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Tourism News South Africa

Shamwari films triumph at tourism film awards

Hungry Bison Films and Shamwari Game Reserve have won two categories at the annual International Tourism Film Festival Africa (ITFFA). Filmmaker Andrew Barratt’s Shamwari promotional video and a documentary on the largest vulture relocation in Africa respectively took the top awards for Tourism Video and Documentary, TV & Web Programme - Wildlife Conservation.
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Image source: Gallo/Getty

The International Tourism Film Festival Africa (ITFFA) honours all video content related to the tourism and travel industry. Founded in 2019 it aims to recognise and promote works with exceptional and innovative content and contribute towards stimulating the development and growth of the national and African audio-visual industry.

Wildlife filmmaker, Barratt is a long-time collaborator with Shamwari and was one of the producers of the 13-series Netflix hit, Shamwari Untamed. Told largely from the perspective of wildlife vet, Johan Joubert, and ecologist John O’Brien the series touches on nearly every aspect of managing a 250km2 reserve. A second series is in the pipeline.

Shamwari TV: A lockdown initiative

During the Covid-19 lockdown, he collaborated with Shamwari's head ranger, Andrew Kearney, to launch Shamwari TV. Initially aimed at showcasing wildlife and maintaining Shamwari's presence while guests were unable to visit, the initiative proved highly successful. To date, nearly 300 episodes have been produced, attracting a global following of almost 40,000 viewers.

Barratt’s documentary focuses on Africa’s largest vulture relocation, detailing the initial phase of a project aimed at safeguarding wild vulture populations in southern Africa through the establishment of VulPro@Shamwari. The documentary chronicles the extensive transport of 160 Cape and African White-backed vultures over 1,042km from Hartebeespoort to customised enclosures at Shamwari.

Passion for conservation

While grateful for the recognition his work has received, Barratt emphasises that awards are not his primary motivation for making wildlife films.

"For me, it’s about sharing my passion for the bush and wildlife, and hopefully inspiring more people to appreciate their importance and the critical need for conservation. I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with Shamwari, which shares this commitment to preserving our natural heritage."

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