Nature inFocus Film Contest 2021

Do your films tell stories of the natural world? Whether you are a professional or an aspiring filmmaker, this is your chance to contribute to the larger narrative around nature and wildlife filmmaking.
Submissions are now open.

Last Date – May 31, 2021

Participate
Categories

Emerging talent

Film Duration
Any length
Nationality
Indian

This category showcases the work of non-professional filmmakers who have shown great initiative by taking the first step forward - making their own film.

Professional

Film Duration
Any length
Nationality
Any

This category is open to new or established broadcasters, film or television production companies/distributors and independent filmmakers from anywhere in the world.

Wild Moment

Film Duration
<5 Min
Nationality
Any

An unedited video clip shot on any device that captures an incredible moment of animal behaviour.

Register for Free!

Rewards
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Winner
(for each category)

50,000

Certificate

Trophy

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Special Mention
(for each category)

...

Certificate

Plaque

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Wild Moment

...

Certificate

Plaque

Jury

Meet the experts
who will choose the
winning films.

The Jury Curator is Wildlife
Filmmaker, Sara.

Rita Banerji

Founder-Director, Dusty Foot Production

Rita Banerji is one of the leading environmental filmmakers in the country and her work has been grounded in using communication as a strong tool for conservation action. In 2017 she was awarded the National Geographic – CMS Prithvi Ratna Award for her contribution to the environment and the RBS Earth Heroes award in 2018. She has been part of three Panda Award-winning films, also known as the Green Oscar at Wildscreen, UK. Her core work is in engaging and empowering the youth, especially from indigenous and grassroots communities, in conservation through the use of the visual medium.

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Akanksha Sood Singh

Natural History Filmmaker

With over 17 years of work experience that covers the entire range and breadth of film production, Akanksha has developed and honed her skills, often in extremely high pressure-high demand settings which range from the jungles to tent pole feature films, crafting scripts to negotiating complex acquisition and co-productions, and now to producing and directing her own films. Akanksha’s films have seen first-broadcast on networks like the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, Channel 4, NHK and many more. Akanksha has won three National Film Awards, a Wildscreen nomination, a UN Film Award, and recently, the World’s Emerging Documentarian Award.

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Gautam Pandey

Director, Riverbank Studios

A National Award winner, Gautam Pandey is one of India’s most accomplished wildlife filmmakers. He studied film in Canada and has several national and international awards to his name. Beyond awards, Gautam is someone who lives with a passion for the wild. Born into a family of nature-enthusiasts, his passion for filmmaking started at an early age and he focused it on using the visual medium to bring about awareness about wildlife and document unique animal behaviour in the wild. Gautam has also produced and directed several episodes of the TV series Earth Matters, which is India’s longest running environmental series on National TV 3.

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Joanna Van Gruisen

Wildlife Filmmaker

Joanna Van Gruisen grew up in the Northumberland countryside but has lived in the subcontinent since the late 1970s. She came to India in 1981 to make wildlife documentaries and has lived here ever since. An early pioneer of wildlife photography in India (winner of BBC Wildlife Photography awards) she has been part of the conservation scene for several decades - filming, photographing, writing, researching and editing. She presently lives in Madhya Pradesh where she co-runs a small eco-lodge and is active in sustainable tourism fields and local nature projects.

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Raghu Chundawat

Conservation Biologist

Dr Raghu Chundawat started his career as a conservation biologist more than thirty years ago, with his research on Snow Leopards in Ladakh. Later, he worked as the Regional Science and Conservation Director for the International Snow Leopard Trust. Raghu was also a member of the teaching faculty of the Wildlife Institute of India. He is very closely involved with tiger conservation and research in central India and recently published a book based on his ten-year study there, “The Rise and Fall of The Emerald Tigers”. A recipient of several conservation awards, his work with Panna’s tigers was also made into an award-winning wildlife documentary film by BBC/Animal Planet.

