Our South African oceans made us proud on the international stage last week after WILDOCEANS documentary Our Oceans: Shark Sanctuary was screened at the Oscars of wildlife documentaries - the Jackson Wild film festival.
Produced by Off the Fence in partnership with WILDOCEANS, Our Oceans follows the explorations and scientific research of Angra Pequena, a conservation research vessel that works in South Africa's oceans and beyond.
READ MORE: Explore SA's oceans with upcoming doccie on whales, coelacanths and other precious marine life
Our most precious marine species take centre stage in the documentary, like the humpback whale, the rare coelacanth and the scalloped hammerhead shark. A week before the screening, Our Oceans won the award for Best Feature Film at the Ireland Film Festival.
“The screening of Our Oceans: Shark Sanctuary at Jackson Wild last week was a resounding success,” said Lauren van Nijkerk of WILDOCEANS. “There weren’t enough chairs to seat everyone that arrived to view it and the room was overflowing with ocean lovers.”
The audience especially loved the youth involved in protecting their marine heritage, and had many questions around marine protected areas in South African waters and its growth.
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The public South African premiere will take place on 5 October at the Jozi Film Festival. You can buy tickets here or at the door.
Jackson Wild, previously known as the Jackson Hole Wildlife Festival, has been providing a platform for Mother Nature since 1991 in the US state of Wyoming, using films and media to help ignite public action for our environment and the animals of the world. Besides the films, they also host summits and talks around conservation to help further the various movements through media.
“Jackson Wild is special,” commented WILDTRUST CEO Andrew Venter.
“There is no doubt that it is driving a fundamental shift in the way that environmental filmmakers conceptualise and deliver their projects. Given the unprecedented rate of environmental and social change that we are experiencing, the drive towards impact film making is directly relevant.
"I have no doubt that Jackson Wild’s legacy in this regard will be felt for generations to come, as they direct the most talented environmental filmmakers on the planet towards this outcome.”
Another special South African also attended the film festival as a presenter - Beverly Joubert - who is an accomplished filmmaker, her most recent work completed in the wilds of the Okavango Delta.
WATCH: Dereck and Beverly Joubert share 'deep life parallels' in the making of Okavango, River of Dreams
The Theatrical Award went to Sea of Shadows, an investigative piece about the Mexican Navy's fight for the world's smallest whale, while The River and the Wall and Our Gorongosa shared the Special Jury Award - the first is an adventure film following five friends travelling the Texas borderlands and the second follows the rejuvenation of a Mozambican national park with community involvement.
The Grand Teton Award went to The Biggest Little Farm - a city couple decided to take on farm life and developed a sustainable biodiverse design for living in harmony with nature.
WATCH: Why the ocean is still so unexplored
*Compiled by Gabi Zietsman
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