Jackson Wild Selects Finalists for 2023 Media Awards


Jackson Wild has revealed the films selected as finalists for its 2023 Media Awards, which celebrate excellence and innovation in nature, science and conservation storytelling.

The 2023 competition saw over 1,100 category entries filmed in 74 different countries apply for 30 content, craft, program and special jury awards. The finalists were chosen by a jury of over 200 international judges. Winners will be announced on September 28, the final day of the Jackson Wild Summit.

“We received a record number of entries to this year’s awards competition, underscoring the power that storytelling has to connect each of us with the planet,” said Lisa Samford, executive director of Jackson Wild. “The judges have selected an outstanding slate of finalists, consisting of richly woven films that highlight on-the-ground impact and share a multitude of perspectives from around the globe.”

Sponsored by Love Nature, the animal behavior content category’s long-form finalists are NATURE: The Hummingbird Effect from Coneflower Productions, WNET Group and Terra Mater Studios; Once Upon a Time in Tsavo from A Deeble & Stone Film, Waterhole Films, Terra Mater Studios, WNET Group, PBS and CPB; Our Planet II from Silverback Films and Netflix; and Super/Natural: The Mating Game from National Geographic, Earthship Productions and Plimsoll Productions. The short-form finalists are How Does the Mussel Grow its Beard? | Deep Look from KQED and PBS Digital Studios; KAPPE RAAGA The Song of Kumbara — A Night Frog from Creative Capture, Goutham Shankar, Prashanth S Nayaka, Pradeep K Sastry and Ashwin P Kumar; and Kingdom of Ice: Antarctica’s Leopard Seals from SeaLegacy.

Long-form finalists in the ecosystem category are Deep Rising from Deep Rising PTE; Mollie’s Pack from Grizzly Creek Films; NATURE: Treasure of the Caribbean from WNET Group, Terra Mater Studios, BelugaSmile Productions, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, Doclights/NDR Naturfilm; and Once Upon a Time in Tsavo. Up for the short-form award are Dawn Wright’s Historic Expedition from Esri Creative Lab: Video Storytelling Studio; Heart of Maui from National Park Service and Harpers Ferry Center for Interpretive Design; The Tundra from Build Films; and Redwoods Shouldn’t Be So Tall. Here’s Why They Are from PBS Digital Studios, PBS Nature and Atlas Obscura.

In the conservation category, sponsored by ORF, the long-form finalists are Mollie’s Pack; Rhino Man from Global Conservation Corps and Friendly Human, with support from Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, Southern African Wildlife College, Thin Green Line, United for Wildlife and Tanglewood Foundation; Wild Hope: Does Nature Have Rights? from HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, Part2 Pictures and Wild Elements; and Wild Life from Little Monster Films and National Geographic Documentary Films. In the short-form section, nominees are A Disappearing Forest from The Nature Conservancy and Tyler Schiffman Productions; Batsies from Fin and Fur Films Productions; Curupira from Box Brownie; and Older Than Trees from Good Story and presented by Save Our Seas Foundation in collaboration with Sea Change Project.

Sponsored by Doclights, the climate stories long-form finalists are Chasing Carbon Zero from NOVA and MOBIAS Media; Razing Liberty Square from Ford Foundation, The Redford Center, ITVS, BPM, IDA Enterprise, Sundance, Kendeda, Fork Films, Chicken and Egg, Threshold Foundation and Vulcan; The Last of the Nightingales from Colorfool Films and Blind Films; and The Letter: A Message for Our Earth from Off The Fence Productions and Laudato Si Movement. Short-form finalists are Dream to Cure Water from TENT Film and National Geographic Society​; Groundwork: A Family Journey into Regenerative Cotton from The North Face and gnarly bay; and Where the Sun Always Shines from Limpet Films Doc Society BFI Made of Truth Fund.

Save Our Seas sponsors the people and nature category. The long-form finalists are Mollie’s Pack; Rhino Man; Silverback from Off the Fence; and The Elephant Whisperers from Netflix and Sikhya Entertainment. The short-form finalists are Dahican from Boogs Rosales and Manila Media; Daughter of the Sea from Backroads Pictures and Patagonia; Judith: Porter, Protector, Pioneer from African Wildlife Foundation and Jackson Wild; and Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation Area: Africa’s First Marine TFCA from Makhulu Production and the Germany Agency for International Cooperation.

In the Terra Mater Studios-sponsored natural science category, long-form nominees are Ancient Earth: Dinosaurs of the Frozen Continent from ​NHNZ Worldwide, Giant Screen Films and Blue Ant Media; Deep Rising; Prehistoric Planet 2—Islands from BBC Studios Natural History Unit and Apple TV+; and The Last of the Nightingales. Short-form finalists are Breakthrough: Immortal Alligators from Curiosity Stream; Healy from Basecamp Creative, National Geographic Society and Silver Fir Media; Neon Nights | Diving into the World of Biofluorescence from SeaLegacy; and The Reservoir from Day’s Edge Productions.

The program and craft categories finalists and special jury awards finalists can be found on the Jackson Wild website.

The winners will be selected by a final jury consisting of Chilean director and producer René Araneda; journalist and filmmaker Pippa Ehrlich (My Octopus Teacher); Rita Mullin, former executive VP and general manager of Science Channel; and Academy Award nominee and BAFTA, Emmy, Peabody and Grierson winner John Smithson (Touching the Void, 127 Hours, Deep Water), creative director of Arrow Pictures.