Scottish Government Goes ‘Wild’ About New D&G Film Festival


The Wild Film Festival Scotland which is to be held in Dumfries and has been praised as “a new and exciting event” for the country by MSPs of all the main parties.

Colin Smyth, Labour MSP for the South of Scotland, put a motion to the Scottish Parliament which attracted support across the political divide from members of the SNP and the Conservatives.

WFFS is a celebration of the natural world through film, photography, topical discussion, music and and more.

It takes place from 24-26 March and its central themes will be Amazing Journeys, Wild Places and Rewilding. Some 30 films are being screened, many of them winners of coveted Wildscreen Panda Awards (the wildlife Oscars).

Mr Smyth said: “This is a real first for Scotland and we are very proud that it’s taking place in Dumfries.

“I really wanted to raise awareness in parliament of the superb work that’s being done by the festival organisers to put on a superb that will offer fantastic entertainment while promoting conservation and tourism.

“The fact that MSPs from all the main parties have given it their support is really welcome, and underlines the fact that this is a festival that can bring welcome benefits to Dumfries and Galloway, and the whole of Scotland, and will also be lots of fun.”

The weekend festival is aimed at all the family and includes DisneyNature’s Monkey Kingdom and Bears which are ideal for children as well as David Attenborough’s Light on Earth and Barrier Reef.

There is a strong Scottish strand throughout the programme with Highlands and Hebridean Summer from Glasgow’s Maramedia, and other Scottish films such as Sullivan’s Winter, Red Sky on the Black Isle and Loch Lomond A Year In The Wild.

There are also celebrity guests such as Sacha Dench who will talk her epic 4,500 mile powered paraglider flight from the artic to help save Bewick’s swans, as well as Iolo Williams from BBC Springwatch and Simon King of Big Cat Diary.

MSPs supporting the motion are Colin Beattie, Jeremy Balfour, Richard Lyle, Clare Adamson, Kenneth Gibson, Jackie Baillie, Claire Baker and Rachael Hamilton.

Sid Ambrose, WFFS Manager, said: “It’s excellent that news of the festival has been raised at the Scottish Parliament – this is an event for everyone to enjoy.

“We are proud to be presenting some of the very best wildlife films from all round the world while, at the same time, celebrating Scotland’s own natural history films and filmmakers.”

  • Wild Film Festival Scotland is being made possible due to a series of partnerships. Our funders and supporters include the Rural Dumfries and Galloway LEADER Programme, Dumfries and Galloway Council and The Hollywood Trust, The Scottish Rural Development Programme and e-on.
  • See attached background document for more about the festival.


Motion S5M-03553: Colin Smyth, South Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/01/2017 R

Wild Film Festival Scotland

That the Parliament commends the organisers of the Wild Film Festival Scotland for creating a new and exciting event, which it believes is the first of its kind in the country, and which will celebrate the natural world through the best of film and photography, plus topical discussion, literature and music; notes that the festival, in Dumfries from 24 to 26 March 2017, will be national and international in its scope, with special guest speakers, who include leading naturalists and broadcasters Simon King, of Big Cat Diaries, and Lolo Williams, of Springwatch, and filmmakers from Scotland, such as Glasgow-based Nigel Pope of Maramedia, and form across the UK; notes that they will be joined by Sacha Dench of the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, who recently made an epic paramotor flight from the Arctic to the UK, accompanying Bewick’s swans on their annual migration; understands that the festival is also promoting year-round nature-based tourism in Dumfries and Galloway by showcasing the region as a destination where visitors can enjoy magnificent moorlands, forests, mountains, rolling hills and rugged coastline, along with a fantastic array of birds, plants and animals; further notes that, in doing so, it aims to help build a sustainable economy for the region and to support local business; understands that the organisers are providing encouragement to, and opportunities for, young people, for example through the Wild Young Film Makers project, which has provided professional tuition to enable 12 to 25-year olds to make their own short films about the natural world, and welcomes this imaginative initiative, which is being pioneered by charities including the Southern Upland Partnership, RSPB and the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust, with finance from the Scottish Government and the EU through its LEADER 2014-2020 programme and support from the Dumfries and Galloway Council Major Events Fund, the Holywood Trust and EON.

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