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GIRAFFES

Africa's Gentle Giants

Narrated: David Attenborough

An AGB Films production for BBC NHU / BBC WW / PBS

 

 

AWARDS

EMMY AWARD Nomination:
Best Wildlife Film

AMERICAN CONSERVATION FILM FESTIVAL AWARD:
Best Feature

WAIMEA OCEAN FILM FESTIVAL AWARD:
Best Director

ROYAL TELEVISION SOCIETY (WEST) AWARD Nomination:
Best Director

ROYAL TELEVISION SOCIETY (WEST) AWARD Nomination:
Best Photography

 

GALLERY

 

 

REVIEWS

A far gentler documentary was Natural World: Giraffes – Africa’s Gentle Giants (BBC Two) which whisked us off to the arid deserts and scrublands of Namibia and Uganda for a much-needed check up on the state of one of the continent’s most iconic animals.

Sad to say, things weren’t looking good for the giraffe. The film’s biggest revelation was that numbers are down by a staggering 40 per cent in just two decades, and giraffes have disappeared from seven African countries where they thrived; the result of poaching, habitat destruction and sheer neglect.

So said Dr Julian Fennessy, who devotes his days to studying the giraffe and reversing the tide of what he calls “this silent extinction”. Television truly loves a heroic couple, and Fennessy and his wife Steph had it all – lives lived in the wild in single-minded pursuit of a great passion, and even a couple of photogenic young offspring as devoted to the cause as themselves. Together, they founded the world’s first and only giraffe conservation charity and much of the film was taken up following a pioneering project they organised to move a breeding population of rare Rothschild’s giraffes, threatened by the discovery of oil, across the mighty Nile. This was stirring stuff indeed (all praise to producer-director Tom Mustill and photographer George Woodcock). Not just because of the difficulty of capturing and transporting these large-yet-delicate animals but also for such endearingly odd sights as a truckload of giraffes taking a ferry ride across a river. But the biggest achievement of this film was its reminder of just how neglected even a universally recognisable animal like the giraffe can be. An animal so gentle the danger of extinction looms without our even noticing. Happily, with the Fennessys on the case, that seems a more remote prospect now.

GERARD O’DONOVAN, TELEGRAPH

 

CREDITS

Producer/Director: Tom Mustill

Photography George Woodcock

Editor: Sabrina Burnard

Executive Producer: Andrew Graham-Brown

Series Editor: Roger Webb

 

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