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WILD TALK AFRICA 2006 (article first published : 2006-05-24)

The four-day Wild Talk Africa 2006 film festival and conference held recently at the Durban ICC was a resounding success. All the right elements came into play – the sought-after VIPS, keynote speakers, valuable discussion topics, premiers of excellent wildlife films and an ideal venue for networking.

Keynote speakers, Valli Moosa, president of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), and world-renowned conservationist Dr Ian Player, amongst others, endorsed the Wild Talk Africa event by giving positive speeches.

It left delegates wanting more, and more they will get, founder sponsor e.tv and the IDC have jointly sponsored $2 million towards developing the wildlife film industry in South Africa. Further details about this sponsorship will soon be available on www.wildtalkafrica.com

Marcel Golding, CEO of e.tv and founder sponsor of Wild Talk Africa believes Wild Talk Africa is an important initiative because “SA is full of natural resources so wildlife filming and tourism go hand in hand to boost the economy of the country. We plan to generate interest in the wildlife genre with e.tv audiences by acquiring and broadcasting some high quality, powerful wildlife films”.

The feedback from delegates attending Wild Talk Africa has been tremendous, and from the delegates surveyed 100% said that they would be back next year. The format of panel discussions worked well and the industry related topics helped delegates get to grips with what commissioning editors are looking for. Keynote speakers gave experienced advice on how to take those difficult shots, the best formats to use, and the brand new media options available. Panel discussions had representation from international and local broadcasters including Animal Planet, National Geographic, BBC NHU, e.tv and SABC.

Delegates were impressed with the calibre of speakers and the informative discussions held. The ability to network and meet international broadcasters and commissioning editors with such ease was a highlight for most. Other elements of the festival included the exhibition hall, social evening events, workshops and pitching sessions - having the opportunity to pitch to international broadcasters, although daunting – led to elation for some.

And when there was no wild talk it was wildlife viewing. A number of award-winning films were premiered in South Africa at Wild Talk Africa and delegates were mesmerized by the following films; ROAR; Relentless Enemies; The Emperor, the Elephant and the Butterfly Tree; and Planet Earth (series).

Inspired delegates now have their newfound sights set on the coveted ROSCAR award. The bronze Rhino sculpture, which was unveiled at the gala event, will be awarded at Wild Talk Africa 2007 to the best entry in the international wildlife film competition. The competition is open to all wildlife film-makers and details will soon be released on www.wildtalkafrica.com

Keenan Smart, National Geographic Television & Film’s (NGT&F) Natural History Unit had this to say about Wild Talk Africa: “The festival has been a triumph, organised in the most splendid way possible. Durban is a beautiful city and the venue is perfect.”




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