Earthwatch Film Awards

Film Awards

News & Media

    From 1986 to 2009, Earthwatch held a unique partnership with the National Geographic Society to honor documentaries that highlight conservation efforts.

    To this day, these movies inspire, entertain, and educate, while providing viewers a look at what makes the Earth the wonderful place it as, and what is required to preserve it.

    Wild Ocean

    Wild Ocean
    Each year an unbelievable feeding frenzy takes place in the oceans of South Africa as billions of sardines migrate up the KwaZulu-Natal Coast.

    Winners: Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas.


    The 11th Hour

    The 11th Hour
    This film looks at the state of the global environment, including visionary and practical solutions for restoring the planet’s ecosystems.

    Winners: Leonardo DiCaprio, Leila Conners Petersen, Nadia Petersen.


    Dimming the Sun

    Dimming the Sun
    New evidence that air pollution has masked the full impact of global warming suggests the world may soon face a heightened climate crisis.

    Winners: David Sington and Duncan Copp.


    A Life Among Whales

    A Life Among Whales
    This film allows delves deeply into the unique relationship between humans and whales, and contemplates whether whale hunting should be banned, as told by renowned whale biologist Dr. Roger Payne.

    Winners: Bill Haney and Dr. Roger Payne (Lifetime Achievement Award).



    Wolfgang Bayer has made wildlife films for 30 years. After a heart attack in the wilderness, he spent a year with his family on his worldly filmmaking jaunts. This film chronicles that year, and shows changes this produced in the relationships within his family.

    Winners: Wolfgang and Tristan Bayer.


    Lords of the Arctic

    Lords of the Arctic
    The first in-depth look at the polar bear, the majestic creature that has fascinated man since the days of the Pharaohs.

    Winner: Caroline Underwood.


    Matrix of Life

    Matrix of Life
    Water and air move endlessly together, atoms linking and delinking to form ocean and atmosphere. Scientists are discovering just how complex this matrix is where water defies human boundaries and human ownership. This is Episode 2 of The Balance of Life, a four-part documentary.

    Winner: Dr. David Suzuki (Lifetime Achievement Award).


    Crown of the Continent

    Crown of the Continent
    Crown of the Continent explores Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, in Alaska, and includes stunning, artful photography.

    Winner: John Grabowska.


    Of Ochre and Water

    Of Ochre and Water
    Journey over 7 years into the memory and landscape of the nomadic Himba people of the arid Northern Namibia.

    Winners: Joelle Chesselet and Craig Matthew.


    Eyeball to Eyeball

    Eyeball to Eyeball
    First Person was a TV series covering a range of topics. Eyeball to Eyeball was Episode 6 of Season 1, and featured Clyde Roper, the authority on the giant squid.

    Winner: Errol Morris.


    Realm of the Lobster

    Realm of the Lobster
    Investigates the lobster’s habitat and follows its life from birth to maturity.

    Winners: Clarita Berger and Nick Caloyianis.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    Heroes of the High Frontier
    Rain Forest: Heroes of the High Frontier follows several nimble explorers into the upper reaches of the rain-forest canopy, where more than half of the Earth's species sprout, hatch, or wriggle their way into the world.

    Winner: Tim Scoones.


    Tales of the Tides

    Tales of the Tides
    The story of the legendary competition between the animals living on the wild coast of northern Kenya.

    Winners: Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone.


    Me & Isaac Newton

    Me & Isaac Newton
    Seven of today’s top scientist/researchers are the subject of this humorous exploration of real people behind the white lab coats.

    Winner: Michael Apted.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    A Place in the Land
    Winner: Charles Guggenheim.

    Cuba 15
    Winner: Elizabeth Schub.

    Endangered Species
    Winner: Robert Nixon.

    Fast, Cheap & Out of Control
    Winner: Errol Morris.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    Falling Down Stairs
    Winner: Barbara Willis Sweete.

    Scary Man
    Winners: Eugenie Jansen and Albert Elings.

    The Last Frog
    Winner: Allison Argo.

    Mulholland's Dream
    Winner: Jon Else.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    Seeds of Tibet: Voices of Children in Exile
    Winners: Toby Beach, Luke Wolbach and Peter Yost.

    Kerala India: Literacy and Social Reform
    Winners: Jack Robertson, Roger Grange and Barbara Zahm.

    My Father’s Garden
    Winner: Miranda Smith.

    Death by Design
    Winners: Peter Friedman and Jean-Francois Brunet.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    A Naturalist in the Rainforest
    Winner: Paul Feyling.

    Nepal: The Power of Women’s Groups
    Winners: Chris Beaver, Judy Irving and Jack Robertson.

    Vampires, Devilbirds & Spirits: Tales of the Calypso Isles
    Winner: Nick Upton.

    The Fragile Ring of Life
    Winners: Meyer Odze and Jeff Swicord.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    Webs of Intrigue
    Winners: Densey Clyne and Jim Frazier.

    901: After 45 years of Working
    Winner: Eames Demetrios.

    Tempus de Baristas
    Winner: David MacDougall.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    Paris: The Story of a City
    Winner: Stan Neumann.

    The House With Knights
    Winner: Marina Goldovskaya.

    River Out of Time: A Journey Through Tanu Tuva
    Winner: John Knoop.

    Big Tree County
    Winner: Hao Zhi Qiang.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    Javna – Reindeer Herdsman in the Year 2000
    Winner: Stefan Jarl.

    The Last Rivermen
    Winners: Robert Nixon and John Cronin.

    Anima Mundi
    Winner: Godfrey Reggio.

    The Inland Sea
    Winners: Lucille Carra and Brian Cotnoir.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    Killer Whales in the Wild
    Winner: Michael Chechik.

    Bali Beyond the Postcard
    Winners: Peggy Stern and Davis Dawkins.

    Marc & Ann
    Winners: Les Blank, Maureen Gosling and Chris Simon.

    Once More into the Termite Mound
    Winner: Sir David Attenborough.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    Black Water
    Winners: Charlotte Cerf and Allen Moore.

    The River Farmer
    Winner: Amee Evans.

    Island of Hope: Island of Tears
    Winner: Charles Guggenheim.

    The Spirit of the Kuna Yala
    Winners: Susan Todd and Andrew Young.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    Yosemite: the Fate of Heaven
    Winner: Jon Else.

    Dust and Ashes
    Winners: Michael Yorke and Naresh Bedi.

    For All Mankind
    Winner: Al Reinert.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    Cane Toads: An Unnatural History
    Winner: Mark Lewis.

    Hearts and Hands
    Winner: Pat Ferrero.

    Joe Leahy’s Neighbors
    Winners: Robin Anderson and Bob Connolly.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    Inughuit: The People at the Navel of the Earth
    Winners: Staffan Julen and Ylva Julen.

    The Secret Leopard
    Winner: Richard Matthews.

    Voyage From Antiquity
    Winners: Dr. George Bass and Jack Kelly.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    A Weave of Time
    Winner: Susan Fanshel.

    Winner: Robin Lehman.

    To Taste a Hundred Herbs
    Winners: Carma Hinton and Richard Gordon.

    Forest of Bliss
    Winner: Robert Gardner.


    Heroes of the High Frontier

    Return of the Osprey
    Winners: Judy Fieth and Michael Male.

    All Under Heaven: Life in a Chinese Village
    Winners: Carma Hinton and Richard Gordon.

    Stephen J. Gould: This View of Life
    Winner: Linda Harrar.


    Earthwatch Film Awards, Ed Wilson, CEO

    Former Earthwatch CEO,
    Ed Wilson, speaks at the National Geographic LIVE and Earthwatch Film Award ceremonies.

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