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Rita Banerji

Founder-Director, Dusty Foot Production

Rita Banerji is one of the leading environmental filmmakers in the country and her work has been grounded in using communication as a strong tool for conservation action. In 2017 she was awarded the National Geographic – CMS Prithvi Ratna Award for her contribution to the environment and the RBS Earth Heroes award in 2018. She has been part of three Panda Award-winning films, also known as the Green Oscar at Wildscreen, UK. Her core work is in engaging and empowering the youth, especially from indigenous and grassroots communities, in conservation through the use of the visual medium.

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Sara - Jury Curator

Wildlife Filmmaker

Sara is a wildlife filmmaker and the founder of Evanescence Studios and The Indian Wildlife Channel. He has worked for major networks like the BBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet and Discovery and his latest series was for Netflix. Sara started his journey as a wildlife photographer and continues to share a passion for creating images.

Gallery

Browse through the impressive repertoire of winning films from the previous editions.

Nature inFocus Film Contest – 2021

Contest Rules and Guidelines – Terms & Conditions

We invite filmmakers to submit films that generate a sense of wonder and empathy with nature.

What is the submission deadline?

Submissions are open from Monday, March 8, 2021. The contest will close at 11:59 PM (India Time – UTC + 05:30) on Monday, May 31, 2021.

How do I submit my films?

  • Create an account at festival.natureinfocus.in, select the category and make a one-time non-refundable payment of the participation fee.
  • Complete the online submission form by providing details – link to the film (for the Professional and Emerging Talent categories), the film title, a description of the film, and credits.
  • For the Wild Moment category, include details of the brand and model of the device used.

If I face trouble with the submission process, whom should I contact for help?

Write to us at [email protected] for any queries or issues. Before you write to us, please go through the FAQs listed here. We are sure you will find quick answers to some common queries.

After what date must my film have been completed?

In order to be eligible, your film should have been completed on or after April 1, 2018. Films shot before March 31, 2018 are not eligible.

Should I own the copyright for all the content in the film I am submitting? 

All content used in the film should be original and belong to the participant or licensed to the participant under a valid license. Nature inFocus expressly disavows any responsibility for, and will not be held responsible for, any unauthorised inclusion of any copyrighted content or materials within or relating to the short film, including any content or materials that are or may become the basis for any third-party claims for copyright infringement.

If I have submitted my production to another festival, can I also enter the Nature inFocus Film Contest?

Yes. We do not require exclusivity.

If my production has been broadcast on television or screened in theatres, may I still submit it?

Yes. Whether or not your production has been broadcast or screened in the past, it is eligible for entry. The filmmaker assumes the responsibility of obtaining relevant permissions.

My film has non-English narration/dialogue. Can I enter?

Yes. However, you must provide a copy with English subtitles or an English voiceover.

Do you offer any prizes?

  • The winners of each of the four main categories will be presented with a cash prize of ₹50,000, a trophy and a certificate. 
  • The winners of Special Mention titles across all categories and the winner of the Wild Moment category will be presented a plaque and a certificate. 

What are the entry fees? Do you offer a refund?

Participants will be charged a one-time non-refundable fee. The fee structure is:

  • Emerging Talent: ₹1400 + 18% GST
  • Professional: ₹1400 + 18% GST
  • Wild Moment: No registration fee
  • The non-refundable registration fee will increase in the final week of the contest – ₹1600 + 18% GST.

Please note that if you sign up for either the Emerging Talent or Professional categories, you can also submit videos under the Wild Moment category, without having to sign up for it separately.

Why do you charge entry fees?

The modest participation fee covers the costs of bringing together an expert panel of judges to watch and assess each film, as well as submission administration costs and screening venue hire.

Can I withdraw my film? 

Fees are non-refundable. If you have made an error in your submission, please contact us at [email protected].

What are the contest categories and how do I choose them?

