The Wildscreen Panda Awards honour the very best in natural world storytelling craft.
The Panda Awards have sat at the heart of the Wildscreen Festival since they were presented at the first Festival back in 1982 and they remain the highest honour in the international wildlife film and TV industry.
Despite the global challenges of 2020, Wildscreen continued to celebrate the very best natural world storytelling, adapting to a virtual format for the first time ever and hosting online screenings for the nominated productions. 2022 will see the first ever hybrid Wildscreen Festival, ensuring the Panda Awards and the Festival are as accessible and inclusive globally, as possible.
In 2022, the Wildscreen Panda Awards is welcoming back cherished categories Behaviour and Impact as well as creating a standalone Sustainability Award and a brand new On-Screen Talent Award.
Our industry takes global audiences to the world’s most remote, inhospitable and threatened environments, shining a spotlight on species and habitats that most will never have the opportunity to experience. This form of documentary has never been more important or needed, with biodiversity being threatened to the point of no return. The Panda Awards celebrates the human endeavour and unique skill that it takes to tell nature’s stories.
*Submitting a series*: the only category which can accept an entire series is the Series Award. However, individual episodes can be entered into any category.
Are you looking for the Official Selection? This is a separate competition and can be found here: https://filmfreeway.com/WildscreenFestivalOfficialSelection
A certificate of nomination and laurel will be sent to the authorised representative of each nominated Production and Photo Story.
The authorised representative of each Entrant with an award-winning Production and Photo Story will receive a Panda Award trophy, laurel and winner’s certificate.
Replica trophies and certificates will be available to order for an additional fee after the Awards Ceremony.
For full rules and guidelines in a variety of accessible formats, visit: https://express.adobe.com/page/qf3ZjQuVtuIH4/
The 21st Wildscreen Festival ("Festival") will take place from 10 October to 14 October 2022 in Bristol, UK and broadcast for the first time as a hybrid festival experience.
The Panda Awards ("Awards") are managed and presented by Wildscreen, a charity based at Unit 2.6, Temple Studios, Temple Gate, Bristol BS1 6QA ("Wildscreen") to celebrate and reward excellence in the craft of wildlife and environmental storytelling.
Submission of a film production or Photo Story to the Awards competition is subject to and conditional on the Entrant (defined below) accepting these Rules and Wildscreen does not accept any submission on any other basis whatsoever.
The Awards are open to new or established broadcasters, film or television production companies/distributors and independent filmmakers from anywhere in the world ("Entrants"). All entries for the Awards are made subject to these Rules.
To be eligible, a film production ("Production") must:
- have an aspect of the natural world as the central focus
- be completed on or after 1 March 2020
- not have been entered for a previous Panda Awards competition
- be submitted by the producer or distributor of the film (or their authorised representative)
Productions entered into the Awards do not need to have been broadcast prior to their entry, nor do they need at the date of entry to have a future transmission date, and if screened at the Festival they do not need to be a premiere festival screening.
Productions in languages other than English are welcome but must be subtitled or dubbed into English. Alternatively, the screener copy must be accompanied by an English script with a time code. If nominated for an award or screening, a copy of the
Production must be provided by the Entrant with English dubbing or subtitles.
Sponsorship of Productions may be acknowledged in copies submitted for the Awards but submission of copies of Productions incorporating advertising is not permitted.
Productions of all lengths, crew sizes and budgets are accepted in the Wildscreen Panda Awards. All of the above factors will be taken into consideration during the judging process.
PHOTO STORY ENTRIES
To be eligible, the Photo Story (“Photo Story”) Entrant must:
- be aged 18 or over on the closing date
- be the creator of the Photo Story (or their authorised representative)
- be the copyright owner of the images or have secured written permission from the copyright holder or any joint owners of the copyright
Entrants aged 30 or under by the Closing Date may also be considered for the ‘Emerging Talent Photo Story Panda Award’ which will be awarded at the discretion of the Jury.
To be eligible, the Photo Story must:
- have an aspect of the natural world as the central focus
- have a clear and connected narrative weaved throughout the story
- include at least one photograph within the story taken on or after 1 March 2020
consist of six photographs
- not portray subjects that have been captured using live bait
- not portray subjects that are captive, models, restrained, domesticated, or being exploited for profit, except if done so for the purposes of reporting on exploitation of animal(s) by a third party or a welfare issue.
Please note that FilmFreeway offers a reduced price fee for submitters who are subscribed to their Gold Membership plan.
