Science and Natural History 2020 film Life on The Rocks, directed and produced by graduate George Pretty has won the Best Emerging Filmmaker category at the prestigious Jackson Wild 2020 Awards. 

The nature world's equivalent of the Oscars, the awards celebrate excellence and innovation in nature, science and conservation storytelling. Winners of the more than 30 awards were unveiled during a livestreamed awards ceremony as a finale to the first-ever Jackson Wild Virtual Summit.

The Emerging Filmmaker award was presented in recognition of the best film produced by either a first time filmmaker in the field of natural history production, or a student currently enrolled or no more than two years out of an academic programme.

Life on the Rocks competed against three other films in the Best Emerging Filmmaker category and in another fantastic achievement, one of those included a first year NFTS Directing & Producing Science and Natural History film, Painted Ladies directed and produced by Megan Brown, a current student of the course. To date, Life on the Rocks has picked up a string of nominations and awards including a Newcomer Award win at Germany’s Naturvision, one of the country’s oldest nature, wildlife and environmental film festivals.

George, who graduated from the NFTS in February 2020 and is now an Assistant Producer at leading wildlife production company Plimsoll Productions, commented: "I'm incredibly grateful to receive the Emerging Filmmaker award at this year’s Jackson Wild. I wouldn't have been nominated were it not for the hard work and support of everyone involved in the production. Hopefully this award shows there is an increased interest in stories that dare to acknowledge and address our ongoing destruction of the natural world. It's never been more important for storytellers to highlight these issues no matter what genre or medium we work in."

More than 700 filmmakers, conservationists, photographers, scientists and visionaries participated in this year’s virtual event, which moved online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to engage in conversations surrounding the future of nature, science and conservation media, impact, and filmmaking.

NFTS student with award
Life on the Rocks wins at Jackson Wild 


Watch the Life on the Rocks trailer and see the cast and crew!

Life On The Rocks

For three years from 1960 June Nelson and her late husband Bryan lived in a shed on the Bass Rock, now home to the world’s largest colony of Gannets. June reflects on their time together and revisits her old home.

June Nelson

Graduating Crew
Director/Producer/Camera/Sound - George Pretty
Editor - Oli Bauer
Composer - Will Turner
Colourist/Online Editor - Andrea Lo Priore


Huge congratulations to George and also to Megan and their talented teams, we couldn’t be prouder of them all!  To follow in George’s footsteps and #StandOut in the film and television industry, check out the Directing and Producing Science and Natural History MA course page.