Our Beautiful Wild, a new film created by more than 100 young people, sounds the alarm for nature
- 27 November 2023
On 27 November, young people from across the UK will come together in schools, social clubs and online to celebrate the premiere of Our Beautiful Wild, a new film showcasing the actions young people are taking for nature and their vision for the future.
Ahead of the COP28 climate change conference starting in Dubai this week, and following the recent State of Nature 2023 report which found nearly one in six species are threatened with extinction from Great Britain, Our Beautiful Wild captures the hopes of a generation determined to act to save nature.
Over the past year, more than 100 young people between the ages of 13 and 25 signed up to take part in Young Voices for Nature, a project co-ordinated by WWF, the RSPB and the National Trust as part of the charities’ Save Our Wild Isles partnership to take action for nature’s recovery.
While some of the 108 young people involved had previous experience of writing and filmmaking, most had never made a short film before and were simply keen to try something new. Through a series of online and in-person workshops, and masterclasses from industry experts, the group learnt a variety of skills including change-making, scriptwriting, voiceover recording, filming and editing.
They were supported throughout the project by creative agency World Pencil, a steering group made up of youth ambassadors from the three charities, and celebrities including children's TV presenter Naomi Wilkinson and actor Cel Spellman.
Our Beautiful Wild features young people from across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Those featured are from a diverse range of backgrounds, with different experiences of nature and their own unique stories to tell. What unites the group is their passion for nature and a desire to take action to help it recover.
Young Voices for Nature was designed from the outset to be a youth-led project. As a result, the young people involved were the driving force behind every decision, from choosing which suppliers to work with, to writing the film’s storyboard, capturing more than 2,000 pieces of footage and editing the final cut.
Tash Ballantyne, 23, a member of both the film’s steering group and the RSPB’s youth council, said: “This film has been a passion project from its very beginnings. It has not been made so that we can all be the next blockbuster directors, it has been made because of our mutual love for nature, and the desire to help it.
“What I’d say to the young people watching is ‘don't give up’. We have the right to desire a better future for nature, as well as for ourselves. These are not mutually exclusive, and if you believe it, positive change will happen. To the decisionmakers, we are not here to criticise. We have the solutions, the passion and the drive to make change happen now. We just need your listening ear.”
The trailer for Our Beautiful Wild is available to view on YouTube now, ahead of the film’s premiere at 5pm GMT on November 27. Sign-up now to watch the premiere on Zoom and attend the live Q&A session immediately after the screening, when young people involved in the project will share their experiences of creating Our Beautiful Wild.
A resources pack has also been created to help those interested in arranging a screening of the film at home, at school or as part of a youth group. By spreading the message of Our Beautiful Wild, it is hoped ever more young people will be inspired to act for nature and feel empowered to help drive real change.
Campaigns directors representing the Save Our Wild Isles partnership, Rosalind Mist (WWF), Alice Hardiman (RSPB) and Mark Funnell (National Trust), said: “Our Beautiful Wild has been led by this group of young people at every stage and what they’ve achieved in such a short time, most having no previous experience of filmmaking, is truly remarkable.
“So many young people care strongly about the environment and nature and yet can sometimes feel isolated and powerless to help stop its decline. What this film shows is that there is a strong, diverse community right across the UK who are acting for nature in countless ways. It is the responsibility of organisations like ours to bridge the gap and help bring more young people together.
“It is only by every single one of us playing our part that we can begin to turn things around and these filmmakers are an inspiration to us all. The power of Our Beautiful Wild and its heartfelt message is testament to the passion they all have for nature and a desire to bring about change.”