Eden reveals ‘Nature Filmmaker of the Year’

Eden Shorts 2015

Eden Shorts 2015

Winner: Mat Larkin's 'The Return of the Nightingale'

Thursday 12 November, 2015

Eden, Britain's leading natural history channel, today revealed the winner of its annual nationwide amateur filmmaking competition, Eden Shorts.

The top prize was scooped by wildlife filmmaker Mat Larkin whose short film, The Return of the Nightingale, was selected by a panel of judges including wildlife presenters and enthusiasts Michaela Strachan and Nigel Marven, as well as the General Manager of Eden, Emma Ayech.

The Eden Shorts competition was launched to inspire future nature filmmakers to capture the beauty and wonder of the world around them.

Two hundred entries were judged on their creative filming technique, quality editing and post-production combined with thoughtful communication of a story or message.

Judge, Michaela Strachan commented on Mat's winning entry,

In the wildlife filmmaking business, we know how difficult it is to find and film nightingales. On top of this, the other wildlife featured are superbly incorporated into the story. Mat's passion is evident and the story of how he was introduced to the bird brings a real point of view and the penultimate line 'I track him down and listen, even though the song is not meant for me' really wraps the film up nicely.

Nigel Marven added, "Mat explored nightingale song and expressed his own personal thoughts and opinions without ramming the natural history down our throats. It would have been all too easy to read up about nightingales and impart second-hand knowledge, filling the piece with references to A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and other such clichés. The Return of the Nightingale left me warm inside and I'm so pleased that someone else is so passionate about this tremendous little bird."

Mat's winning film will be broadcast on Eden, and he also wins £500 worth of filming equipment.

The full list of winners - all films can be viewed at edentv.co.uk/shorts


Mat Larkin with The Return of the Nightingale The nightingale's song heralds the arrival of spring.


Anne Massey with Them and Us A performed poem on a variety of garden nature.


Andrew O'Donnell with Sullivan's Wild A poetic look at the Scottish wild Neil O'May with Delicate Beauty Narrated underwater shots of the Menai Straights, Wales Tom Young with The European Angel Shark Presented and narrated natural history of the European angel shark.

Michaela Strachan added,

I'm seriously impressed at how this year's entrants have managed to get a really watchable concept over in only a minute. As a natural history presenter I waffle on for ages, and would really struggle with the restriction! Well done!

Nigel Marven added,

Every year the film's get better and better - there's a hair's breadth between all of them. To produce a wildlife film with a succinct beginning, middle and end in one-minute is really very hard, while writing commentary is difficult enough within the constraints of a full-length film, to do it in a minute is truly outstanding.

All the winners will have their work showcased on-air on Britain's leading natural history channel, Eden. The Eden Shorts competition is executive produced by UKTV Digital Producer Sam Pearson. Ends

For further information and interview opportunities with Michaela Strachan please contact:

Justine Bower, Group Publicity Manager, UKTV

Notes to Editors

About Eden

Sky 532/533, Virgin 247/249, BT 315

From the scale and beauty of BBC blue chip series like Planet Earth, Human Planet and Madagascar to the premieres of Wild Colombia with Nigel Marven and Deserts And Life, Eden guarantees a daily shot of astonishment and high quality natural science programming, including David Attenborough's Natural Curiosities which shines the spotlight on nature's most extraordinary evolutionary anomalies.


About UKTV

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UKTV's eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, Watch, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food - include the most popular non-PSB channel in the UK and account for 9% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £283m and EBITDA of £74.1m. It invested £123m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.

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