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Once Upon A Time In Tsavo wins at the Jackson Wild Media Awards!

October 6, 2023

At the Grand Teton Awards Gala on September 28, at the Jackson Wild Summit, Once Upon A Time In Tsavo won the Ecosystem – Long Form Award for the film that most effectively explores a habitat and the interconnectivity of its unique ecosystem in the Jackson Wild Media Awards. 

Once Upon A Time in Tsavo is a Deeble & Stone Film, with co-producers Waterhole Films, Terra Mater Studios, The WNET Group in association with PBS and CPB. It was written and directed by Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone, and Executive Producers were Sabine Holzer and Walter Köhler. 

The Jackson Wild Media Awards are considered the highest bar of achievement in natural history filmmaking, and are a recognition of excellence in nature, science, and conservation storytelling. 

Once Upon A Time in Tsavo focuses on arid regions across Africa, where a remarkable relationship between elephants and termites creates a waterhole – a green oasis which is central to every animal’s life. The story follows an extraordinary community of creatures that call the waterhole ‘home’ over a season in their lives. They range from a family of elephants to a pair of hornbills (aka ‘Zazu’ of The Lion King) alongside dung-beetles, chameleons, bullfrogs, geese and killifish.

The elephant family provides the background. They are the ‘architects’ and heavy lifters, but the intriguing narrative centres on the characters that live alongside them – at elephant toe-nail height.

The documentary was also a finalist in 3 other categories: Animal Behavior – Long Form, awarded to the film that most effectively examines animal behaviour in an innovative and illuminating way; Feature, awarded to the feature-length film that best advances an understanding or appreciation of the natural world, and Writing, awarded for the writing that most enhances the natural history story of which it is a part.​ 

Picture Post was delivered by OnSight, with Senior Colourist Andy Lee, Online Edit by Adam Sample, and was overseen by Lead Post Producer Jeff Halsey. The film was made by the same filmmakers we worked with on the award-winning Elephant Queen (AppleTV+), and was filmed in Kenya over a number of years. 
Once Upon A Time In Tsavo has also collected awards  at New York Festivals TV & Film Awards 2023 and Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2023,where it won Best Kid’s Film.