A Shower of Nominations for TMFS: Emmy, Jackson Wild, Wildscreen

August 2020: Two Emmy nominations, eleven nominations at Jackson Wild – the world’s most distinguished nature film festival – and four out of a possible nine nominations for a TMFS production at Wildscreen Festival in Bristol, UK – the Hollywood of nature films. Vienna-based Terra Mater Factual Studios are overjoyed by this exceptionally good news.

“Thanks to corona, 2020 has become an unforgettable year, but all the more so for us because of this unexpected shower of nominations for the world’s most prestigious film awards,” rejoices Walter Köhler, CEO of TMFS. “On the eve of the ten-year anniversary that Terra Mater Factual Studios will be celebrating in 2021, the biggest institutions in the international film branch have confirmed that worldwide we are currently the most successful production company when it comes to nature films. This kind of achievement is only possible as a team, and so I’d like to thank my core team, our many national and international partners, but most especially all our colleagues across the world from the bottom of my heart. The credit belongs to all of us!”

For the first time, a Terra Mater Factual Studios production has been nominated for the world’s most significant television awards: the Primetime Emmys. ‘Sea of Shadows’, the major documentary film about the fight to save the world’s smallest whale in the Gulf of California, has entered the running for the coveted golden statuette in the category “Outstanding Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program”. The award ceremony will take place on 20 September in Los Angeles.

The TMFS production ‘Okavango – River of Dreams’ has also been nominated for best camerawork at the News and Documentary Emmys. The prize ceremony  will take place on 22 September in New York. Due to the coronavirus crisis, both ceremonies will take place virtually and will be broadcast via live television and streaming.

At Jackson Wild Festival, which traditionally presents the “Oscars” of the nature film branch, Terra Mater Factual Studios have received a total of eleven nominations.
The two-part film ‘Pumas – Legends of the Ice Mountains’ is nominated in the top category “Limited Series”, and has also been recognized with nominations in the categories “Editing” (for Part One) and “Animal Behavior” (for Part Two).
‘Corona – The Pandemic and The Pangolin’ joins the competition in the “Conservation” category and with a nomination for the best script (Ruth Berry).
The feature-length ‘Okavango – River of Dreams’ has been nominated by the pre-jury for best sound design, with the fourth part of the Okavango series entering the “Ecosystem Long Form” category.
The other TMFS productions going through to the final round of the world’s most prestigious nature film event are ‘Santa’s Wild Home’ in the “Ecosystem” category, and ‘A Song for Love – An Ape with an App’ with a nomination for original music score (Barnaby Taylor). ‘Dehesa – Forest of the Iberian Lynx’ has been nominated in the “Special Recognition” category. And last but not least: ‘Sea of Shadows’ – recognized as best motion picture at last year’s Jackson Wild – has now been nominated for best “Impact Campaign”. The finale of the festival will take place in late September.

“It’s not just the sheer number of nominations I’m delighted by,” says Sabine Holzer, who heads up the Specialist Factual department at Terra Mater Factual Studios. “The films that have been nominated also reflect the broad spectrum and variety of our productions. This kind of recognition by the international documentary branch is all the more motivating given the difficulty of current times. In the future we will continue making every effort to produce outstanding nature films of the highest quality, in conjunction with our partners across the world. There are still so many exciting, dramatic and moving stories to be told . . .”

“Learning of the eleven Jackson Wild nominations was a bittersweet moment for us,” says Walter Köhler. “This year, Jackson Wild wasn’t going to take place in the USA’s Grand Teton National Park; instead, the nature film elite were going to be convening in Austria’s Neusiedler See National Park at the end of September. Unfortunately, the American organizers had to decide to turn it into a virtual event because of corona. But our success makes up for the fact that this incredible event won’t be taking place in Austria until 2022.” The virtual Jackson Wild Festival 2020 will be held in the last week of September.

At Wildscreen Festival in Bristol, the TMFS production ‘Sea of Shadows’ has been nominated in four out of a possible nine categories, making it by far the most successful production in the festival. The motion picture has received nominations for best editing, best original score, and best sound design, while Walter Köhler and Wolfgang Knöpfler are nominated for best producer, and Richard Ladkani for best director. According to Walter Köhler: “Receiving the highest number of nominations in the Hollywood of nature films really is something special. The competition is particularly tough in the BBC’s backyard; all the other productions are of purely British provenance. It makes these nominations even more meaningful.”