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Thu, 23 May

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London

Wild Women: New Voices for the Natural World with Wildstar Films

WFTV members are invited to this special in-person event, which will include a panel conversation with the leading women behind Wildstar Films, making programmes with a focus on the natural world.

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Wild Women: New Voices for the Natural World with Wildstar Films
Wild Women: New Voices for the Natural World with Wildstar Films

Time & Location

23 May 2024, 18:00 – 21:00 BST

London, The Garden Cinema, London WC2B 5PQ, UK

About the Event

WFTV members are invited to this special in-person event, which will include a panel conversation with the leading women behind Wildstar Films, making programmes with a focus on the natural world. 

The panel will include Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer Wildstar Films, Vanessa Berlowitz, along with Executive Producer Chloe Sarosh, Producer and Director Faith Musembi and Series Producers Hannah Gibson and Jennie Hammond. The speakers will discuss current shows including Queens, Tiger, Tigers on the Rise and Secrets of the Octopus, creating innovative new technology and techniques to reveal never-seen-before animal behaviour, working with Angela Bassett, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and Ryan Reynolds, and how a female filmmaking perspective can lead to a different approach to uncovering untold secrets of the animal world.

Wildstar Films is a Bristol-based fast-growing supplier of high-profile, innovative premium natural history content to Disney+, National Geographic and Disney Nature for global audiences. As a company Wildstar set out to challenge – and change - the narrative around natural history, whether that’s the content of the shows they make or the people making them. Wildstar have a strong focus on supporting female and diverse talent and making the television industry more representative and sustainable.

There will be an opportunity to stay and say hello to some new and familiar faces after the panel discussion in the Garden Cinema's Bar. 

Please note that we are unable to accomodate plus ones at this event.

Thursday 23rd May, 2024

The Garden Cinema, London WC2B 5PQ, UK

Event Schedule:

6pm: Guest arrivals with a welcome drink

6.30pm: Guests seated, in conversation with Wild Star panellists

8pm: Screening and panel conversation ends, networking and drinks in cinema bar

9pm: Event ends

Vanessa Berlowitz, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer Wildstar Films

Vanessa co-founded Wildstar Films in 2018 after 25 years of working for the BBC’s Natural History Unit where she ran large teams on series such as Planet Earth and Frozen Planet and won key business including Planet Earth 2.

After studying Human Sciences at Oxford University, Vanessa joined the BBC’s Natural History Unit where she made over 15 films for 5 award winning   landmark series – Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, Life of Mammals, Land of the Tiger and the Human Animal – as well as for major long-running strands The Natural World and Wildlife on One and acclaimed series Animal People and Postcards from the Country. Her films have been highly awarded by EMMY, BAFTA, RTS, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, Missoula International Wildlife Festival and Wildscreen. She is also a BAFTA and Grierson nominated Director.

She travelled from the North to the South Pole with Sir David Attenborough whilst producing and directing the opening episode of Frozen Planet, a series for which she won a Primetime Emmy as the Series Producer. Vanessa became an Executive Producer at the BBC for Great Bear Stakeout, Life in the Air and Planet Earth 2.

After leaving the BBC, Vanessa worked as a Consulting Executive Producer with Nutopia helping to develop the series vision for One Strange Rock. She then moved to Botswana with her husband and son to live in the bush for 2.5 years where they made Elephant and a companion documentary for Disneynature.

Just 5 years after setting up Wildstar Films, Vanessa and her teams have delivered 4 series for National Geographic and Disneyplus including America the Beautiful, America’s National Parks, Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory and Animals up Close. She is also Exec Producer for a 10-part series, Underdogs with Ryan Reynolds and a 6-part series with Darren Aronofsky of Protozoa Films called Sentient. Alongside Queens, the Disneynature on Tigers and the companion documentary that she has been producing and co-directing is about to launch in 2024. She has started production of the next Disneynature and has a number of exciting projects about to greenlight.

Since Fremantle acquired Wildstar Films in 2022, Vanessa has used sale proceeds to launch the Wildstar Academy to continue the training of female and diverse wildlife film makers that she started with Queens. She is a regular mentor for National Geographic’s Field Ready Program and is highly committed to supporting diverse people, and with dependents including children, to have a career in wildlife.

