Born free launches youth filmmaker & photographer of the year competition


Born Free has today launched its new Youth Filmmaker & Photographer of the Year competition.

Aimed at children 16 and under, the competition is designed to provide a fun and accessible way for young people and their families to engage with wildlife this spring, while highlighting the importance of compassionate, careful, and respectful wildlife viewing. 

Open to all (no previous experience or specialist equipment required), there are two categories for youngsters to enter: 11 years and under and 16 years and under. Interested participants, working individually or as a group, are invited to submit either a series of up to six photos that tell a story, or a short film (up to three minutes long), that has the natural world as a central focus, with a clear and powerful narrative. This year’s theme is Hope Springs Eternal

All submissions must focus on entrants’ personal experiences with nature and wildlife that’s on their doorstep — in the sky, in the garden, neighbourhood streets, local park, pond, etc.— and should not feature captive animals in any form. Furthermore, live bait, scent or artificial calls must not have been used, or be perceived to have been used, to attract animals to an area. Every entry should showcase one or more of the following: wildlife living free in the UK, local conservation efforts, and/or a local environmental issue. 

The closing date for entries is Monday 31st May 2021. World famous wildlife photographer George Logan, alongside award-winning environmental writer, conservation photographer, documentary filmmaker, and book author, Isabelle Groc, will then judge the entries, supported by one of Born Free Kenya’s Conservation Managers, David Manoa. The winners will be announced on Wednesday 30th June 2021 and will receive prizes ranging from Canon EOS 2000D Digital SLR camera equipment to photography courses and vouchers, with the generous support of Jessops, as well as a copy of Isabelle Groc’s book Gone is Gone: Wildlife Under Threat. Furthermore, all winners’ work will be published by Born Free. 

Laura Gosset, Head of Education at Born Free, said: “Nature exists all around us whether we live in the country or an urban area. When the global pandemic first hit the UK in Spring 2020, many stopped and listened to nature for the first time; it provided a source of hope to many during an incredibly difficult time.

“This spring, we are calling on our next generation to continue to spread hope through images or films of nature wherever it is found, be it in a city street or the highlands of Scotland. We want youngsters to engage with nature, explore their local area, and share the joy that nature, big and small, brings to us all.”