Mongabay staffer wins prestigious filmmaking fellowship

Mongabay’s Romina Castagnino has been awarded a Jackson Wild Media Fellowship. She is the host of our popular YouTube video series that shares footage of wildlife, Candid Animal Cam, and is also a filmmaker in her own right.

A Peruvian conservation biologist and wildlife photographer based in Australia, Romi is also a bilingual writer for Mongabay. For her master’s degree, she conducted research in the Amazon Rainforest and tropical montane cloud forests of Peru using camera traps to study carnivore conservation, and driven by her passion for wildlife ecology, she founded Neofelis Films, a video production company focused on science communication, natural history and conservation documentaries. Learn more at her website.

Romi wants to use filmmaking to raise awareness of pressing issues like the illegal wildlife trade, so the fellowship is a fine fit:

“I’m thrilled to be part of this year’s Jackson Wild Media Lab!” she says. “It comes at the right moment for me because I’m starting to develop myself as a science communicator with a special focus on natural history and conservation documentaries. Learning from conservation media leaders and award-winning filmmakers will be a huge inspiration and help me grow in the craft of science communication.”

Romi on a shoot in Silinge Village, Nepal, covering a story on sustainable honey production by the Chepang Indigenous community. Photo courtesy of Tom Lloyd.

The fellowships are offered by Jackson Wild, in collaboration with Day’s Edge Productions and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, and all the fellows will gather virtually from September 21-25, just prior to the 2020 Jackson Wild Summit. After the fellowship, Romi is eager to apply what she learns:

“I look forward to contributing at Mongabay in bigger video productions to raise awareness and tackle pressing issues like poaching and the illegal wildlife trade,” she explains.

Watch episodes of Candid Animal Cam here to experience Romi’s expert hosting of this popular and educational wildlife video series, which is also great for kids, teachers and virtual classrooms. Here’s the most recent episode:

Find and follow Romi on Instagram here to get updates about her filmmaking projects.

Thanks to Jackson Wild from Mongabay for giving Romi this excellent opportunity.

Banner image: Romi framing up a shot in Lamington National Park in southeastern Queensland, Australia, which is known for containing a section of the ancient Gondwana Rainforest. Image courtesy of Tom Lloyd.