matsalu nature film festival
matsalu loodusfilmide festival

MAFF 2011 Awards


  • Festival jury:
  • Yossi Weissler (Chairman)
    Ulvar Käärt
    Tiit Randla
    Petteri Saario
    Erki Tammiksaar




  • Wild Scandinavia – Finland
    Director Oliver Goetzl (Germany)

    This year the Grand Prix goes to a unique work of art that combines magical images of Finland with talented editing, skillful directing and magnificent nature sounds, which make watching this film an emotional experience that touches our hearts.




Category “Nature”

  • Wild Hungary – A Water Wonderland
    Director Zoltan Török (Hungary)

    It is an exceptionally beautiful, well done and important documentary about wildlife in a country that very few of us know much about. It has shown that a nature film can be very successful not only among TV-viewers but also in movie theaters: it has become one of the most watched films ever in Hungary. Films like this make us see the richness and value of our own nature: wildlife is not somewhere else, far away. It is right here, around us.

Category “Man and Nature”

  • Green
    Director Patrick Rouxel (France)

    If a documentary film can change the world – or at least our behavior – this is the film. Through the eyes of an animal very close to us, it goes deep in to our souls. It reminds us in a heart-breaking way that we cannot run away from our responsibility: whatever we do, there is always an impact somewhere in nature. If you have a chance to watch only one documentary in your life, watch Green.



Category “Nature”

  • The Unknown Bothnian Sea
    Director Jouni Hiltunen (Finland)

    The Baltic Sea connects many nations, whose well-being more or less depends on the ecological state of the sea. The film about the Bothnian Sea is not judging those responsible for the deteriorating environment of the sea. It tells a story from a northerner’s point of view, conveying the diversity of the Bothnian Sea – on one hand there is Baltic herring, heavily exported to Russia and Estonia, on the other hand we see empty fishermen huts on the shores, and strong bird population existing side by side with heavy industry. This is the life on the shores of the Bothnian Sea and Baltic Sea in general.

Category “Man and Nature”

  • The Broken Moon
    Directors Marcos Negrao, André Rangel (Brazil)

    Both men and animals witness the climate changes. However, so far it has been a somewhat abstract topic. Documentary Broken Moon proves that there are places on Earth from where also people have to leave. It is an emotional film about nomads living on picturesque Tibetan plateau and their poor choices in the changed conditions. Should they start a new life in a city or should they hold on to their ancestral land, possibly facing extinction?




Category “Nature”

  • Serengeti
    Photographers Reinhard Radke, Ivo Nörenberg (Germany)

    There are numerous films about Serengeti, one of the most famous national parks of the world. However, nobody has ever managed to convey it in such a thrilling and capturing way. Even though the end result owes to the art of state film technology, we should still acknowledge the people involved – namely photographers, who really master their cameras.

Category “Man and Nature”

  • Petropolis
    Photographer Ron Chapple (Canada)

    It is just amazing how plainly but mesmerizingly one can tell a disturbing story about nature, man and oil industry. A brave idea and original realization will be imprinted into our minds forever.

Special Prize of the Jury


  • The Measure of Man

    Director Marianne Kõrver (Estonia)

    Jury’s special prize is awarded to an environmental and philosophical film by young Estonian film-makers. It tackles the essence of global environmental crises and concludes that often the crises stem from our ways of thinking. It makes one think about the environment, pollution and possibilities to prevent crises.

    Life Force: Brazil’s Cerrado

  • Director Satoshi Okabe (Japan/New Zealand)

    This special prize goes to a story that shows us for the first time the magical coexistence of incredible inhabitants with unique shapes and unusual habits in the mud-caked monoliths of Brazil cerrado plains.

    A Place Without People

  • Director Andreas Apostolidis (Greece)

    Many things have been done in the name of nature conservation. All of them are not beautiful. This is an important and well done documentary about the conflict between the human rights of indigenous people and the economical aspects of nature protection.


Highly Commended Diplomas



  • Iran, Southwest
    Director Mohammad Reza Fartousi (Iran) 
    For introducing a largely unknown environmental issue to a larger audience. 

    Amazonas Alive - 3. Forest of the Future
    Director Christian Baumeister (Germany) 
    Extremely important, beautifully done film about the lungs of the Earth and the urgent need to protect them; not tomorrow but now. 

    Wolf's Island
    Director Ksenia Kirsanova (Russia) 
    An unforgettable and touching story about the life of orphaned wolf cubs. 

    The Worm Hunters
    Director Randall Wood (Australia) 
    Wildlife does not end on the ground or on the surface of water. It continues underground and underwater. This is an interesting and funny film about earth worms and passionate scientists who think worms are the most beautiful thing on Earth. 

    Life Force - Madagascar
    Director Masahiro Hayakawa (Japan, NZ) 
    The fauna of Madagascar, a unique gem of evolution, and its skilful presentation are the best educational material for anyone interested in nature. 

    Land of Genesis
    Director Moshe Alpert (Israel) 
    The skilful presentation of the lives of wolves, wild cats, leopards and other animals in arid Israel impresses anyone. 

    Life in the Jungle Canopy - Kinkajou
    Directors Motohiro Amano, Masaru Kuroki (Japan) 
    This film is an example of how, with the help of modern technology, it is possible to show the audience the secret lives of interesting but elusive animals of the canopy. 

    Director Vassili Sarana (Estonia) 
    This highly commended diploma is awarded to the filmmakers who share with us rare images of the largest delta in the Arctic. Vassili and Riho were hiking in the Siberian taiga, returning with views on Lena river delta. 

    East Scheldt - discovery underwater
    Director Edward Snijders (Netherlands) 
    For the enjoyable introduction of the rich and in some parts unique underwater world of the Netherlands.


Special Prizes



Estonian Ministry of the Environment

  • The unknown Bothnian Sea
    Director Jouni Hiltunen (Finland)

Environmental Board, Matsalu National Park

  • Wild Hungary. A Water Wonderland
    Director Zoltan Török (Hungary)

Lääne County

  • Delta
    Director Vassili Sarana (Estonia)

Tallinn Zoo

  • Bonobod – Beny tagasi loodusse 
    Director Alain Tixier (France)

Estonian Fund for Nature

  • The Pipe
    Director Risteard O’Dohmnaill (Ireland) 


  • The unknown Bothnian Sea
    Director Jouni Hiltunen (Finland)

State Forest Management Centre

  • Amazonas Alive - 3. Forest of the Future
    Director Christian Baumeister (Germany)



Photo: Wild Scandinavia - Finland