Fees must be paid for the current deadline window at the time of submission via the FilmFreeway platform. Fees are charged in GBP Sterling and can be paid by credit/debit card or PayPal.
Submission fees are non-refundable.
Entry fees are only waived for entrants residing in a least economically developed country as defined by the UN. For the current list of eligible countries see:
PANDA AWARD CATEGORIES
For outstanding achievement in cinematography.
Eligibility: No more than 10 percent of the production should be comprised of archive footage.
For outstanding achievement in editing.
EMERGING TALENT (FILM)
In recognition of an individual or team demonstrating exceptional new talent in natural world storytelling and creative and visual flair in constructing their film.
Eligibility: Entrants must have not been employed in natural history production for more than 4 years. Productions made as part of a university or college course are eligible for this category.
For outstanding achievement in the composition and use of original music.
Eligibility: A production will be eligible if more than 50 percent of its music is original composition created specifically for it.
For outstanding storytelling through a series of six still images.
Eligibility: 6 images must be submitted in order, with clearly numbered photos and titles.
PHOTO STORY EMERGING TALENT
In recognition of exceptional new talent in storytelling through a series of six still images.
Eligibility: Photographers must be aged 30 years-old or younger on 14 April 2022.
PRODUCER / DIRECTOR
For outstanding achievement in producing and/or directing a single production.
For outstanding achievement in teamwork, overcoming challenges and creating best practices to create an exceptional final production.
For outstanding achievement in scriptwriting.
Additional materials: Please upload an English script as a supporting document on your FilmFreeway project. Your submission will not be complete until an English script is received.
For outstanding achievement in a series about the natural world.
Eligibility: Entries must have a unified narrative, approach and/or theme with a finite number of episodes and include a minimum of three episodes. The series does not need to have been broadcast on television to be eligible.
Additional material: Entrants must nominate one episode from the series on the submission form and make the whole series available for viewing by the jury by a service such as Vimeo or Dropbox (private viewing links are permitted). A synopsis of the complete series must also be provided, including the overarching aims of the series.
For outstanding achievement in the overall use of sound.
For the production that best reveals insights into the behaviour of, or the interactions between animals and/or plants.
Eligibility: Behaviour must be the main focus of the film.
For the best overall production that most effectively communicates an issue affecting the natural world and is intended to deliver, or has already delivered, tangible impacts as a result.
Eligibility: Impacts may include behaviour change, audience reach, policy change and fundraising.
Additional material: Entrants are required to submit a brief narrative (maximum 500 words) outlining the tangible impacts and outcomes of the production. This should include qualitative and quantitative information.
For the best implementation of sustainable practises to reduce the environmental impact throughout the lifecycle of a production.
Additional material: Entrants are required to complete and submit a Sustainability Award application form outlining their actions at every stage of production to reduce their environmental impact. Filmmakers can share carbon action reports and certifications as part of this submission but they are not required. Documents must be uploaded to the FilmFreeway project.
GOLDEN PANDA AWARD
All nominated films will be reviewed by the Final Jury, which will select the winner of each Panda Award category and one production as overall winner (the "Golden Panda Award"). The winners will be announced at the Panda Awards Ceremony in October 2022.
Entrants must complete a separate project for each Production and nominate it for consideration in one or more award categories.
All submissions must be accompanied by the required enclosures as follows:
- completed online submission form, including production details, synopsis and credits and current contact details of Entrant
- a screener copy of the Production
- additional documents such as cue sheets or scripts uploaded to FilmFreeway project (if applicable)
- payment of fees for submission of the Production for the Awards ("Fees")
Submission materials will not be returned. Wildscreen reserves the right to reject submissions that are incomplete.
Production partners: All partners involved in a Production must be credited in the submission form and it is the responsibility of the Entrant to notify all their Production partners of the submission. Wildscreen will assume in relation to each entry that all Production partners have agreed to the submission of the Production for the Awards. In the event that a number of different parties submit a single Production for the Awards, Wildscreen will notify all such parties that they must jointly determine the identity of a single authorised representative to act as Entrant for that Production.
Credits: When entering the Panda Awards Entrants must ensure that the individuals responsible are properly credited in the submission form.
Submission format: In order to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint and enable a smoother print traffic service, Wildscreen uses a digital film delivery platform and films must be submitted via online screener only.
Entry deadline: The official entry deadline for all submissions is 23:59 GMT on 14 April 2022. Late submissions (until 23:59 GMT on 12 May 2022) are at the discretion of Wildscreen and additional fees will be incurred.
