Natural history producers Silverback (Silverback Films and Studio Silverback) will be honoured with the fourth annual MIP SDG AWARD at the MIPTV Spring International Content and Co-Production Market (17-19 April) in Cannes, to be accepted by multi-award winning producer/director Jonnie Hughes, Director at Studio Silverback.
Established in association with the United Nations in support of their Decade of Action campaign, the MIPTV SDG AWARD recognises media companies for their action and contribution to delivering against the UN’s 17 SDGs; with All3 Media’s Silverback Films being recognised alongside Studio Silverback, in particular for work supporting goals directed at ‘climate action’ and the conservation of ‘life below water’ and ‘life on land’.1
The session on Tuesday (April 18) in the Palais des Festivals will include an on stage interview with Jonnie Hughes covering both the craft behind, and the purpose driving, the company’s globally impactful work. The award will be presented by Caroline Petit, United Nations.
Founded by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey, the UK-based Silverback Films are renowned for global wildlife landmark series and features. These include Our Planet (Netflix), David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet (Netflix), produced and directed by Jonnie Hughes, The Hunt and The Mating Game (BBC One), six Disneynature features (Disney+), and the recently launched Wild Isles, a major five-part series again collaborating with Sir David Attenborough, that aims to do for the wildlife of Britain and Ireland what the Our Planet series did for the wildlife of the world. Fothergill was also previously the Series Producer and Executive Producer behind huge global hits Blue Planet, Frozen Planet and Planet Earth whilst running the BBC Natural History Unit.
In 2020 the founders additionally established Studio Silverback with Hughes and former WWF Executive Director Colin Butfield. Created as a multi-platform arm focusing on films that tackle the world’s pressing environmental challenges for a global audience, Studio Silverback credits include The Earthshot Prize: Repairing Our Planet, led by Earthshot Prize founder Prince William; and YouTube original series Seat at the Table, which saw YouTube creator Jack Harries collate personal stories from those directly affected by climate change globally and present them at the Cop 26 in Glasgow.
Caroline Petit, Deputy Director of United Nations Regional Information Centre said: “This annual award recognises the creative programming of Silverback that reaches millions of viewers worldwide. It also demonstrates the television & media industry’s increasing commitment to generate innovative content on the topic of sustainability. This award is timely as 2023 must be a year of game-changing climate action.”
Jonnie Hughes, Director, Studio Silverback said: “We’re proud to receive this award for our work in supporting the SDGs. At Silverback, our mission is to combine powerful storytelling with world-class cinematography to reveal the urgent truth of our changing planet to a global audience as well as the opportunity we have for a sustainable future. We see that to drive real change, we must tackle the communications challenge. Through our wildlife series and features, our purpose-driven films, and our multi-media projects, we have been working to tell the story of sustainability in a new way and to achieve more through collaboration. It’s a huge task, but we’ve already made progress and we’re grateful to MIPTV and the United Nations for recognising our contribution so far.”
“This astonishing body of work and sense of purpose is crucial to recognise” said RX France Entertainment Division Director & Director of MIPTV Lucy Smith. "Silverback’s work has consistently conveyed not only the diversity and richness of the natural world in astonishing detail, but their storytelling engages audiences globally about the urgent environmental challenges faced and encourages sustainable choices.”