Impactwild targets Africa for first conservation documentary | Programming | News | Rapid TV News
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Aiming to drive what it hopes will be meaningful engagement with conservation, multi-platform production firm Impactwild is to embark on its first TV documentary, Re:Think Chimps.
Impact Wild Cherique Pohl 4 July 2022
Re:Think Chimps is described by Impactwild - recently founded in Bristol by Cherique Pohl (pictured), a former director and producer at the BBC’s Natural History Unit - as a first-of-its-kind impact project, produced not only to inform and entertain, but to also radically change perspectives of our closest creature cousins in African countries where chimp numbers are in dramatic decline.

Working with the Ozouga Society, a German-run chimpanzee research organisation that has been working in Gabon for more than 15 years, Impactwild will initially create a half-hour film for Gabon Culture Television and French-speaking African channels – and then look to sell internationally.

The primary objective is to produce a highly engaging and entertaining behaviour-led film for local audiences who rarely see a chimp in the wild and who perhaps have never seen an international documentary where they feature. The aim is to encourage reappraisal of chimps – which are frequently used as a commodity or for food – leading to more protected populations in the wild.

As part of the project, Pohl has been given exclusive access to the last four years of footage from the Ozouga Society which earlier this year made international headlines when it identified that champs use insects to heal wounds. The region of study is home to one of the most unique family of chimps in the world, one that demonstrates its high level of shared DNA with humans (95-98.8%) through a range of clever, caring and highly comical behaviours – all of which will be captured in the film.

In addition to the half-hour film, Impactwild will be creating short, shareable clips which also feature local researchers and will be made freely available in French-speaking Africa via WhatsApp and YouTube.
“Impactwild was established as a force for good, seeking to end the exploitation of wildlife and wild places through informing and inspiring critical audiences. Having grown up in Africa, I know only too well that local people do not always have access to the same information we do in the West about declining wildlife populations and disappearing habitats,” commented Cherique Pohl.

“The ambition with this project is to use the extraordinary footage from the Ozouga Society to not only create an engaging and entertaining film, but one that also encourages reappraisal and changes behaviour. Most wildlife filmmaking is undertaken sympathetically, and filmmakers work hard to raise issues, but we are dedicated to creating real impact with our work to ensure we effect meaningful change on the ground.”

Re:Think Chimps is a not-for-profit project for channels without sizeable budgets. Impactwild is launching a crowdfunding campaign to help with the project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/impactwild-chimps/re-think-chimps-wildlife-documentary-with-purpose