Nominated productions: Additional materials will be required from nominated productions. Wildscreen require a ProRes video file of each production to be screened at the Festival, promotional stills, a time-coded English script and a 30 second clip for use at the Panda Awards ceremony.
Film production Entrants will be asked for the various production details
In addition to the information above, Entrants are required to submit a brief statement for each of their chosen award categories, which clearly describes the strengths and achievements of their production in relation to each category.
All entrants are asked to answer some general questions about the sustainability of their production and are encouraged to apply for the Sustainability Panda Award.
Media files: Wildscreen aims to provide the best possible viewing experience for the judging of your film. To achieve this, we ask you to provide a high-quality version of your video to be uploaded to FilmFreeway, or to supply a Vimeo link. As soon as you create a project in FilmFreeway you will be directed to your Project Page where you can easily upload your project file (up to 10GB) or link your video via Vimeo or YouTube.
To view a Project Page, go to My Projects in the main menu, then click View next to the appropriate project.
FilmFreeway accepts all major video formats in full quality HD up to 10 GB. We transcode videos for playback compatibility and performance and recommend that you use settings close to our output settings:
Maximum video bitrate: 2200 Kbps, H.264, mp4
Audio: 128 Kbps, AAC, 2 channel stereo
Aspect ratio preserved; maximum video height of 720 pixels
Wildscreen will contact the production submitter if there are any issues with the film file so please ensure that you have an individual identified as the submitter and a direct email address.
In addition to contact details and images, Entrants are required to submit a story title and a synopsis to support their submission. The synopsis should clearly describe the originality, purpose, strengths and achievements of the Photo Story.
Images: Six images must be submitted per Photo Story. Images must be jpeg files at 1920 pixels along the longest side in the colour space Adobe RGB (1998).
If shortlisted, photographers or their authorised representative will be requested to provide RAW or original Jpeg files for verification, as well as high resolution Tiff files.
Please ensure that you upload your images in the order that you wish them to be viewed by the judges.
Please rename your files using the following format: "04_ImageTitle.jpeg" where the image's position in the story sequence is represented by a number from 01-06 and appears first, followed by the image title. Please do not put your name in the filename.
You must include:
- image title
- image caption
- technical information including camera, lens and other equipment
- EXIF details should be kept intact (eg aperture, shutter speed, iso)
- details of any post processing beyond lens profiles, colour temperature, dust spot removal, global and local saturation and exposure changes, sharpening and cropping (such as stitching or multiple exposures)
- any additional information such as details of any bait used
You may also include:
You must not include:
- your name in either the caption or image title, or on the image itself
Digital adjustments including cropping, tone and contrast, sharpening, stitching, multiple exposures are permitted. The removal of objects, people, vegetation, background features or any action that alters the meaning or message of the photograph is not permitted.
FILM PRODUCTION JUDGING
There will be two rounds of judging.
All submissions received by the entry deadline will be reviewed by the Nomination Jury and the Productions deemed to be the best by the Nomination Jury in each category will be nominated for the category award and put forward for consideration by the Final Jury.
All Entrants will receive notification of the outcome of the judging process by the Nomination Jury in July/August 2022 before any public announcement is made regarding nominated Productions.
All nominated films will be reviewed by the Final Jury, which will select the winner of each award category and one production as overall winner (the "Golden Panda Award"). The winners will be announced at the Panda Awards Ceremony in October 2022.
Both the Nomination Jury and the Final Jury will comprise industry practitioners selected from a range of disciplines and countries, balanced in age, gender and experience and with a history of achievement in their field.
Members of both Juries are invited to serve by Wildscreen. Nomination and award decisions are made by the members of the Nomination Jury and Final Jury in their absolute discretion and by them alone and the Juries may in their discretion withhold an award in any category.
Due to the number of submissions received, Wildscreen cannot provide individual feedback or reasons for non-selection of any entry.
PHOTO STORY JUDGING
The Jury will comprise of a Chair and five industry practitioners selected from a range of disciplines and countries, balanced in age, gender and experience and with a history of achievement in their field. Members of the Jury and Chair are invited to serve by Wildscreen.
Judges will be looking for original stories with a clear and strong narrative where the images work together as a set, whilst individually being of the highest technical quality.
There will be two rounds of judging. All submissions received by the entry deadline will be reviewed remotely by the Jury from which a shortlist of up to 15 entries deemed to be the best by the Jury will be selected for consideration for award nomination.
