Chris Knoglinger caught this bear at Sandcut along the West Coast Road towards Port Renfrew.

Be a director of your own film

Paws and Claw Film Festival entry

A new film festival showcasing local wildlife-inspired short films and documentaries, The Paws and Claws Film Festival, presented by the BC SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre, (Wild ARC), will make its debut Oct. 31 and run until Nov. 5 in Victoria.

“We are really excited about the launch of this first ever annual film festival,” says Gina Bugslag, BC SPCA events coordinator for Vancouver Island. “The purpose of the festival is to promote awareness, knowledge and understanding of wildlife, habitat, people and nature, through excellence in film, television, and other media. We are inviting all Western Canadian filmmakers, first time, amateur or pros of any age to submit their take on the diversity of wildlife in this part of the world and the challenges they face. We’re eagerly looking forward to reviewing the submissions and showcasing them at a special soiree when the festival wraps up November 5.”

Films can be submitted from one of three categories: Youth Wildlife Education; Urban Wildlife; Wild Settings. Entry fee is $10; films made in any style or genre after 2009 are eligible. Deadline is October 15. Nominated films will be screened during the festival, with a screening Nov. 3 in Victoria at which the general public will be able to vote for their favourites. Online viewing and voting will run from Oct. 31 to Nov. 5. Viewing and voting is by donation.

Prizes will be awarded for the top three films and winning films will be featured in BC SPCA promotional materials.

Films can portray Western Canadian wildlife at play, engaging in interesting behaviour, at home in their natural habitat or adapting to life in an urban environment. “Wildlife” encompasses free-living birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish and insects.

For detailed information on how to submit material as well as other pertinent details please visit www.spca.bc.ca/filmfestival, or email gbugslag@spca.bc.ca for more information.

The festival soiree will be held at CFB Esquimalt (Naden Wardroom), Nov. 5, 6-10 p.m. and includes gourmet short-plate dinner, film presentation and silent auction. Tickets will be available online.