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Thank you for video messages from all over the world!

Responding to a request by us, more than 30 finalists have sent us video messages.
We really appreciate their kind cooperation and are deeply touched by their kind thoughts.
We are going to show the video message before screening each film.
Each video message has an important role to warm up the festival.
We would like to introduce these wonderful messages and post them on our website.
Many more messages are arriving from film-makers the entire world and we will post them as well within the next few days.
Since Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami occurred, we got many supports, assistances, and words of encouragement from the world.
We cannot thank you enough.
We would like to share those heartwarming supports and thoughts with all on this page. Thank you from bottom of our heart.

Messages from film-makers

Entry No.11-001 

Dear Festival Participants,

We are very pleased and honored to participate in this year’s festival because the Japan Wildlife Film Festival is an outstanding event presenting High quality films. It means very much to us to be present this year that has been such a difficult one in the history of Japan. We want to let you know that we were very affected by the violent earthquake and tsunami that occurred and are very preoccupied by the situation in the nuclear plant of Fukushima. Our thoughts are still very much with you as we know reconstruction is a long process.
We also want to say our admiration to all the people organizing the festival, who despite the events, upheld the festival. We hope it will be a joyful and entertaining moment for all participants and regret not to be able to be with you.

The Saint Thomas Productions Team


Entry No.11-007
Poppy's Promise - Secret Life in a Cornfield
Production: nautilusfilm GmbH

Jan Haft
Melanie Haft

Hello, everyone.
We are all very shocked by the terrible events of the catastrophe of March 11.
Ever since then we’ve been thinking about you wonderful people of Japan.

You’ve been in our thoughts and we do sincerely hope that you will fully recover from the earthquake and the nuclear catastrophe. 

We are very honored that film “The Poppy’s Promises” have been selected by the Japan Wildlife Film Festival.
We hope that you will be able to enjoy little wonders of the European nature and maybe the small stories of our wildlife do appeal to you. 

Warmest wishes from Germany and everybody that acknowledged to this film.

Have fun with the film
Entry No. 11-020
The Man Who Stopped the Desert
Production: 1080 Film and TV Ltd

Mark Dodd


Greetings from the United Kingdom.

As a regular visitor to Japan I was delighted to hear that my film The Man Who Stopped the Desert has been selected in this years film festival.

Yacouba Sawadogo, the hero of the film, has shown incredible strength and resilience in battling with nature and man. And today his results are benefiting thousands of people.

Here in Japan recently man and nature have conspired to cause suffering on a scale that is hard to comprehend.

But like Yacouba Sawadogo, I am convinced that the strength of character and resilience of the Japanese people will win the day.

Arigato gozaimasu.

I wish you well.


Entry No. 11-022
Frogs -The Thin Green Line
Production: ArgoFilms, Ltd

Allison Argo
Dear friends in Japan,
It’s a great honor to be a finalist in such a wonderful and important film festival – especially on its 10th anniversary. 
I am so sorry for the terrible losses that you and your beautiful country have suffered this year.  My heart goes out to all of you as you work to overcome the devastation. 
An international festival like this one is so important because it reminds us that we’re all on this fragile planet together.  We breathe the same air; share the atmosphere, the oceans and the plates beneath the earth’s crust.   It’s been said that the flutter of a butterfly’s wings will be felt on the other side of the world. 
No group of animals reminds us of this better than the frog.  These wondrous creatures can be found on every continent but the Arctic. And they’re ancient – they’ve survived ice ages, meteors, earthquakes and tsunamis. 
But as you might have heard, today frogs are disappearing.  From Australia to Canada, entire species are slipping away. 
I’ve always loved frogs.  This film is a celebration of these beautiful, little creatures – and a tribute to the heroes who are trying to save them. 
I hope you’ll be inspired to help our amphibious friends.  Even the smallest gesture can make a big difference.

Entry No. 11-092
Wild Hungary - A Water Wonderland
Production: Azara Film

Hi this is Zoltan Török.

Dear Japanese audience!

