A tale of two celebrity tuataras has been awarded Best Newcomer, Merit for Narration and Merit for Script at the International Wildlife Film Festival (IWFF).
NHNZ intern Jane Adcroft and her co-director Carla Braun-Elwert made Love In Cold Blood in 2009 as part of their Masters in Science Communication at the University of Otago, under the watchful eye of NHNZ Executive Producer Judith Curran.
The film will have two screenings at the 34th IWFF May 7-14 at the Northern Rockies, Missoula, Montana.
Jane describes Love in Cold Blood as “not your ordinary wildlife documentary”.
“It is the twisted tale of the long-running courtship between two tuatara at the Southland Museum, New Zealand. After nearly 40 years of their on-again off-again relationship with enough drama to rival Coronation Street , Henry, 111 and Mildred, 80, were finally caught “in the act” in their enclosure. “
“It was a long wait – especially for their lifetime keeper Lindsay Hazley who managed to document the special moment with his home video camera. Henry and Mildred survived rival suitors, love triangles and medical mysteries to triumph with fantastic results for the tuatara captive breeding program,” says Jane.
The two rookie directors explain that they evolved a specific approach to making this film which they liken to sugar coating broccoli; “We had a different approach from your usual wildlife documentary. We used humor and romance to help make the story of tuatara conservation one that you’ll never forget.”
“We are over the moon to have been recognised at the festival; it makes all the blood, sweat and tears worthwhile,” says Jane.
In 2010 the documentary won the Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival, Best New Zealand Film and Best Emerging Filmmakers awards.