Bristol/Vienna. After having secured a remarkable 10 nominations at the Jackson Wild Media Awards at the beginning of this week, Terra Mater Studios received seven more nominations at the major British nature-film festival Wildscreen on Thursday, 11 August. Clear signs of international recognition and quality repeatedly awarded to Terra Mater Studios – and a bright signal to the industry. Austrian-based Terra Mater Studios lead the way as the most nominated production company outside of the United Kingdom.

 The globally acclaimed Panda Awards celebrate outstanding achievements in the craft of natural-world storytelling, and are among the highest honours in the nature-film industry. The Bristol-based festival has always been dominated by British productions, which makes the delight at being in the running with seven nominations by the jury even greater for Austrian-based Terra Mater Studios. Five productions in six categories entered the race for the coveted Panda Awards.

With three nominations in total, the latest Terra Mater Studios feature Patrick and the Whale was especially highlighted by the jury. The film is nominated in the categories “Editing” (by Mark Fletcher), “Sound” (by Bernhard Zorzi and Michael Plöderl) and “Director/Producer” (Walter Köhler, Wolfgang Knöpfler and Mark Fletcher). Showing stunning underwater footage, the feature follows Patrick Dykstra, who has dedicated his life to filming and diving with whales. Patrick explores the fascinating nature of the sperm whale, attempting to shine a light on its intelligence and complexity, as well as highlighting its current and past relationship with humankind.

 In the category “Music”, two of three nominations went to Terra Mater Studios productions. The Bastard King chronicles the life of a lion from cub to adulthood, as he battles against the unimaginable enemy that is ravaging his world. The film was set to music by the French musicians Laurent Garnier and Pierre Lefeuvre, alias Saycet. The union of these two electronic forces led to an outstanding soundtrack for “The Bastard King”. Lots of contrasts and changes of rhythm reflect the dramatic life of this king of the savannah. Under the French title “Le Roi Batard”, the full soundtrack is available to download from all major music streaming providers.

The second “Music” finalist is Nature’s Networks”, about the importance of the relationships between different plants and animals in maintaining life on Earth, and the need to safeguard the fragile, endangered, and wide-ranging ties that bind all life forms together to create these “Nature’s Networks”. A documentary that is stirring in content, visually beautiful, and – as rated by the jury – wonderful to listen to.

The arousing Terra Mater Studios production Eyes of the Orangutanwas nominated by the jury in the category “On-Screen Talent”. The film follows Aaron Gekoski, an internationally acclaimed photojournalist: He has spent more than a decade documenting human-animal conflict and turning his lens on the wildlife tourism industry. But a trip to an amusement park in Ho Chi Minh City changed everything, as Aaron uncovered the torment of orangutans behind the scenes of wildlife tourism.

The seventh nomination went to the production Pumas – Legends of the Ice Mountains”. In the category “Scripted Narrative“, the jury honoured the work of award-winning filmmaker Dereck Joubert, who wrote the amazing, dramatic story of a bloodline of pumas, from mother to daughter, and on to the next generation. It is an intimate story, moving, sad, joyful – all set against some of the most spectacular landscapes in South America.

And one more – the eighth – reason to celebrate: Terra Mater Studios’ co-production with French Boréales Mediterranean: Life Under Siege was nominated for the “Series Award”. The six-part series reveals the riches of the Mediterranean’s natural heritage, the threats it faces and the hopes for its preservation.

This year, 700+ productions from 38 countries were submitted. The winners will be announced at the Panda Awards Ceremony on the evening of 13 October.