I think the whole world was in shock to see what has happened to your beautiful country during this spring. I was also very shocked especially because I have been filming in many places after natural disasters so I know what does it mean but to be honest I was still very very shocked to see  the shots which were coming from Japan in March.

But then it was good to see how strongly Japanese people reacted. And I can tell it was very brave decisions from the organizers of the Japanese wildlife film festival that they didn’t cancel this event. I think it was the right decision.

Because I think your beautiful country will recover very fast and I hope these wonderful nature films can help to cure the wounded souls in Japan. And I would like to believe and I hope it will be so that while you are watching these shots about the nature, the wonders of the natural word you can forget about the losses and to see beauty of the nature not only the cruelty and brutality of the nature.

So, please enjoy our films.


Entry No. 11-103
Intelligent Plants
Production:Mathhey Film

A warm hello from Germany to Japan. My name is Volker Arzt, I am the director of
“Clever Plants” – the film you are going to see.
First of all I`ll send you my congratulations. It`s simply fantastic that the Japan Wildlife Film Festival has survived for twenty years and is still one of the most famous and best festivals in the world. My admiration!
Thanks for your invitation to come to Japan. I really love your country and culture, but I am in the middle of a new production and there is no chance to get away.

Many thanks once more on behalf of the whole team – here are some clever flowers for you.
Entry No. 11-125
Poisoning Paradise-Ecocide New Zealand
Production: The Graf Boys

Clyde Graf
Steve Graf

Hello from New Zealand, I'm Clyde Graf

Hi, I'm Steve Graf. We are delighted to be part of your festival, with our film Poisoning Paradise - Ecocide New Zealand.

The use of 1080 poison in New Zealand has been responsible for widescale animal cruelty and native wildlife deaths, and continues to be supported and encouraged with poor science and bureaucracy. It has been a great challenge to highlight this issue.

We would like to thank the organisers of the Japan Wildlife Film Festival for the opportunity to present this important film.

The Earthquake

Having watched our own country go through a major earthquake, and continue to go through aftershocks, we can understand the chaos and torment that occurs.

After seeing the footage of the Japan earthquake on tv, it became very obvious just how fortunate we were.
To have to endure a tsunami as well, of which the magnitude was sheer catastrophic - we can only imagine what you're going through.

We encourage you to look at these recent events as an opportunity to form new friendships, and to grow as a nation, because in times of hardship, comes a seed of new light and new hope. 

We all know that Japan has suffered some great hardships in the past, but you've prevailed and realised some great achievements.
Entry No. 11-139
Spirit of the Arctic
Production: Spirit of the Arctic, LLC

Kathy Turco

A message from the producer of SPIRIT OF THE ARCTIC for the 2011 Japanese Wildlife Film Festival:

It is with much humility and gratitude that I submit Spirit of the Arcticin your 2011 wildlife film festival. It has been my long-standing dream to merge images of nature, natural sounds, and Native American & Alaskan voices and music into one program. This sound-driven DVD, designed as an experiential journey rather than an educational documentary, is the manifestation of that dream. The program features the images of one of the best Japanese wildlife photographers in the world; yours truly the late Michio Hoshino. I was very fortunate to have known Michio in Alaska for 10 years and to have discussed with him the concept of Spirit of the Arctic as our collaborative audio-visual tribute to the Arctic.  It is tragic and sad thathe left us way too soon and his loss will forever be felt however with the work and support of his wife, Naoko Hoshino and family, I was able to produce that special tribute consisting of the images and sounds over 100 species of wildlife and landscapes characteristic of Alaska. With the help of nearly 100 professionals, I feel I produced a bilingual audio-visual program (Engish & Japanese) including an accompanying educational booklet that would have made Michio proud.

I hope you enjoy Spirit of the Arctic as much as I have appreciated the opportunity and privilege of recording Alaska’s wildlife in their natural habitats. The last time I saw Michio, he told me that he considered each of his photographs a gift; I feel the same about each of the natural sounds that I have had the good fortune to record. May the sights, sounds, voices, and soulful music of Spirit of the Arctic instill in you a greater fondness and appreciation for the Arctic, one of the most remarkable places on Earth.



