Wildscreen, the non-profit curatorial group and creator of the Wildscreen Festival, has announced the team of six international programmers who will organize its official selection competition as part of the 40th anniversary edition of the Wildscreen Festival.
The chair of the program will be Lucy Jane Mukerjee (pictured far left), a queer British-Indian programming disruptor and social impact film curator based in New York City. She has been a senior programmer at the Tribeca Festival since 2018 and is also a co-founder of the Programmers of Color Collective.
She will be joined by Alice Aedy (second from left), a UK-based documentary photographer, filmmaker and activist whose work focuses on forced migration, environmental issues and women’s stories; Chioma Onyenwe, founder of Raconteur Productions (pictured second from right), filmmaker and artist based in Nigeria; Elizabeth Swanson Andi (pictured right), visual storyteller, conservationist and member of the Napu Kichwa indigenous community of the Ecuadorian Amazon; director James Reed, winner of the Golden Panda Award at the Wildscreen Festival in 2020 for My octopus teacher, which soon after won Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars; and Milo Talwani, a Los Angeles-based programmer and curator who oversees the selection process at the Sundance Film Festival and is also technical coordinator for Tribeca Immersive and curator of XR exposure events.
The programming team, which spans four continents, will feature a series of feature films, short films and immersive or extended reality productions narrated by a diversity of storytellers.
Wildscreen launched the Official Selection program in 2020 to discover and honor original, authentic stories about the natural world that appeal to a wide range of audiences. It was also created to open up the festival to a wider range of storytellers and artists, encompassing independents, up-and-coming filmmakers, and stories told through immersive formats.
In 2022, the competition aims to shine a light on filmmakers from underrepresented groups in the environmental film industry – in particular, stories told by filmmakers based in the Global South or who identify as indigenous, representing the groups most affected by climate change and biodiversity loss.
The team of programmers will select 35 productions from a lineup of filmmakers who will each receive a unique and enduring laurel, certificate and trophy. There will also be a Programmer’s Award and an Audience Award, which will award a single laurel and cash prizes of £2,000 and £1,000, respectively. Finally, a production that demonstrates innovative sustainable practices behind the scenes will be recognized with enduring merit.
Submissions are open until April 14 and selected productions will be screened as part of the first-ever Hybrid Wildscreen Festival, which will run from October 10-14 and will be available to stream online for three months via the Festival’s online platform. .