We have three main categories – Emerging Talent, Professional and Wild Moment. Here are more details:

  • Emerging Talent: 

Nature inFocus strives to be a platform that encourages emerging filmmaking talent. In this category we would like to showcase the work of non-professional filmmakers who have shown great initiative by taking the first step forward - making their own film. The Emerging Talent category is open only to Indian citizens. (The organisers may request for proof of citizenship.)

This is further divided into two sub-categories.

  • Natural History

Be it an animal, plant or a habitat, capture its essence, tell us a story and compel the audience to love your subject and feel for it. You can highlight an interesting behaviour, an incident or just natural changes that are influencing the subject. 

  • Conservation

Highlight wildlife conservation issues, environmental crisis or any man-made changes and destructive trends to natural environments or wildlife. The scale of the problem does not matter – it could be a simple issue around your neighbourhood or something at the national level. What is important is how you can creatively capture the essence of the problem and convey the message to your audience.

Duration: Any length

Format: Digital HD – 1080 x 1920, 1280 x 720, 4K

 

  • Professional: 

This category is open to new or established broadcasters, film or television production companies/distributors and independent filmmakers from anywhere in the world.

This is further divided into two sub-categories.

  • Natural History

Films of any length from anywhere in the world, India included. The theme is centred around animal behaviour and habitats that support wildlife. 

  • Conservation

Films of any length from anywhere in the world, India included. The theme is centred around conservation issues, environmental crisis or any man-made changes and destructive trends to natural environments or wildlife.

Duration: Any length

Format: Digital HD – 1080 x 1920, 1280 x 720, 4K

 

  • Wild Moment: 

An unedited video clip shot on any device that captures an incredible moment of animal behaviour.

Duration: Under 5 minutes

Format: Digital HD – 1080 x 1920, 1280 x 720, 4K

Eligibility: This category is open to participants from anywhere in the world.

What is allowed: One single clip, trimming for length is permitted.

What is not allowed: Adding multiple clips together to create a sequence.

 

How many films can I submit?

This depends on the category you submit films to.

  • Emerging Talent: There are two sub-categories you can submit under - Natural History and Conservation. Additionally, you can submit 3 films under the Wild Moment category.
  • Professional: There are two sub-categories you can submit under - Natural History and Conservation. Additionally, you can submit 3 films under the Wild Moment category.
  • Wild Moment: You can submit 3 videos. 

Please note that if you sign up for either the Emerging Talent or Professional categories, you can also submit 3 videos under the Wild Moment category, without having to sign up for it separately.

What is your preferred submission format?

  • For all categories, we need you to submit a link to the film – YouTube/Vimeo etc. If it is a private/protected link, provide your password too.

What information do you need with my film?

  • In addition to the video itself, you must complete the submission form and provide a title, description, production and credit details. In the case of the Wild Moment category, you must also provide details of the device used. 
  • The jury may request metadata information for shortlisted films in the Wild Moment category.
  • We request that you do not send any extra materials such as promotional materials, photos or press kits, unless requested.

Can I change my information after submitting it?

You have time until the contest closes – at 11:59 PM (India time - UTC + 05:30) on Monday, May 31, 2021 – to amend entry information after submitting it. Once the contest closes, all the information saved on your profile is automatically accepted as your final submission.

What is the judging process?

  • All submissions received by the entry deadline will be reviewed by members of the jury.
  • The best films in each category will be shortlisted for the final round of judging, from which the final winners will be decided.
  • The jury reserves the right to declare a tie in any of the prizes or change the number of prizes being awarded.
  • During the course of judging, the jury reserves the right to move entries from one category to another, where they consider it appropriate and applicable. If the film is shortlisted for the final round, the participant will be notified about the change.

Who are the jury members?

The jury comprises a group of renowned professionals in the fields of filmmaking, wildlife and conservation.

Jury:

  • Akanksha Sood Singh
  • Gautam Pandey
  • Joanna Van Gruisen
  • Raghu Chundawat
  • Rita Banerji
  • Sara – Jury Curator

When will I be notified in advance if I have won a prize?

