Wildscreen is an award-winning wildlife conservation charity that shares awe-inspiring images of life on Earth to empower conservation around the world. We caught up with the team at 36 King Street, ahead of the next Wildscreen Festival, which takes place in Bristol from 15-19 October.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us! First things first, tell us more about what you do
Wildscreen convenes the best photographers, filmmakers and creative professionals with the most committed conservationists to create compelling stories about the natural world; that inspire the wider public to experience it, feel part of it and protect it.
We are a charity and our flagship project is the Wildscreen Festival – the world’s biggest festival of natural world storytelling – which next takes place right here in Bristol this October.
Sir David Attenborough and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh are both patrons of Wildscreen. It’s always exciting to get a call or visit from them!
So what’s in store for us at this year’s Wildscreen Festival?
Wildscreen Festival takes place from 15-19 October at venues around Bristol harbourside, including We The Curious, Arnolfini and Watershed, with Millennium Square hosting our festival hub.
The programme includes over 130 events. Whilst many are aimed at industry delegates, which we welcome from over 40 different countries, our film screening and outdoor photography exhibition are all open to the public.
One big highlight this year is a guest appearance from award-winning film music composer, Hans Zimmer, whose impressive back catalogue includes scores for Thelma & Louise, Gladiator and The Lion King. He’ll be talking to Edith Bowman about the role of music in storytelling.
What are the best bits about working for Wildscreen?
We love the natural world and are really lucky to be engaged with aspects of it from across the globe, right here in Bristol!
We work with incredible wildlife media, and help highlight natural world topics, from conservation issues to celebrating fantastic imagery and filmography which so many of us would agree is simply awe-inspiring!
And what do you find tough?
Having your finger on the pulse of environmental news can be really upsetting, and seeing unreported wildlife news can really make you feel a bit rubbish with the state of the planet or when we hear of another species which has slipped away into extinction from human activities, such as the Spix macaw a couple of weeks ago.
Who’s on the team?
There’s just six of us working across all of Wildscreen’s projects:
Nicola, Ops Manager
Jon, Tech Manager
Nic, Exchange Executive
Molly, Festival Assistant
Andy, Exchange Assistant
…plus Savage, a Jack Russell, providing morale boosting support.
The Festival is a lot of work so we’ve also brought in some extra help from Karolina, Ben and Abi.
Is there any advice you would pass onto your younger selves at the start of your careers?
We all have differing backgrounds at Wildscreen! From Andy, it would be master your hobbies and things you love, find a way to turn them into your profession, and persevere!
Ben refers to a quote “If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals.” Nic would make sure she continues to do what she loves!
What is it about Bristol that’s important to Wildscreen?
Bristol is the global centre of the wildlife film industry, with it being the home of the BBC’s Natural History Unit and 40% of wildlife TV productions originating from here. Hence the city’s nickname ‘Green Hollywood!’
We also really appreciate that Bristol is doing its best to push plastic out. We’re on our way to becoming the UK’s first plastic free city which is amazing!
And finally, what do you like about working from 36 King Street?
We’ve worked from 36 King Street since 2014. We’ve been around for more than 35 years and have ‘lived’ in a variety of spaces in and around the city centre throughout.
King Street is a great location for us as it’s close to our partners with easy access to national transport links. And the many close by bars, restaurants and St Nick’s Market are a huge bonus!
More on Wildscreen
As well as running festival and events, Wildscreen also work online. Arkive.org sees 700k+ visitors a month and is a treasure trove of more than 100k films and photographs of endangered species along with games, craft activities and teaching resources, all to inspire people to care about the natural world.
You can also find Wildscreen on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter
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