Entry No. 11-145
Swarms: The intelligence of the Masses
Production: a & o Buero

I'm Tristan Chytroschek, the producer of "Swarms - The Intelligence of the Masses". Me and my team feel honoured that our film has been selected for this prestigious event. We all hope that you will enjoy watching our documentary. We certainly enjoyed making it. We also want to express our heartfelt sympathies with the people of Japan because of the recent catastrophes. We sincerely hope that Japan's wildlife and the people of Japan will recover soon from this terrible tragedy. Thank you very much.

Entry No. 11-151
Night of the Hunt
Production: Ammonite

Hello I'm Martin Dohrn, company director and executive producer here at Ammonite films in the UK.

Since first hearing the news of the tsunami we have all been incredibly concerned for your country, as the news of this terrible disaster and it’s aftermath has unfolded and you have battled against the possibility of a nuclear disaster it has become apparent that Japan is a nation of people who possess enormous courage and dignity, we have heard so many stories of the sacrifices that many people have made in order to help others. We have seen the terrible damage that has been done and how hard you are working to rebuild what has been destroyed.

We're extremely grateful  and delighted to be included in the Japanese festival. We are very sorry we can't attend on this occasion but during  the festival we will be thinking of you while filming far out in the Atlantic ocean where we are putting a new generation of night cameras underwater - hoping to find and film for one of the largest creatures of the deep.

Enjoy the festival

Many Thanks

Entry No. 11-228
First Snow in the Woods
Production: Sisbro Studios, LLC

Hello, my name is Laura Sams

And I’m Robert Sams

And we are a sister and brother, and we are co-directors of the movie First Snow in the
Woods. We are so excited the movie is showing at the Japan Wildlife Film Festival, and
we are sorry we can’t be there in person.

First Snow in the Woods is based on a children’s book, and we spent two years filming
wildlife around the forests of North America to put this project together. If you would
like to learn more information about the film, please visit our website at

We really hope you like the movie. We also hope it makes sense once it’s translated into
Japanese. Thank you!

Thank you!

Entry No. 11-263
Production: Independent Production

Film Djemo, Goat and Brucellosis speaks about brucellosis,
very dangerous and contagious disease of sheeps, goats and other animals,
which gets transferred to people and it is very hard to treat.
Bosnia and Herzegovina authorities do not have success in suppressing brucellosis, people have naive behaviour about this disease,
which in this country got epidemic proportions.
This film is told on an untypical way with fable elements, cadence of humor,
but also with harsh melancholy and endless sadness.
I hope that message of the film will be noted
in order to provide for greater environmental protection.

Dear people of Japan,
In the past you had big accidents and you managed to resolve them.
The last one with earthquake and Fukushima Prefecture was collosal,
we feel sorry for your victims and you have our compassion.
Your people will also safely overcome this catastrophe, for sure.
We can not influence natural catastrophies,
but those caused by human factor - we can and we must.

A lot of support from Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Nisvet Hrustic, Director/Producer


Entry No. 11-270
It Takes Two to Tango!
Production: Beszelo Szem Production Company

My name is Szabolcs Palfy, the director of It takes two to tango.
And my name is Gergo Kiss, I'm the D.O.P of this film. Our message to you is that wildlife preservation is a really key issue today. Because of the past decades of industrialization we have ruined a huge slice of the eco system and now we have to take the money and the energy to rebuild it, to save species that are becoming extinct. That's what our film is basically about. So enjoy the film and thanx!
Enjoy the film, bye!

Entry No. 11-295
Natural World Prairie Dogs - Talk of the Town
Production: BBC Natural History Unit

Hello, my name is Stephen Dunleavy and I produced the Natural World prairie dog film. I’d like to send my best wishes to the organizers of the Japanese Wildlife Film Festival and to all the people of Japan. 