Shortlisted photographers or their authorised representatives will be requested to submit RAW or original Jpeg files for verification, as well as high resolution Tiff files. The Jury will then convene to select up to three entries for award nomination, from which they will select the overall category winner.
The Jury may at their discretion, also select a photo story for consideration for an ‘Emerging Talent Photo Story Panda Award’. To be eligible for consideration, entrants must be between 18 and 30 years on the closing date of the competition.
The winner(s) will be announced at the Panda Awards Ceremony in October 2022.
Due to the number of submissions received, Wildscreen cannot provide individual feedback or reasons for non-selection of any entry.
USE OF SUBMISSION MATERIALS
Festival Screening: Entrants who have submitted Productions which have been nominated for an award will be asked to provide high quality screening copies (to be retained in Wildscreen’s archive) for viewing by the Final Jury and screening during the Festival. Wildscreen can support a variety of screening formats and each nominee or selected Entrant will be contacted to discuss specific formats for such purposes.
In the event of a force majeure that prevents Wildscreen from hosting in-person events, productions will be screened digitally via an online Festival platform.
All nominees will need to provide a ProRes video file of the Production for screening during the Festival. No Production which has been nominated for an award may be withdrawn by an Entrant after publication of the Festival programme.
The scheduling and timetabling of screenings is entirely at the discretion of the Wildscreen team.
Promotions: Wildscreen will seek to promote the Festival and Awards by featuring extracts from submissions on radio, television and any other form of audio-visual media including, but not limited to, the World Wide Web and digital media. Wildscreen will be entitled to use extracts from all submitted Productions for such promotions at no cost provided such extracts do not exceed 2 minutes of featured music or 3 minutes duration in total (in respect of any individual Production).
Film Production Images: Entrants warrant that Wildscreen is entitled to use all images they provide Wildscreen for promotional publicity throughout the world in all media without the requirement to credit such Production or any other person or make any payment in respect of such usage.
Photo Story Images: Entrants warrant that Wildscreen is entitled to use all images they provide to Wildscreen for promotional publicity in connection with the Festival and Awards throughout the world in all media, including social media, without the requirement to make any payment in respect of such usage.
Editing: Wildscreen reserves the right to edit the information supplied by Entrants for use in publicity materials and online promotional materials.
Publicity: Wildscreen may contact Entrants whose submissions have been nominated for Awards or have won Awards to seek their assistance in the promotion of the Festival and publicity in regard to their Production.
Film library: All submissions will be retained permanently by Wildscreen for educational and archival purposes. Wildscreen is entitled to make Productions available for viewing by Festival delegates in an online film library (pre-, during and post-Festival for up to a three month period following the last day of the Festival) and for closed circuit playback of Productions, in whole or in part, to delegates, journalists, members of the public and others, invited to participate in the Festival. Wildscreen does not pay screening fees to Entrants.
Non-Festival screenings: Wildscreen is entitled to screen Productions to the public at not-for-profit events during, after and outside of the Festival for an unlimited time. These screenings will be used to further Wildscreen's charitable objective to ‘inspire the wider public to experience, feel part of and protect the natural world’. An audience admission fee may be levied for such screenings to cover venue charges or administration and Entrants acknowledge that they are not entitled to any payment in respect thereof.
In submitting a Production to the Awards competition each Entrant is deemed to have:
- obtained all necessary clearances in respect of their Production relating to all materials, music, performances, scripts and underlying works embodied in such Production and to give Wildscreen a warrant to that effect.
- all the necessary authority to make such submission in accordance with these Rules.
In the event of any dispute concerning credits or copyright in respect of a Production Wildscreen reserves the right to reject the submission in respect of such Production or withhold any nomination or award in respect of such Production until the dispute is resolved.
Each Entrant is deemed to indemnify and hold harmless Wildscreen, its judges, sponsors and partners, from and against all claims, demands, losses, damages, costs, liabilities, and expenses (including legal expenses), arising from Wildscreen's possession and use in accordance with these Rules of their submission to Wildscreen in connection with the Awards (including without limitation Productions, photographs, information and other materials).
Each Entrant acknowledges that circumstances may arise which are beyond the reasonable control of Wildscreen in which Wildscreen has to cancel the Festival and the Awards and in such event no refunds of Fees will be payable.
Wildscreen's liability for death or personal injury arising from its negligence is not limited but any other liability of Wildscreen related to any submission (whether for breach of contract, or tort (including negligence) or breach of statutory duty or otherwise howsoever arising) is limited to the amount of the Fees paid by the Entrant in respect of such submission.
IN THE EVENT OF ANY QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT: