Moors and bogs are oases in the cultivated landscape of Central Europe. Nature holds many surprises in a moor: It seems as if some of the most bizarre and colourful members of our native species live in the bog. Plants that eat animals live here and mushrooms that suck the live out of plants. The rutting dance of the Great snipes and the hatching of a great crane chick are just a few of the miracles happening in a moor every season. Today the European Union is runner-up world champion in setting free hazardous greenhouse gases through the destructions of moors and bogs. The film shows the biodiversity of the often rarely recognized habitat - and it is a quiet appeal: save and preserve the last intact moors!
First Prize – “Town of Sondrio” Award 2013
Stelvio National Park Award 2013
A wild dog’s tale
A Wild Dog's Tale is the amazing true story from Okavango of a lone female African wild dog who has lost her entire pack. In her need for companionship she befriends rival hyenas and jackals to create a new pack for herself. She not only hunts with them but also provides food to help raise the jackal pups. Her desire for her own offspring is so strong she even kidnaps several jackal pups. But when a new pack of wild dogs suddenly appears she has to make a choice – to join them or stay with her jackal family.
Lombardy Region” Award 2013
Mountain hay meadows – Hotspots of biodiversity and traditional culture
Hay meadows are a central element of traditional agriculture in the Eastern Carpathians. They are also extremely species-rich habitats. Vulnerable and protected throughout Europe. The film tries to capture the links between man and wildlife as they meet on the hay meadows. A sustainable way of life in decline and the responsibility of our society to preserve it.
Special mention 2013
The unlikely leopard
This is a coming of age story of a young male leopard and his clumsy, teenage antics and inability to do the things that most leopards should be able to do. The film follows him from a few weeks old, to when he has to leave his mother and head out into the big wide world alone. We watch him as he slowly he adapts to his oversized paws and learns how to use his instincts in order to survive.
Student Jury Award 2013
The ends of the earth
The Alaska Peninsula is a cloud-cloaked land of steaming volcanoes, rolling tundra and the greatest concentration of the largest bears on earth. The writings of the scientist Loren Eiseley inspire this filmic essay on a landscape where bears outnumber people and the sockeye salmon run is the most prolific in the world. At the base of the peninsula lies Katmai National Park, a wilderness larger Yellowstone and Yosemite -- combined. Farther down the peninsula a giant volcanic caldera emerges on the horizon, so remote that more people climb Everest than visit Aniakchak. Alaska is warming at more than twice the rate of the rest of the planet. "The Ends of the Earth" asks how anthropogenic climate change effects will impact this magnificent land of wilderness and wildlife.
(Photo courtesy Roy Wood)
Audience Jury Award 2013
The best of the world - life and its alpine limits
An enormous barrier, 1200km long, emerges at the heart of Europe: this is the chain of the Alps. For 5000 years man has sought to inhabit the more accessible areas. He has created paths and a network of roads, built villages then cities, and has subjected the region to a multitude of changes. But the alps still preserve their wild spirit. It is a world parallel to ours in which species survived climatic events of the past, exploitation of the land and mass tourism. Now they move around us, observing us, often not far from our tracks. They are animals and plants that owe their success to a capacity to live in conditions that, for all other species, humans included, would be barely tolerable. For them it is everyday life – life at its Alpine limits.
Australia’s wild places – The Island of the devils
Just 460,000 people live in Tasmania, an island off the south-east coast of mainland Australia roughly the same size as Ireland. While its human population is small, the majestic state is rich in natural wonders and is known for its large tracts of pristine wilderness.. Wallabies, wombats and the island’s very own carnivorous marsupial, the Tasmanian devil, enjoy their isolated habitat, which is almost devoid of natural predators.
The leap of the lynx
Once, the Iberian lynx thrived across the entire Iberian Peninsula. As the third millennium begins, a sad remnant of some 150 individuals survive in two tiny isolated habitats, the rugged mountains of Sierra de Andujar and the coastal swamps of Coto Doñana. Until five years ago, both mini-populations were quickly fading away. But now local authorities, scientists, landowners and other groups have finally begun to act in unison, encouraged by the EU’s Natura 2000 program. Breeding stations have been installed and a migration corridor is being established to link the two populations. Rabbit populations have also been reintroduced, because where there are no rabbits, there is no lynx.
Astonishing european butterflies and moths
Ambassadors of the insects, butterflies have always inspired artists by their gracious manner of flying and their extraordinary pallet of colours. From the egg to the butterfly, this metamorphosis is not without danger. How then does it survive? Why be interested in the fate of these insects? Which role do they play in the biodiversity of our environment? In this documentary, you will experience a unique moment viewing the life of 37 European butterflies and 29 moths and moths living in different ecosystems: country, near the sea and mountains.
Supramonte is a limestone plateau in central-eastern Sardinia: this wild and unspoiled heritage is a Site of Community Importance (SCI). Aerial sequences show an fascinating and impressing landscape, so the viewer gradually discovers the wonders of nature and the value of the land: the major sites of speleological and karst (underground shooting); the landscapes in different seasons of the year, the human presence and the activities for sustainable development. Main actors in the film are primarily the local people.
It’s Everybody’s Business
A new reserve has been created in the Klein Karoo region of South Africa’s, Western Cape Province. The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve as it’s known, has been established primarily to offer protection to the three internationally recognized biodiversity hotspots that occur there. It's an area where shortage of water is one of the main factors holding back development and the hope is, that in protecting the hotspots, the water catchments of the region will also be protected and that, along with some changes in how the water is used, this will improve the prospects for the people of the Klein Karoo to be able to raise their standard of living.
The shepherd and the mountain
Harsh and frugal, solitude and constant exposure to bad weather, in continuous fear of predator attacks... this is a shepherd's life. And this is the story of one of them, with his flock and his dogs, surrounded by the wonderful landscapes of Garfagnana and Appennino Tosco-emiliano National Park in Italy, where he makes a one day long decisive journey, lasting from dawn till dusk, which reveals his extraordinary relationship with himself and with nature, in a harsh yet still today human scaled environment. For some time now he has been cherishing the idea of leaving the mountains and to go down to the valley, looking for a place which can finally offer him greater wellbeing without the problems he has to face in the mountains. Three particular events, between fantasy and reality, will contribute to his final decision.
Chilika – Jewel of Odisha
The 1000 sq. km Chilika Lake in the state of Odisha on India's East Coast is also the largest brackish water lagoon in Asia. It is the largest wintering ground for waterfowl in the Indian subcontinent, attracting migrants from Europe, Central Asia and Siberia. Over 200,000 people are dependent on the lake for their livelihoods. Chilika is home to the highly endangered Irrawady dolphin, and is also rich in other forms of biodiversity. In 1981 it was designated as India's first Ramsar Site. However, by the late 1990s it was considered a weed-infested, dying lake. Today, thanks to ecological restoration by the Odisha government, it is once again a reliable source of livelihood for local communities and a vibrant refuge for wildlife.
Danube, Europe’s Amazon: forest, flood, frost
From its romantic shores, its wild nature, to its Baroque art, the fascination of the Danube is inescapable. As the Danube flows through its various landscapes, it transforms. The film shows how the river is influenced by weather and climatic extremes. The Danube is in constant motion. Floods and drought determine life on the great river just as much as the seasons. They influence migration, mating and breeding, as well as hunting and hibernation. Wherever the Danube flows, it impacts nature and people's lives. An epic journey of discovery, the film shows how the river’s famous currents helped sculpt the incredible landscapes, and it links them together.