When I first came across Con Slobodchikoff’s work on prairie dogs I knew we’d have the makings of a good film.  Con after all had been studying prairie dogs for more than 30 years and he’d become convinced they had the most complex animal language so far decoded. That was a very bold claim so I knew we’d have a strong story. When I met Con and travelled out to see the prairie dogs with him I knew there was another level to this film – one that would provide moments of light-heartedness and humour. After all Con’s work is quite entertaining to watch and the prairie dogs themselves are quite comical in character.

I hope you enjoy watching “Prairie Dogs”. Many thanks to the organizers of the Japanese Wildlife Film Festival for organizing this film; and best of luck with the festival. Bye bye.
Entry No. 11-316
Goshawk , The Soul of the wind
Production: EBS

Goshawk is one of Korea’s Natural Monument and is being protected because of it’s rarity.
Especially, from ancient times, Goshawk was used in traditional hawking.
It’s because Goshawk’s intrepidness and marvelous hunting skills fascinated many people.
Nevertheless Goshawk’s ecology and substance are not been known properly.
In this program, I wanted to show Goshawk’s truthful image of living in the change of nature in each seasons.
Especially, Goshawk’s hunting – the moments which are too hard to catch with human eyes – was the focus.
I tried to film carefully about Goshawk’s physical features, adaptability and quick reaction, which made them evolve to an outstanding hunter in the forest,
Anyway, I want this program to make people understand about Goshawk’s truthful image and nature’s preciousness.

Entry No. 11-330
Production: STUDIO AKA

To all our friends at JWFF and all over Japan.
Varmints is a film fundamentally about hope.  It is about one small individual who, faced  with the overwhelming destruction of his environment by forces beyond his control,  never loses faith that things will get better.
I have long admired many things about Japan. Its natural beauty, its vibrant culture, its innovative approach to so many things . As an animator, and like all animators around the world, I owe an enormous debt to the groundbreaking work done by Japanese directors.
I was lucky enough to visit Sapporo and Tokyo last year, my first visit, and I truly fell in love with the country and the people. It was everything I had expected, and more. So it was with tremendous sadness that I watched the events of March unfold.
And it is with humble respect and admiration that I have watched the people of Japan face this terrible challenge with courage, resilience and the same strength of spirit that the hero of our little film displays.
It is an honour to be included in this festival.

With my very best wishes,
Marc Craste

DIRECTOR - 'Varmints'

Entry No. 11-370

Hi, my name is Mike Birkhead of Mike Birkhead Associates. We made the film ‘Echo: an Unforgettable Elephant’ and we’re very proud that it has reached the finals of the prestigious Japanese Wildlife Film Festival in 2011. And we’d like to take this opportunity to wish everybody in Japan, in an extremely difficult year, the best of luck for the rest of 2011 and hope everything improves.

Entry No. 11-381
The Great Grey Shrike
Producer: Chintis Lundgren

 The Great Grey Shrike

This is a video message to the Japanese people from CHINTS LUNDGREN

and some friendly birds from all over ESTONIA.


How are you?

My name is CHINTIS.

I have never been to Japan.

But I imagine to be an amazing place with wonderful people.

・・・and interesting birds.

I wish to send you all of my best wishes・・・

And a lot of love.

You are in our thoughts.

Stay strong Japan.

Entry No. 11-411
City of Ants
Production: National Geographic Television

Hello, this is James Manfull, writer and producer of the film "City of Ants."   On behalf of the wonderful cinematographer Martin Dohrn and myself, thank you for accepting our film into the 20th annual Japan Wildlife Film Festival.

Ants are nature’s finest example of how millions of individuals can work together to succeed as one. United by a common purpose, they achieve feats that seem impossible for a tiny insect. As the people of Japan recover and rebuild after the terrible events of last March, I can think of no better inspiration.  

So… I wish you the strength, determination and -- above all the unity -- of the ants, to come together and succeed as one.  Thank you.

Entry No. 11-438
Great Migrations
Production: National Geographic Television

Konichiwa and Thank you for this tremendous honor. 

“Born To Move” is part of National Geographic Television’s three year journey documenting animal migrations around the world.  Making this film was a profound and deeply rewarding experience for everyone involved.  We are very grateful that the Japan Wildlife Film Festival considers ‘Born to Move’ worthy of inclusion in your Festival. 

