Saving England's most threatened species from extinction

Our film & photography competition

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BACK FROM THE BRINK FILM AND PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION - CELEBRATE THE MAGIC OF THE UK’S WILDLIFE!

Do you see yourself as a photographer or filmmaker? Maybe you are a promising presenter, personality or innovator? Perhaps you just love being a creative enthusiast on your phone?
The Back from the Brink Film and Photography Competition is a great opportunity for you to get involved - help us to inspire a nation to celebrate and care about their local wildlife and habitats.
We’re all about the threatened and endangered species here at Back from the Brink, but they’re not always on your doorstep!

So, through this competition, we want you to focus on the wildlife you care about - the local animals and plants that you feel are threatened, or are recovering, or maybe thriving. The landscapes that inspire you, the places that are special, the stories of people and nature that give you hope. We want you to share these stories with us so that we can share them with everyone else - with the whole world…

Let the journey begin!

Call for Entries!

We are looking for innovative films and inspiring images that entertain, raise awareness, or celebrate the beauty of our precious wildlife and landscapes. 

There are 8 different film categories available to enter, including a Young Person’s Award for those between 13 and 18 years old; a Presenter Award for those who want step in front of the camera; and an Innovation Award encouraging creative new approaches to create and present stories about our natural world. Check out all of the categories below.

This competition has been developed in partnership with Wildscreen, the charity behind the internationally-renowned Wildscreen Festival, and will culminate in an exciting Back from the Brink Festival in the autumn of 2019.

The winning films and images, selected by a panel of illustrious judges, will be screened and displayed here. Also up for grabs for the category winners are a goody bag of prizes donated by Back from the Brink project partners and Wildscreen.

Film Categories

Impact Award
Innovation Award
Nature Near Me Award
People and Nature Award
Presenter Award
Threatened Environments and Species Award
Young Person’s Award
Just a Minute Award
Impact Award

For the film that most effectively communicates an issue affecting the natural world and either:

  • explores the results of actions taken to address the issue(s) such as campaigns and conservation work.

Or

  • is intended to deliver tangible impacts as a result of making and showing the film, such as behaviour change, audience participation or increased viewer knowledge from sharing a solution or action which audiences can take

Additional material

Entrants are required to submit a brief narrative (maximum 500 words) outlining the tangible impacts and outcomes of the production.  This can include numerical information.

Innovation Award

For the film that best uses creative new approaches to create and present stories about the natural world.

Eligibility

This could include innovative storytelling, an imaginative use of new technology, creative filmmaking processes such as stop motion and animation.

Nature Near Me Award

For the production that most effectively communicates the natural world within a 1km radius from the entrant’s home, school or workplace.

Additional information

Entrants will be required to submit the location(s) where the film was shot if they are successful and the film proceeds to the final round of judging.

People and Nature Award

For the production that most effectively explores and tells stories about the social, cultural or economic relationships people have with the natural world.

Presenter Award

For the production that most effectively uses on-screen presenter(s) to engage audiences with the natural world

Eligibility

This award is directed at on-screen presenter(s) and as such films solely using narration are not eligible. Productions with a combination of narration and an on-screen presenter(s) are eligible.

Threatened Environments and Species Award

For the production that most effectively explores the concept of ‘threatened’.

Eligibility

This award explores perceptions of ‘threatened’ as a concept; looking at narratives on threatened animals, plants and environments.

Young Person’s Award

For the best overall production by a young person.

Eligibility

Entrants must be between 13 and 18 years old at the time of making the film.

Just a Minute Award

For the best overall production on the natural world that has a maximum length of one minute.

Eligibility

Entries must have a running time of one minute (60 seconds) excluding end credits.

Photography categories

For those who prefer photography, there are 4 categories to tackle, including a Storytelling Award which encourages entrants to develop a collection of six to ten images that cover an important natural world story, woven together with a strong narrative.

Biodiversity
Spaces for Species
People and Nature
Storytelling
Biodiversity

Portraits and images that display the natural beauty and behaviour of animals, plants and fungi.

Spaces for Species

Celebrating the wonder and importance of the UK’s landscapes and habitats.

People and Nature

Focussing on human relationships with nature, including:

  • Reacting to challenges or conflict

Or

  • Experiencing, celebrating or enjoying the wonder of nature
Storytelling

A collection of six to ten images covering an important story of the natural world, weaved together with a strong narrative.

Eligibility

Each sequence of six to ten images should be a story told through the progression of images. At least half of the images should have been created since 17 November 2017, the start of the Back from the Brink project, the remainder can be created prior to this if appropriate to the narrative of the entry, e.g. showing change in a local environment or species.

Additional material

Entrants are required to submit a brief synopsis (maximum 500 words) to outline their photo story.

Diary dates

Wednesday 28 November 2018
Categories, guidelines and entries open at naturebftb.co.uk/competition

Friday 30 August 2019
Official submission deadline

October 2019
Winners announced

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility

I live on the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, can I still enter?

Yes, this competition is open to all UK citizens including Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

What age do I need to be to enter the competition?

The competition is open to anyone aged 13 and above.  Anyone aged 17 and under must get signed parental or guardian consent to enter, using this form.