Chloe Sarosh, Executive Producer

Chloe is a Series Producer/Show Runner and writer with 15 years of experience specialising in natural history and science for the BBC, Discovery, and international channels where she has established several returning brands. During her time at the BBC’s Natural History Unit, she worked on the world-renowned Planet Earth strand, developed the 10- year running Nature’s Weirdest Events and produced the ground-breaking Earth from Space.

Chloe is Vice Chair of the Wildstar Academy, a non-profit organisation offering training and mentorship to underrepresented voices in wildlife documentary making.

Through Queens, Chloe is championing the growth of female and indigenous talent in wildlife television.

Faith Musembi, Producer & Director

Faith Musembi is a Producer Director based in Bristol, England. She is drawn to telling narratives which showcase the beauty of Africa’s natural resources, while highlighting the complex, but pertinent issues regarding their sustainable conservation.

Recent credits include Queens (Nat Geo/Disney+) and Chasing The Rains (Love Nature.) Faith is currently producing an episode of the series Lion for the world-renowned Natural History Unit, commissioned by National Geographic for Disney+.

Hannah Gibson, Series Producer

Hannah Gibson is a series producer with nearly 20 years of experience delivering high quality content for international streamers and broadcasters. Hannah has worked on a wide range of content, from the BBC’s ground-breaking landmark Earth From Space, to Nat Geo’s Savage Kingdom and Growing Up Animal, and BBC1’s Animal’s Behaving Badly

She relishes every part of the production process from development, through the challenges of filming, to the edits and the technical demands of post-production. As a key member of the Wildstar team, the driving force behind everything, Hannah makes is a determination to show audiences a side of nature they’ve never seen before. She strives to capture our planets characters in the most visually captivating ways, and tell stories that are emotive, engaging and surprising.

Jennie Hammond, Series Producer

Jennie joined Wildstar Films as a series producer in 2019. She has over 20 years’ experience, working on everything from docs and features, landmark natural history blue chip, to conservation feature docs. Her passion to tell engaging and emotional stories has taken her to remote Polynesian islands, some of America’s most dangerous neighbourhoods, shark-filled waters, and the world’s most expensive dog hotel!

Credits include: Secrets of the Octopus, Animals up Close with Bertie Gregory, Sky Sharks, and Queens for National Geographic on Disney+. Endangered and Dogs: The Untold Story for Discovery+. Shark, Nature’s Weirdest Events, Ultimate Swarms, Springwatch, Crude Britannia, and Bang Goes the Theory for the BBC.

Jennie is also a Broadcast Hot Shot Alumni and a member of the UN’s Climate Change Resilience Frontiers Impact Advisory Panel.

About Wildstar Films

Wildstar was founded on the simple belief that the natural world is constantly evolving and our job is to keep up. To do this, we bring fresh thinking, new perspectives and greater diversity to natural history. We approach each new challenge with an open mind and a flexible attitude, drawing inspiration from unexpected places to keep our work fresh.

We constantly look to surprise as well as to entertain. We know that much of what we cover is very serious, but we also know that not everything has to be delivered with a serious face and a lecturing tone. We have to delight as well as inform. That’s why we pull in top level talent from comedy and drama, and why we send Hollywood action heroes to the ends of the earth. We don’t just pull in the finest A-list talent to present, direct and film our content either. Everyone on our team is the best at what they do, constantly looking for new ways to tell bigger, better, smarter stories. We find inspiration not in our own space but in movies, music videos, social media and gaming, and we harness the very latest technology to make our work as exciting and dynamic as possible.

We never forget that the planet is not ours, we just get to live here. This respect for nature and ecology infuses Wildstar to its core, driving us to be more sustainable and more thoughtful about the things that we film and the ways in which we film them. Respect is at the heart of what we do, whether that’s respect for the planet, respect for our viewers’ intelligence, or respect for each other within our team. As part of this attitude, Wildstar strives to pay it forward, transferring skills to the countries in which we film and creating unique collaborations at home to bring new faces and more vibrant thinking to our world.

We believe we can thrive only by nurturing new talent and working with people who share our belief that you can’t be the best by standing still. That’s why we’re always striving to raise standards for quality and impact measured not against other natural history producers but against any other media on the planet.

We love what we do, and we want that to shine from everything that Wildstar creates. Because we love the world and everything in it. Apart from wasps.

This event is for existing WFTV members only.

If you are not a member and would like to join, membership costs just £100 + VAT/yr , please click here or email admin@wftv.org.uk

At WFTV we want our events to be accessible for everyone. If you have access requirements, please let us know before the event by emailing admin@wftv.org.uk

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