For everyone involved, one of the biggest takeaways of this film is wildlife’s endless commitment and compulsion to migrate – to keep on moving against all odds for the sake of themselves, their family and even their species. 

This spirit of determination and resilience is occasionally found in human beings as well.  Right now, the tragedy in North East Japan -- and the way in the Japanese people have responded to this tragedy is equally inspiring.  The world is watching and inspired as Japan finds its own way to move forward - for the sake of individuals, their families and the nation itself. 

Congratulations on the 20th anniversary of the Japan Wildlife Film Festival and Arigato again for including our work.

Entry No. 11-440
That Shouldn't Fly
Production: National Geographic Television

I’m Robert Wise, the director of the film, “That Shouldn’t Fly.” I am thrilled to be participating in the 20th Japan Wildlife Film Festival with a film that celebrates nature’s extraordinary ability to adapt.  We explore how two animals, the colugo and tree snake, have developed remarkable physical characteristics to survive almost exclusively in the canopy of the rainforest.

Recently, Japan has experienced nature’s devastating and destructive power, for which I offer my deepest sympathy.  It’s my hope that, in some small way, the film can offer a sense of hope and remind us all of nature’s awe-inspiring drive to create in beautiful and extraordinary ways. Thank you.
Entry No. 11-449
The Last Lioness
Production: Aquavision TV Productions

First of all, we want to say a big thank you for hosting the Wildlife Film Festival Japan in this year.
We admired and had got great respect for you in Japan.
On the sight of The Last Lioness we want to say that what’s wildlife film making had certainly,  in this case might be difference to conservation. You know that and it was definitely might difference to the life of The Last Lioness as you will see. I don’t know without ever in my life again to have a opportunity to be a part of project like that or witness something like that and I will see probably never be able to film something like that again.
It was difficult time but most of the time we had a great fun.

Entry No. 11-351
Metamorphosis papilionum

Dear President, and friends of Japan wildlife Film Festival Office

We would like to share with you the transformation of butterflies as example of beauty of life. Like flowers, butterflies are fragile but their vitality is strong. We are sure the Japan and its youth will bloom again like butterflies.

Yves Lanceau
Natalie Truchet

Entry No. 11-333
Ecology of Death

Dear Japanese friends.

From Spain we send you all our support and encouragement.
I hope that these days you can enjoy the great films to be shown at the Japan Wildlife Film Festival. You will see the great wonders of nature on our planet. I want to fill you with encouragement and courage to overcome the recent disasters.
In Spain, many activities are being developed to raise money to help you in rebuilding your country. We send all our strength.
I send you a beautiful poem about life:
Life is everywhere
It is in you now and forever it shall stay
Life is the wind blowing sideways
Life is the winter and the summer
I am Life You are Life We are Life
I love Life and Life loves me
Life and I play beneath the midnight sun
Life and I play beneath the morning moon
Life brings me soup when I am ill
Life kisses me good night and greets me with a smile
Life is sad and it is lonely
Life is evil and Life is blunt
Life is a true friend and never lies
I am Life You are Life We are Life

Best wishes,
Arturo Menor.

Entry No. 11-104
One Degree Matters

Dear Mr. Hirohisa Ota and the JWFF staff,

We are deeply sorry for the tragedy that Japan is living through these days and find it most admirable that you, despite these dark times, have decided to fulfill the "Japan Wildlife Film Festival". Like you said so beautifully in your letter, these are the times where we need to step forward with the tears.

Films with happy and positive messages will hopefully spread a bit of light and hope into the hearts of the Japanese people.

We, at Ace & Ace Productions in Denmark, give you ,your festival and Japan our full support. We hope the audience will enjoy our “Environmental Atlas Stories” and spread some smiles.

Japan is in our thoughts and hearts in Denmark.

