World’s largest wildlife and environmental film festival in Sri Lanka

Saturday, 12 February 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Twelve environmental filmmakers from the UK will be coming to India and Sri Lanka from 14 to 18 February 2011 as part of the British Council organised Wildscreen Festival.  The festival will showcase free screenings of wildlife and environmental films from across the world, some of them winners of the Panda Awards, nicknamed the green OSCARS®. Sri Lankan documentaries will also be screened as part of the festival.

The Wildscreen Festival was founded by Sir Peter Scott in 1982 and has been organised every alternate year for the past 25 years. It is the world’s largest and most prestigious wildlife and environmental film festival. Held in Bristol, the world’s centre for wildlife filmmaking, it attracts hundreds of delegates from around the globe who work in film, television and the press, as well as those actively involved in working to conserve the environment.

The Wildscreen Festival came to Sri Lanka for the first time in 2009 when it toured Colombo as a part of a touring festival covering Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bangalore.  The programme included 9 filmmakers, 18 workshops, and 17 film screenings across five cities.

This year the festival will visit Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bhubaneswar and Colombo. The two day programme in Sri Lanka from 17 to 18 February will comprise of free master classes on various aspects of filmmaking by three UK filmmakers Amanda Theunisseen, Dolmic Weston and Martin Elsbury and Wildscreen UK co-ordinator, Charlotte Ackrill. The master classes will cover topics such as Trends in Wildlife and Environmental Filmmaking, The Magic Art of Storytelling, Short Films and Film Editing, amongst others.

Award winning films on climate change and wildlife will also be screened during the festival. They will be joined by three Sri Lankan film professionals – Taya Diaz, Delon Weerasinghe and Anoma Rajakaruna who will also conduct masterclasses and share the Sri Lankan perspective on documentary film making and their case studies with the audiences. The UK and local filmmakers will share their views at a panel discussion on ‘Differences and mutual challenges in Asian, American and European productions/film making’, which will be open to the public free-of-charge and will be held on 17 February at 5.30 p.m. at the British Council Colombo.

On 19 February, TVE Asia Pacific will present a selection of films on environment and sustainable development drawn from their global catalogue, which includes some Sri Lankan and South Asian titles. The Department of Wildlife and Conservation in Sri Lanka will also present a series of short documentaries on local flora and fauna including wildlife sanctuaries.

Richard Edwards, Wildscreen’s Chief Executive said, “We are delighted that Wildscreen is returning to India and Sri Lanka again this year to further develop our relationship with local audiences and filmmakers. India and Sri Lanka are key destinations for Wildscreen’s Outreach Programme because of the region’s rich filmmaking heritage, and because, like many other areas of the world, the natural environment is under threat from rapid economic development and climate change. The award-winning film screenings and master classes that are part of this year’s festival have a strong climate change and environmental focus, and aim to engage, inspire and enthuse those interested in preserving and protecting the region’s precious biodiversity.”

Admission to film screenings and master classes is free and open to the public. Participation in master classes requires prior registration. To register and for details visit