both critical and environmental acclaim and was screened for world leaders at the Paris Summit on Climate Change. Her passion for wildlife conservation and behavioural ecology has taken her to some of the most remote and remarkable places on the planet.

People & Nature Mentor:

Tom Mustill is a Producer, Director and Writer specialising in stories of where people and nature meet. His work with David Attenborough, Greta Thunberg, Stephen Fry, and conservation and science heroes across the globe have won over 30 international awards, including two Webbys, a Wildscreen Panda, three Jackson Wild Awards, and been nominated for a Primetime Emmy. He directed the blockbuster Inside Nature’s Giants series which won a BAFTA, Royal Television Society, and Broadcast award, as well as the ZSL Award for Communicating Zoology. He also co-hosts the podcast: SO HOT RIGHT NOW, with his friend the environmental journalist Lucy Siegle.

Students Mentor:

Akanksha Sood is among India’s premiere multi-award-winning natural history filmmakers. She is known for her extreme passion and brilliant story-telling. With two decades of work experience that covers the range and breadth of film production, she has been documenting some of the rarest and endangered species across India. Her films have been televised across the globe, not just for the strong stories and breathtaking visuals, but also for the empathy her work has created towards the natural world and exposed the need for conservation. Among the 250+ awards and nominations, she has won three National Film Awards given by the President of India, a UN Film Award, and recently, the Diversity Leadership Award by the World Congress of Factual Producers. She is also one of the Jurors for the International Emmy ® Awards – Documentary category and a part of the Advisory Group to Jackson Wild.

Lost Fishes Art Exhibition

Alongside the film festival, we have teamed up with Shoal, an organisation working towards conserving freshwater species, and will be presenting an exhibition of the winning entries from the Lost Fishes Art Challenge, showcasing some of the best images of species from Shoal’s Search for the Lost Fishes campaign. These ‘Lost Fishes’ are a selection of freshwater fishes that have not been recorded in over a decade, but which have not been declared Extinct. Shoal will launch expeditions to try find the species and, once found, will install a conservation programme to bring them back from the brink of extinction. Learn more at shoalconservation.org/search-for-lost-fishes/. You can see the shortlisted artworks here!

The judges:

All the shortlisted fishes will be reviewed by a panel of judges who will then decide the winner of each category.

Jeremy Wade is a world-renowned angler, writer, and television presenter whose television series River Monsters, Mighty Rivers, Jungle Hooks, and Dark Waters have made him a household name among passionate anglers in the UK and USA. USA Today has described him as: “One of the more thoughtful and interesting people on TV”.

Dr. Eleanor Adamson is the fisheries programme manager at The Fishmongers’ Company. Eleanor is a molecular ecologist by training and advises The Fishmongers’ Company on a range of science-related fisheries and conservation programmes. She remains a Research Associate at London’s Natural History Museum and is one of Shoal’s advisors.

Ivan Mikolji is an explorer, researcher, audio-visual artist, and author who tirelessly documents the magnificent diversity and wonder of South America’s freshwaters. He seamlessly fuses nature, science, and art to uncover the world of wonder in freshwaters, and communicate the threats these fragile ecosystems face.

Partners & Sponsors

For this year’s film festival, we are proud to announce that Manfrotto will be sponsoring this year’s event. With their extensive product base covering all the needs of a photographer or filmmaker, we are extremely happy to have them on board this year! Up for grabs will be a stunning first prize of a Beefree Live Fluid Head with a set of Befree Aluminium tripod system legs to match. The fluid head of this tripod enables smooth panning and a variety of shot types thanks to its fluid drag system. This is a perfect prize for our main winner and with its durable aluminum legs, it’s built to last.

Manfrotto has also been kind enough to supply us with a second prize for the people’s choice award, which will be voted for by a live audience for the premiere screening, the GorillaPod 3K Video PRO. This awesome piece of kit is not like its usual three-legged counterparts. This fantastic piece of kit sports three spider-like legs for the camera to be placed in a manner of creative positions. It too features a solid-fluid head to capture those sweeping shots. This could be a perfect prize for a seasoned professional or someone just starting out. A huge thank you to our sponsor Manfrotto for their help in awarding the creatives of conservation!

Looking forward to the festival and would like to support us to carry on our mission? If you and your organization value the work that we do and would be interested in helping to ensure we are able to continue to put out these kinds of projects, we would be honoured to discuss partnership opportunities with you. You can also donate directly below.

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