Born Free’s 2021 Youth Wildlife Filmmaker and Photographer of the Year competition: 

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL

Our aim was to inspire as many young people as possible to celebrate nature on their own doorstep through the medium of photography and filmmaking. 

Entrants were asked to submit a photo story or film, showcasing one or more of the following:

  • Wildlife living free in the UK
  • Local conservation efforts
  • A local environmental issue.

THE WINNERS 


WINNER: 16 YEARS OR UNDER (PHOTO) HATTIE, 16, MIDLANDS

TITLE: SWAN THERAPY

The judges loved Hattie’s entry, stating that: “Hattie is focusing on an important issue:  how spending time in natures helps our mental health.  She has focused on a beautiful swan, and I like the fact that her entry focuses on a single species…..The black and white choice is creative, and the images are well executed, with simplicity.  They demonstrate a keen sense of observation and achieves a therapeutic, calming feel.”
 

 

WINNER: 16 YEARS OR UNDER (FILM) SARA, 16, DUMFRIES

TITLE: SPRING INTO LIFE

WATCH VIDEO

Sara said “I am absolutely ecstatic that my entry "Spring Into Life" has been chosen as the winner of the first ever Born Free Youth Filmmaker and Photographer of the Year award, 16 years or under (film) category. I had a wonderful time over the Spring spending time outdoors and having the opportunity to observe Mother Nature first-hand. I love being able to combine my interest in animal conservation and their habitats along with my passion for filmmaking.”

Judges comments included that “Sara’s film is very well executed and edited, with beautiful imagery, music, and a clear focus…. The mix of environmental shots and close ups get us to understand how the ducks and their ducklings navigate their habitat….Excellent use of the drone to give sense of place.  Well done Sara!” 
 

 

WINNER: 11 YEARS OR UNDER (PHOTO) – HENRY, 8, SOUTH EAST

TITLE: MAGICAL MOTHS AND BUTTERFLY HEAVEN

The judges loved the choice of insects and specifically butterflies and moths. They said: "He has executed his concept well with sensibility, showing their delicate beauty. I love the diversity of the species represented, the colours, and the backgrounds. 

The photos truly convey the magic of butterflies and moths as indicated in the title, and also connect to their habitat. I also love his approach, searching for these butterflies in his local village, which demonstrates his curiosity, sense of observation, and patience.”
 

 

WINNER: 11 YEARS OR UNDER (FILM) – THEA, 9, NORTH EAST

TITLE: FARMING FOR NATURE

WATCH VIDEO

The judges were “very impressed with Thea’s film. She has decided to tackle an important issue and has executed her story very clearly, starting with the problem and the solutions. The beautiful and diverse imagery matches the narration well, and I love that Thea gives her point of view and makes the story personal, talking about the farmers she has met and conveying her hope for the future. This is very well written and narrated with emotion and conviction. I also like the fact she is showing us the landscapes as well as the little things like ladybirds, an important message for connectivity and integrated ecosystems.

“No one can do everything but everyone can do something” is a message that will stay with us.  Congratulations Thea!”
 

MEET THE JUDGES


GEORGE LOGAN

George Logan is an award-winning photographer, based in London. His unique and imaginative photographic style allows him to tell stories through his work in an impactful and thought-provoking way. George is passionate about wildlife conservation and a long-time supporter of Born Free. He has travelled extensively around Africa, photographing wildlife and documenting big cat rescues.

 

ISABELLE GROC

Multi-talented Isabelle Groc is a writer, conservation photographer, documentary filmmaker, author, and speaker, based in Vancouver, Canada. Isabelle works closely with conservation groups and scientists to create photo stories and films that help educate the public and alert governments to the plight of endangered species. Her most recent publication Gone is Gone: Wildlife Under Threat, has been kindly donated by Isabelle as a prize for our competition winners. 

 

SUPPORTING JUDGE: DAVID MANOA

David Manoa works as Conservation Manager for the Born Free team in Kenya. An experienced wildlife ecologist, he leads Born Free’s Lions of Amboseli Project. He is passionate about working with young people and communities on evidence-based conservation solutions and has published several scientific articles on human-wildlife co-existence measures.    

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