13th December 2019
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Wildlife film festival to screen at Mareel on Tuesday

Wilderland promises to share important, breathtaking stories from the natural world.

The cinema at Mareel in Lerwick will be one of the venues on Tuesday for a new film festival being held at 22 theatres across the UK.

Wilderland promises to share important stories from the natural world and is said to be the UK’s first touring wildlife film festival.

The promoters say it will shine a light on some astonishing and thought-provoking stories, filmed by a host of independent international filmmakers.

Wilderland is the brainchild of zoologists Dan O’Neill and Isaac Rice, who recruited some of the most acclaimed wildlife filmmakers to whittle down a shortlist of over 50 short films to the chosen nine that will be seen during the tour.

The judges included award-winning cameraman Doug Allan (The Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Frozen Planet) who has appeared in Shetland previously.

He said: “Anyone with a fascination for the natural world and conservation should make sure they book their ticket to Wilderland. It’s inspirational.”

Mr Rice told The Shetland Times: “We’ve had a very successful tour through England, Ireland and Wales and just have Scotland remaining. We have sold thousands of tickets with really great feedback all round.”

The festival has also been running its ‘endangered species vote’ where people can vote to raise the profile of either the gharial crocodile, grey shanked douc, araripe manakin, pygmy hippo or coconut octopus.

Mr Rice said: “The grey shanked douc, which is a monkey in Vietnam, is running away with it. So if people want one of the other species to win then they need to come and vote for their choice.

“The winner of the vote will get a film made about it to raise its profile and get it the conservation attention it so direly needs.

“One reason these are all in trouble is because very few people are aware of them, and no one donates to something that they haven’t heard about.”

Tickets are available through the usual outlets.

About Jim Tait

Jim Tait is news editor at The Shetland Times.

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