The 2017 NEWF Congress


The inaugural Nature, Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers (NEWF) Congress will take place at the Durban Botanic Gardens from Tuesday, 11 July until Thursday 13 July 2017.

The NEWF Congress was born out of the need to create a niche permanent platform for Natural, Environmental and Wildlife filmmakers to engage, network and contribute towards the growth of this content within the film and television industry. Creating a path to conservation through film, the NEWF Congress aims encourage and inspire young filmmakers to tell African conservation, environmental, wildlife and adventure stories from unique African perspectives.

The Congress takes place over 3-days and comprises of lively and informative panel sessions, speakers and cocktails, with a bonus fourth day dedicated to excursions around Durban to inspire untold stories.

The 11 July 11 events boast a number of highlights which include a motivational and engaging talk by NEWF Congress Patron, the acclaimed Sibusiso Vilane, adventurer, motivational speaker, author, former game ranger and head scout of Scouts South Africa.

Michael Rosenfeld, chairperson of the USA’s leading wildlife film festival The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and head of production of Twin Cities PBS will present a session on worldwide trends.
Dan Salerno, vice president of Programming for National Geographic Channels will present and unpack his journey on Wednesday 12 July; and on Thursday 13 July the award-winning South African producer and cinematographer, Peter Lamberti delivers a session to inspire the next generation of natural history filmmakers.

Under The Baobab Tree discussions aim to create dialogue around topical issues pertaining to the natural, environmental and wildlife filmmaking landscape. This platform also endeavours to keep filmmakers abreast with trends and innovations throughout the production value chain, integral to the successful delivery on content within the industry.

Case Studies are designed to excite and stimulate both seasoned and aspiring filmmakers alike by providing seminars presented by an industry expert/filmmaker on a particular film and/or topic. The aim is to impart knowledge and give participants an opportunity to engage with presenter/s on specific thematic, technical or operational aspects of the particular film/filmmaking expertise.

Funders, broadcasters and distributors are also given a platform to inform filmmakers/content creators as to what they are looking for when they fund, commission and/or broadcast natural history and environmental content. Although relevant submission guidelines will be outlined, broadcasters may benchmark their most successful programming and filmmakers constructively engage with the panel for solutions to meet broadcasters’ needs beyond their technical criteria. These sessions are aptly named Funding & Distribution: Beyond the Technical.

Inspiring ideas, New Perspectives: Scientist Tell Your Story panel sessions explore that even though Lions will forever be captivating to audiences; there are topics that content creators have looked over. In these sessions scientists and conservationists present their fields of work potentially creating new perspectives for the development of natural history and environmental content.

The N.E.W Pitch, is a documentary short film pitching competition that is incorporated into the daily programme and aims to discover the next generation of nature, environment and wildlife filmmakers. Submissions are still open and close on 7 July 2017. Entries can be submitted via the website,

Attendance to this year’s inaugural Congress is free with limited spaces available.

For more information visit the NEWF Congress website, register HERE or contact Pragna on 072 437 5090 or


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