While you won’t find out exactly what you have won, you will be informed if you are among the winners.

Can I get feedback on my film?

We discourage participants from writing to the jury members for feedback until the final results are announced.

Will my film be screened at the Nature inFocus Festival?

If your film is one of the winning entries, it will be screened to delegates and public audiences at the Festival. The jury may also select some final shortlisted films for this screening. In such an event, you will be asked to provide a high quality screening copy (to be retained in the Nature inFocus archive).

What are the benefits of entering the Nature inFocus Film Contest?

There are many benefits to entering the Nature inFocus Film Contest:

  • The opportunity to be internationally recognised by winning the award.
  • Drawing your work to the attention of jury members who are professionals in the field and other wildlife filmmakers in their network
  • Nominated films are screened to industry professionals and the public at the Nature inFocus Festival, giving you the opportunity to showcase your work to industry professionals and wildlife film enthusiasts.

How will the organisers and sponsors engage with me if my film wins?

The organiser of the contest will be allowed to use the winning and shortlisted films, or its extracts in the promotion of the contest and the festival. For any other use, the organisers will contact the filmmakers. The main sponsors for the contest will have the right to use the films or any other data shared by the participant for one year and may engage the winning filmmaker for promotional activities.

  • Akanksha Sood Singh
  • Gautam Pandey
  • Joanna Van Gruisen
  • Raghu Chundawat
  • Rita Banerji
  • Sara – Jury Curator

  1. The organisers have the right to disqualify participants who approach the jury members in a deliberate attempt to influence or lobby, by discussing judging processes, enquiring details or requesting feedback prior to the announcement of results.
  2. Entries must be submitted by the producer or distributor of the film (or their authorised representative).
  3. The organising team, sponsors and partners are not allowed to participate in the contest.
  4. Any breach of the rules and the ethical standards listed below can lead to disqualification.
  5. The prize money is non-transferable and will be awarded to the participant after TDS deduction, if any.
  6. To transfer the prize money to international participants, the organisers will follow bank transfer and TDS instructions prescribed by the Indian government. The participants must provide the organisers any identification, paperwork or invoices that may be required to complete the transaction. Transfers may take upto three months.
  7. If there is a tie in any of the categories, the cash prize will be divided equally among the winners of said category.
  8. Cancellation and withdrawals are not allowed once the registration process is completed.
  9. All disputes are subject to Bangalore jurisdiction only.

  1. Participants must be mindful of the welfare of the animals they are filming and ensure that no harm, injury or distress is caused to the animal or to the habitat in an attempt to secure the image.
  2. Participants are not permitted to submit films of farm animals, family pets or animal models.
  3. Films about captive animals will not be accepted unless the said film has been shot with a specific purpose to portray issues regarding treatment of the species.
  4. Films that have been made by attracting the animal using live bait will not be accepted. If any other forms of attraction have been used to secure the video, like bird seed, food or scent, details must be declared in the caption.
  5. Films, where the filmmaker’s actions or presence have adversely affected the animal’s behaviour or put the animal in danger, will not be permitted. For example, films depicting aggressive behaviour of species like vine snakes, pit vipers or elephants charging could be disqualified at the jury’s discretion.
  6. Participants must not deceive the viewer or attempt to disguise and/ or misrepresent the reality of the natural scene.
  7. Participants are responsible for ensuring full compliance with any applicable national or international legislation and for securing any relevant permits that may be required in the process of filming.
  8. If the organisers suspect that an entry has been achieved through cruel or unethical practices, including the use of live bait, the entry will be disqualified.
  9. Caption information supplied during the registration process must be complete, true and accurate.
  10.  

Each category, under Emerging Talent and Professional, has a total of 3 prizes:

  • Winner – 1
  • Special Mention – 2

 

The cash prize for each of these categories will be:

  • Winner – 50,000
  • Special Mention – NA

 

Only one winner will be chosen for the Wild Moment category and there is no cash prize.