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Chris Palmer to receive Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Wildlife Film Festival


Written by: MacGillivray Freeman Films
Date: November 14, 2008

Palmer is President of the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, and is the founder and director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at the School of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C.


Category: Press Releases

LAGUNA BEACH, Ca. (November 14, 2008) -- Longtime environmental filmmaker and President of the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, Chris Palmer has been named the recipient of the 2009 International Wildlife Film Festival's Lifetime Achievement Award for Media. This prestigious award is presented to the individual whose life's work best represents the Festival's mission of promoting awareness and understanding of wildlife, habitat, people and nature through excellent film, television and other media. The award will be presented at the 32nd IWWF in Missoula in May 2009.

"Chris has inspired millions with his extraordinary life as an award-winning environmental film producer, a determined conservation activist, a skilled professor of environmental filmmaking, a prodigious corporate leader, and a superlative father to his three daughters," said Greg MacGillivray, Chairman of the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation. "His deep dedication to environmental education through filmmaking is second to none, and I cannot think of anyone more qualified to receive this award."

In addition to his work with the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, Palmer is the founder and director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at the School of Communication at American University in Washington, D.C. where he is also a Distinguished Film Producer in Residence.

"Chris is not only an accomplished producer but an outstanding educator who is showing the next generation how to create environmental films and new media that are entertaining, ethical and informative," said Larry Kirkman, Dean of the School of Communication at American University. "Chris has opened his large professional network to our students, providing them with the opportunity to work on projects for world-class organizations such as the Smithsonian, National Park Service and PBS. The film series he launched brings distinguished writers, directors and conservationists to the school every week -- an experience few other academic institutions can offer."

For nearly 30 years, Chris Palmer has dedicated himself to producing films that promote conservation at all levels of society. In the early 1980s, Palmer gave up his successful career as an energy policy expert and devoted his life to producing environmental and wildlife films that promote conservation. He has since then produced hundreds of hours of award-winning films for television and the global network of IMAX Theatres. All his films document threatened species and habitats and expose damaging commercial practices while celebrating environmental success stories.

In 1983, Chris founded the nonprofit National Audubon Society Productions, serving as president and CEO for 11 years. In 1994, he founded the nonprofit National Wildlife Productions (part of the National Wildlife Federation, the largest conservation organization in the United States) which he managed as president and CEO for 10 years, directing NWF's launch into broadcast, cable, syndication, home video, new media, IMAX, and international markets.

He joined the full-time faculty at American University in August 2004 as Distinguished Film Producer in Residence and founded the Center for Environmental Filmmaking to train filmmakers to produce films and new media in support of conservation. Chris gives speeches across the country advocating for more effective and ethical wildlife filmmaking. His book on wildlife filmmaking will be published next year by Sierra Club Books. Chris is also chief executive officer of VideoTakes, Inc., a film production company in Arlington that produces environmental films, videos, DVDs, and new media.

In 1994, Palmer was honored with the Frank G. Wells Award from the Environmental Media Association for "contributing to environmental protection year after year." Before Chris became a producer of environmental films, he was a naval officer, an engineer, a business consultant, an energy analyst, Chief Energy Advisor to a senior U.S. Senator, a political appointee in President Jimmy Carter's EPA, and an environmental lobbyist. Chris grew up in England and immigrated to the U.S. in 1972. He has three degrees and was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard.

About International Wildlife Film Festival
The International Wildlife Media Center & Film Festival was established in 1977 in Missoula, Montana to promote awareness, knowledge and understanding of wildlife and habitat through different media. The International Wildlife Film Festival was the first juried wildlife film festival in the world and continues to attract top filmmakers every year. The IWFF's newest initiative is the Tarkio Retreat which is to forge new partnerships and build creative collaborations in media and conservation. Today, the International Wildlife Media Center is a year-round organization.

About MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation
The MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation is a not-for-profit 501c(3) organization established in 2004 to produce and fund educational giant screen films and companion programming that promote greater awareness and preservation of our planet's environmental and cultural heritage. Under the leadership of president Chris Palmer, the Foundation's mission is to educate and inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to explore, discover and appreciate anew their connection to the natural world, to the cultural histories that shape our communities, and to the world society at large. Recent Foundation productions include the award-winning Grand Canyon Adventure and Hurricane on the Bayou. Upcoming Foundation productions include To The Arctic and Humpback Whales.

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