Posted by Guest Blogger, Lori Robinson from AfricaInside.org
In the case of the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, loosing one’s voice became so common among the participants as the week came to a close, I came to view the symptom as a positive indicator of the Festival’s success. Everyone I spoke to (before they lost their voice) agreed, “The networking at the JHWFF is phenomenal.” Everyone had so much to talk about, to so many people – old friends and new – that many of the participants were hoarse by the end of the week.
Read on for comments from a few of the participants of this years Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival:
Rueben Aaronson, Director and Producer of Amazon Gold, “hadn’t been to this Festival in years, but I’m loving it. It’s always so well run, with great products, and great friends.”
Susan North, who works for WildScreen USA, the largest wildlife photography and film online database for educational purposes said, “This is my first time at the Festival. The networking is amazing. “ She thought the film On a River in Ireland had beautiful photography, and Disney’s Chimpanzee was adorable, but wondered how The Grammar of Happiness film fit into the wildlife theme?”
Annette Lanjouw, Program Coordinator for Arcus Foundation, summarized the Great Ape Summit portion of the Festival as “inspiring, challenging and sobering.” She reiterated what the summit stressed –“Conservation is not the exclusive domain of Conservationists. Rather it requires partnerships of lots of different organizations and people, including consumers who have a say and a huge role to play in conservation. “
Tria Thelma from Across the Pond Production, Inc in D.C. loves “the Jackson Hole location, seeing the films and hanging out with others in the industry.” This is her 2nd time attending, and she “came this year to catch up with new multi-platform technologies – how to reach new audiences and tell your story in ways that require you to think outside the box.”
South African, Damien Mander, founder of International Anti-Poaching Foundation, loves the networking. “Not coming from apes conservation specifically, it was good to see what others are doing in the field.” His organization takes a para- military approach (believing most of us dance around the issue of conservation), and uses Damien’s ex-sniper skills in training rangers for war against the rhino and elephant poachers in South Africa. He loved the conference but questioned “the decision of the conference organizers to serve meat to people who are trying to save forests since the meat industry is a huge destroyer of biodiversity and forests.”
From Great Apes to Jane Goodall to Google’s Michael Jones, the Summit and Festival’s week of sessions, keynotes, and films was a huge success for the 650 or so participants. We hope to see you at the next Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival here in the Fall of 2015.