Debrief from Japan Wildlife Film Festival winner Natasha Bishop

Department of Conservation —  13/08/2013

17-year-old student, Natasha Bishop—winner of the 2012 DOC Big Picture Award in The Outlook for Someday sustainability film challengetells us about her big win at the prestigious Japan Wildlife Film Festival on Sunday.  

It was unexpected enough being nominated for the Japan Wildlife Film Festival (JWFF). It was even more unexpected to have received not just one, but TWO awards!

I was given the Best Animation award, as well as the Newcomer award for being an inexperienced filmmaker.

I’m incredibly happy, however I’m also very sad that the film festival is over. During my time here I have been able to meet amazing people, experience traditional and modern Japanese culture, and watch inspiring and beautiful films from around the world. I’ll be bringing home not only my awards, but also a new enlightenment that I’ve been incredibly privileged to experience at my age.

Natasha in Japan.

Experiencing Japan

The Grand Award of the festival was awarded to Grant Muir, a Wairarapa resident. He is the star of the film River Dog, the one other New Zealand film to be nominated for JWFF.

Grant Muir and Natasha Bishop at the Japan Wildlife Film Festival.

Grant Muir and Natasha Bishop at the Japan Wildlife Film Festival

During the festival I ran three seminars. I talked about my own personal background, my involvement with the environment, as well as digital media. David Jacobs and I also talked about New Zealand’s connection with nature, DOC, and The Outlook for Someday.

The organisers of JWFF have been immensely supportive of me during my stay in Japan, and I’d like to thank them for their hospitality and kindness. David Jacobs, who accompanied me, and the rest of Connected Media have also been really vital in making this happen. I’ve been able to make connections with some wonderful filmmakers and environmentalists, which I intend to strengthen!

Left: Kohta Asamidori, the lovely Public Relations Manager for JWFF. Right: Natasha with Hiroe Makiyama, upper house member of the National Diet  of Japan.

Left: Kohta Asamidori, the lovely Public Relations Manager for JWFF
Right: Natasha with Hiroe Makiyama, upper house member of the National Diet of Japan

I’m flying home soon and I will definitely miss Japan! Since it’s the school term right now, I can’t stay very long. But being here has inspired me to learn Japanese, so that I can come back someday and see more of the sights. It’s also inspired me to pursue a career in film and sustainability.

Among the people I’d like to acknowledge is Air New Zealand for sponsoring my flight, we visited their office in Tokyo and gave them a personal thank you. Also to the New Zealand Embassy in Tokyo, the staff there were lovely! And of course, thanks to the Department of Conservation for supporting me from the very beginning. Receiving this JWFF award is the biggest up on the figurative roller coaster that I’ve been on!


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One response to Debrief from Japan Wildlife Film Festival winner Natasha Bishop

  1. 
    Bernard Cronyn 14/08/2013 at 5:48 am

    Well done Natasha we are very proud of you!