Friday 17 June 2005

Wildlife films fail to tell the truth

Interesting snippet from Wildlife Film News 65 reproduced here:

In a report just published the Wildscreen Festival has stated that broadcasters need to re-think the ways in which they treat environmental issues following comments from the veteran programme-maker who chaired many of the key debates at last year’s Wildscreen festival.

In her review of the Did You See? discussions and screenings held as part of the international nature film and tv festival, Amanda Theunissen, says there's a danger viewers are being treated like children and consequently, maybe misled"

“The standard of films entered for Wildscreen 2004’s competition was impressively high but mostly they show the natural world as we would like it to be, not as it is, or as it is becoming. In the debates, we heard many worrying reports from different quarters about the threats our planet is facing, but with one or two commendable exceptions, the films that make it to the screen aren’t reporting the bad news, the true news.”

“There was a strong sense in the debates that there are difficult decisions to be made about the world’s future, and that, to make them, the public needs the right information. Equally, there was strong feeling that broadcasters are reluctant to air worrying issues, that they treat viewers like children who can’t cope with strong stories.” Ironically one of the films with the strongest messages was the children's Really Wild Show about farming bears for their gall in China. “It didn’t pull any punches and yet ended with a positive message. The film won the Children’s Choice award after being selected by a group of 8 – 13 year olds which just goes to show that children are far less sentimental than we think”

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