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Eco Focus

Environment and Ecology in Focus do not miss these great festivals calling with a theme. (Thanks and tribute to Rob Stewart's Sharkwater for his fantastic legacy and this poster)



Matsalu grand prix Award goes to Sharkwater Extinction



Grand Prix

Sharkwater Extinction, USA

Director Rob Stewart 

JURY: This film has a clear and strong conservational message, showing emotional dedication and fearless approach of one particular outstanding person. It has been done in a very good investigational journalistic way, showing an example of a rare guerilla-style nature documentary and bringing the focus to the real picture of rude and greedy human behavior ruining the biodiversity. It is a call to action for all of us.
1st Prize (Nature)
One in a Thousand, Germany

Director Jan Haft

JURY: A perfect nature film, it presents an ecosystem of a temperate zone in a fascinating way. It reveals how diverse and at the same time fragile this ecosystem is due to the impact of its human neighbours.

1st Prize (Man and Nature)

Drømmeland, Netherland

Director Joost van der Wiel

JURY: For a dramatized psycho-analysis of man’s encounter with nature and a creative presentation of the balance between man’s loneliness in nature and social media, alongside artistic editing, spectacular cinematography and outstanding sound design, the Best Film Award in the category of Man and Nature goes to “Drommeland". This is a film that takes closer look into the contemporary human nature and presents it in a really charming way.


Best Director (Nature)
Birth of a Pride, South Africa 

Director Dereck Joubert

JURY: The story has been told in a delicate but intensive way, leading the viewer through an intimate and complex process of growing, teaching and studying. The main heroes are wild big cats. Showing in an unusual way a wonderful example of patience and cooperation of two lionesses, successfully bringing up a new generation that becomes a basement of a new strong pride. This might be something we should learn from them as humans.

Best Director (Man and Nature)

Drømmeland, Netherland

Director Joost van der Wiel

JURY: In this film one can feel the presence of very strong directorial decisions. It’s a multidimensional and strong main character who does not speak to the camera – there is no narration, there is very little music. It is one of the few films at this festival where you can actually HEAR how nature, including human beings, sounds like. This film doesn't teach nor preach but instigates You to think.


Best Cinematography (Nature)
Realm of the Robber - Christmas Island, Germany

Cinematographers Moritz Katz, Braydon Moloney, Pim Niesten

JURY: This film shows how a little team can make a high-quality nature documentary, well shot from all points of view, at the same time dealing with not too well known subject — the life of crabs on the distant island.

Best Cinematography (Man and Nature)

The White Reindeer, Hunagry-Sweden-Russia-New Zealand

Cinematographers Zoltan Török, Jan Henriksson, Balasz Badar

JURY: Capturing creative and breathtaking images of the relationship between mankind and nature is a very challenging endeavour. And so the best cinematography award goes to The White Reindeer, cinematographers Zoltan Torok, Jan Henriksson and Balazs Badar.

Best Editing
Sex, Lies and Butterflies, Austria

Editor Jim Isler 

JURY: How to match thousand midshots of different butterflies? For an editor it is an enormous challenge to cut together a full length rhythmically intense, emotional and exiting film about just one insect – butterflies. This film has accomplished that and shows in an extremely beautiful way how one wing move of a butterfly can influence the world as a complex ecosystem.

Special Jury Prize (Nature)
Catwalk (Wild Amsterdam), Netherlands

Directors Mark Verkerk, Ignas van Schaick
JURY:This film observes the fact that somehow nature does exist in every big city. That wildlife is unseen, so humans are not even aware of this parallel world. The film allows us to discover species’ new habitat, new ecosystem and maybe reconsider the way we operate in our cities.

Special Jury Prize (Man and Nature)

Humpback Whales: A Detective Story, UK

Director Tom Mustill
JURY: An excellent example of how a personal encounter, cheerful characters and filmmaker's enviable will to act plus entertaining approach lead to a gripping story and takes us closer to understanding this mysterious creature.
Special Mention (Nature)
Wildlife - A Family’s Bond: Dingoes, Japan

Director Mio Hoshino 
JURY: It shows the family bonds in nature in a beautiful manner. As we all know it’s really difficult to film dingoes - that is why the film deserves our special mention.


Amazing Pigs, Austria

Director Matt Hamilton
JURY: We treat them badly, we eat them and we have problems with them in the wild. This film shows pig’s intelligent and emotional character giving a different perspective on the animal we all know. Film also boasts a very good directing.


The Wild Andes - Extreme Survival, Germany

Director Christian Baumeister
JURY: This is a spectacular movie showing fantastic but harsh Latin America area, its landscapes, animal behaviour and even a miracle of a birth.


Special Mention (Man and Nature)
The Cheetah Protector, Sweden-Namibia

Directors Björn Tjärnberg, Dag Jonzon 
JURY: We would like to acknowledge the important role and extraordinary effort of Mr. Goran Lindstrom from Sweden in the film “The Cheetah Protector” for helping injured Cheetahs return back to Namibia’s wildlife.


67 49 32 North, Turkey

Directors Ece Soydam, Mathieu Dumond

JURY: A biologist, concerned about disastrous effects of climate change in northern Canada becomes a wildlife documentary filmmaker in a sudden turn of events. We would like to appreciate the efforts of directors Ece Soydam and Mathieu Dumond from Turkey for the film “67 49 32 North”.


Swans: Mystery of the Missing, UK

Director Amber Cherry Eames

JURY: We would like to thank Miss Sasha Dench from the UK for the film “Swans: Mystery of the Missing”. Her efforts for discovering hidden secrets in the lives of swans and saving many swans from casualties despite her severe injury are highly admirable.


Audience Award
Sharkwater Extinction, USA

Director Rob Stewart 


Special Prize
Environmental Board, Matsalu National Park

Swans: Mystery of the Missing, UK

Director Amber Cherry Eames


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