Ocean News

SOSF wins Panda Award for its campaign film “Rethink the Shark”

23rd October 2008

The Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) has won the most prestigious award in natural history filmmaking, the Panda Award, for its campaign film Rethink the Shark. The Rethink the Shark commercial was originally conceptualized by Saatchi & Saatchi, Cape Town, as part of a campaign designed for theSOSF M-Sea Programme, an AfriOceans Conservation Alliance (AOCA) project, in collaboration with the Two Oceans Aquarium, sponsored by the Save Our Seas Foundation.

World-renowned marine biologist and oceanographer Dr Sylvia Earle presented the award to Chris Clarke, Director of SOSF, at the “Oscars” of the wildlife film industry on Wednesday (22nd October) night in Bristol. The Gala Panda Awards Ceremony, hosted by celebrities Joanna Lumley and Steve Leonard, was part of the Wildscreen film festival, a wildlife filmmaking festival that attracts hundreds of delegates from around the globe who work in film, television and the press, as well as those actively involved in working to conserve the environment. Hundreds of individuals and organizations worldwide enter their films to be considered, and winning a Panda Award is the highest accolade for a wildlife filmmaker.

The award recognizes the SOSF’s commitment, as well as its partners, the Two Oceans Aquarium and AOCA, in raising awareness. The Rethink the Shark campaign and its winning commercial were created to challenge the media-driven public perception of sharks as man-eaters, to looking at these key ocean predators in their real light. Saatchi and Saatchi successfully used humour and wit to create a commercial that ends a stereotypical ‘Jaws’-like scenario with an ironic twist, which puts shark bites into perspective.  The SOSF uses a diverse range of communication methods to impart important conservation messages, including the production of High Definition documentary films. Drawing from its scientists around the world, HD films are based on cutting edge research and designed to educate, delight and inspire the audience to take action and conserve our marine environment.

The SOSF thanks all those who helped make this award possible and thus help raise awareness, in particular Saatchi & Saatchi, Two Oceans Aquarium, AOCA, and project leader, Lesley Rochat.

Wildscreen Background Facts

  • Wildscreen is a competition and a festival.
  • The Wildscreen Festival was founded by Sir Peter Scott in 1982 and has been organised every other year for the past 25 years.
  • Held in Bristol, UK – the world’s centre for wildlife filmmaking.
  • The main components of the Festival are the innovative key events, the Panda Awards and trade show
  • Wildscreen is heavily supported by the largest names in wildlife filmmaking such as the BBC, Five and Animal Planet, camera manufacturers such as Panasonic, scientific institutions such as the Natural History Museum, as well as organisations that are becoming more aware of their own environmental responsibility.
  • SOSF is a major sponsor.
  • The Festival is organised by UK-based charity Wildscreen, which runs a number of initiatives that use the power of film and photography to inspire conservation.

Panda Awards Background Facts

  • The Panda Awards have been running for 26 years and are the most prestigious in the natural history filmmaking calendar.
  • More than 420 entries were received this year, with 22 prizes handed out at the Bristol ceremony.

See the rest of the winners here & download the press release here.