Yours sincerely,

Ace & Ace

Managing Director and Executive Producer, Eskil Hardt  

Director of Photography, Esben Hardt 

Assistant Producer, Yuki Badino




Entry No. 11-040
Endangered Species : California Fish and Game Wardens

My best wishes to the people of the Japan and the Japan Wildlife Film Festival. May you unite and use the present situation to become stronger. I hope the festival will uplift spirits and open doors for creating new strategies to enable the people of Japan to safely live in greater harmony with nature.

James Swan, Ph.D.
Co-Executive Producer, "Wild Justice," Nat. Geo. Channel
& CEO, Snow Goose Productions


Entry No. 11-049
Homegrown Revolution

We have watched with great sadness the sufferings of the people of Japan as a result of the recent terrible tragedies. It is impossible for us to imagine the devastating loss you have experienced and to understand the tremendous challenges you are now facing.
This is the time for all of Earth’s inhabitants to learn vital lessons from what has befallen our Japanese brothers and sisters. We should not seek to return to life as normal, going on as before. Instead, let this crisis be our teacher, instructing us to find a safer and more secure way of living.
The greatest tragedy of all would be to stop aching and crying over this great loss and, thus, wipe out the hope for a better world tomorrow. We commend you for the courage to persevere through this darkest of times.



Entry No. 11-185
Wild Japan

Dear Japan Wildlife Film Festival Team and Audience,

thanks for letting us be a part of your beautiful Festival again. The JWFF has been so important for our films, as well as our Japan copartners and friends have been for us for many years. It was just two years ago that we shot our series "Wild Japan" - months that brought us even closer to the kindness of the Japan people and the overwhelmingly rich and beautiful nature.

Even months after the big tsunami disaster our thoughts are still with the people who were so terribly hit by nature's power. With the deepest concern we've followed the unbelievable events that have affected Japan so profoundly. It was hard to bear, watching the pictures from Japan.

Celebrating nature may have become something disturbing after what happened in March 2011. If our films will be able to encourage people and to help just a little bit to give them back the belief in nature's warm and caring beauty it will be their most distinguished and beautiful purpose.

On behalf of NDR Naturfilm we would like to express our heartfelt solidarity with all Japanese people. The German wildlife filmmakers and editorial departments are with you and your loved ones.

Warm regards from our whole team

Jörn Röver
Head of NDR Naturfilm / Studio Hamburg DocLights GmbH
Hamburg / Germany


Entry No. 11-344
Discovering Animal Behaviour

Dear Japanese friends,

I have always felt a great admiration, great respect and special affection for you.
Today, I feel close to you more than ever and hope that you can enjoy the animals' behavior with these films of animals for a moment.
When I came home after long hours of waiting to record animals in the wild, my three year old son was waiting for me patiently.  He enjoys sharing with me this wonderful window into the animal world.

Contemplation of the animals gives us pleasure and we strengthen our union. Let me share with you all that it is my great dream as if you were my own son.

I wish you all the best

Alberto J. Redondo


Entry No. 11-285
Leave Nothing but Footprints

Dear JWFF,
Congratulations on reaching the 20th Anniversary celebrations of JWFF! The fact that JWFF is taking place despite the recent disaster that hit Japan is a comment on the indomitable spirit of this great nation. I am confident that Japan will come out of this stronger and a more enlightened nation. Best wishes to the JWFF team and the
never-say-die spirit of the Japanese people from all of us at Moving Images in India.

Sanjay Barnela



Entry No. 09-311

‘Seed Hunter’ won the Best Education award at the 2009 Japanese Wildlife Film Festival. It was a great honour and added to the long list of awards that the film has received right around the world. Prior to this film this was a hidden story only known by farmers and seed breeders. The real life adventure of Dr Ken Street on the hunt for the wild chick pea in Central Asia has captured audience’s imaginations all over the world and helped people to understand the importance of the diversity of ancient seeds to our future food.

Sally Inegleton



A jury of 8th Japan Wildlife Film Festival(Petar Lalovic)

I am very pleased that the most significant wild life film festival appreciates my film – DUNG BEETLES / SCARABAEUS.

I am assured that a persisting and hard-working people like Japanese shall overcome all difficulties imposed upon it, and as my SCARABAEUS, resist all the obstacles and own torments – reaching its goal!


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