Who can enter?

This competition is open to amateur filmmakers and photographers only. For the purposes of this competition, a professional filmmaker or photographer will be considered to be someone who makes more than half their annual income from the sale of their films or photographs.

Can I enter my film that was made outside the UK, Channel Islands and Isle of Man and features a non UK-native species/environment?

Unfortunately not.  This competition is only open to films that feature UK-based species and environments.

Does it matter when a film was made?

Yes.  In order to be eligible for the Back from the Brink Film & Photography competition, filming must have started no earlier than 15 November 2017.  Anything older than this date is considered archive footage and cannot be used or entered into the competition.

Am I able to use archive footage as part of my film?

No.  In order to be eligible for the Back from the Brink Film & Photography competition, filming must have started no earlier than 15 November 2017. Anything older than this date is considered archive footage and cannot be used or entered into the competition.

Does it matter when a photograph was taken?

Yes, in order to be eligible for the Back from the Brink Film & Photography competition, your images must have been taken and processed since 15 November 2017.

Except: if entering the Storytelling Category, where half of the images may be taken prior to 15 November 2017 if appropriate to the narrative of the entry.

If I've submitted my film or photography to another competition, can I also enter the Back from the Brink Film & Photography Competition?

Yes, we do not request exclusivity.  However only if it meets the criteria of being produced since 15 November 2017.

Do I need to obtain model release forms if my film or images include people under the age of 18?

Yes.  If your film or images include a recognisable person under the age of 18 (a minor) then you will need to submit a model release form, signed by their parent or guardian. These can be found here.

What guidance is there for animal welfare?

No wildlife or habitats should be harmed or unduly disturbed in the process of filming or taking photographs.

The entries must not:

  • portray subjects that have been captured using live bait
  • portray subjects that are captive, models, restrained, domesticated, or being exploited for profit, except if done so for the purposes of reporting on exploitation of animal(s) by a third party, a welfare issue or the impacts of domesticated animals on wildlife.

Submission Process

Do I have to pay to enter?

No! This competition is completely free to enter

What is the entry deadline?

The final deadline for submissions is 31 August 2019

What are the award categories?

Please review the list of competition award categories here.

How do I enter my film?

You should upload your film to your personal YouTube or Vimeo account and the relevant URL address must be submitted through the Competition submission form found here.  You will be asked to provide details of your contact details, your choice of award categories and media consent forms.

Can I submit my film in more than one competition award category?

Yes, once reviewing the criteria for each competition award, you can select the categories which best suit your production’s strength and enter into more than one category.

How do I enter my images?

You should upload your images through the Competition submission form found here.  You will be asked to provide details of your contact details, your choice of award categories and media consent forms.

Images

How do I name my images?

Please rename your files with the image title as follows: “01_ImageTitle.jpeg”.  For ‘Storytelling’ entries, the image's position in the story sequence is represented by a number from 01-10 and appears first, followed by the image title.  Please DO NOT put your name in the filename.

What forms of digital adjustments are NOT acceptable?

Adding or removing objects (eg animals, animal parts, plants or people) is not permitted.

What forms of digital adjustments are acceptable?

Digital adjustments including tone and contrast, burning, dodging, cropping, sharpening, noise reduction, minor cleaning work, HDR, stitched panoramas, focus stacking using multiple exposure taken at the same location at the same time, are permitted providing that they are reported within the caption and comply with the Competition’s principles of authenticity so do not misrepresent the reality of nature.

Can I enter more than once?

Yes.  You may enter each photography category a maximum of three (3) times.

Judging

What is the judging process?

There will be two rounds of judging:

Round One

All submissions received by the entry deadline will be reviewed by members of the preliminary Jury.  The best productions and images in each category will be nominated for the category award and put forward for consideration by the Final Jury.

Round Two

ll nominated films and images will be reviewed by the Final Jury which selects the winner of each award category.

When will I find out if my submission has been nominated?

All entrants will be notified soon after the end of September 2019 by email of the outcome of the preliminary judging.

Can I get feedback on my submission(s)?

Due to the large number of submissions we are not able to offer individual feedback.

Who do I contact if I still have a question?

Please contact us on bftbcompetition@wildscreen.org - we’re happy to help!

What are the benefits to entering the competition?

There are many benefits to entering the Back from the Brink Film & Photography competition, including:

  • The winner of each award category will receive a day ticket to Wildscreen Festival 2020, the world’s leading international festival celebrating and advancing storytelling about the natural world
  • The opportunity to have your work seen by industry and environmental professionals
  • The nominated films and images will be shown at a Back from the Brink Festival, giving you the opportunity to showcase your work to wildlife film & photography enthusiasts, conservation organisations and industry professionals
Do you offer any prizes?

A variety of prizes will be announced shortly, but include:

  • The winner of each award category will receive a day ticket to Wildscreen Festival 2020, the world’s leading international festival celebrating and advancing storytelling about the natural world
  • A goody bag of prizes donated by Back from the Brink project partners and Wildscreen
  • A special screening of their film or exhibition of their image(s) at the Back from the Brink Festival in Autumn 2019
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