2023 Press Release

2023 Press Release

9th Annual New York WILD Film Festival Releases Must-See Films

From the Siberian Arctic to New York Fashion week; the volcanic Mediterranean to the Brazilian Amazon, watch the films & meet the heroes protecting our planet

New York City’s premier documentary film festival – showcasing films on exploration, adventure, wildlife, conservation, and the environment – is back for the 9th annual edition, bringing all things WILD to the urban heart of the city. Tickets are on sale for in-person film programs March 2–5, 2023 at The Explorers Club. The full film list, schedule, and tickets are available on nywildfilmfestival.com. 

The 2023 festival features 35 films from around the world; Q&A sessions with filmmakers, explorers, and experts; receptions; award presentations; and a family program for kids ages 7+. This year’s lineup brings to the screen innovative climate solution stories alongside epic journeys deep in the heart of the wilderness.

Oscar-nominated for Best Documentary Short Film,  Haulout (Best in Festival, March 3) is a heartbreaking and cinematic film directed by a brother/sister team in the Russian Arctic. With no narration, the film takes audiences on an emotionally-charged journey that exposes the devastating impact of climate change in a shocking new light. Filmmaker Maxim Arbugaev and marine biologist Maxim Chakilev will be attending. 

Wild Waters (Best Adventure Film, March 4) takes viewers around the world from France to India, and from British Columbia to Ecuador, as kayaker Nouria Newman grapples with her relationship to the sport and the trailblazing journey to becoming the greatest kayaker of her generation – regardless of gender. 

Evening programs feature award-winning films The Territory (Best Environmental Film, March 2), Haulout (Best in Festival, March 3), Golden Monkeys: Braving the Impossible (Best Wildlife Film, March 3), and Path of the Panther (Best Conservation Film, March 4). Full-day programs Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5 showcase a variety of short and feature-length films.

Short films Humanity Has Not Yet Failed (March 4), in love with a problem (March 4), Eco-Hack! (March 5), The 3 Cricketeers (March 5), ADAPTATION: Coral Reefs of Vanuatu (March 5) offer solutions to environmental issues. Conservation shorts Mutinda (Best Student Film, March 4), Rangers of the Ulaan Taiga (March 4), Greywater (WILD in New York Award, March 4), Hellbent (Best Short Film, March 5), Odrina the Lynx (March 5), My Neighbour Is a Bear (March 5), Hope and Restoration: Saving the Whitebark Pine (March 4) speak for wildlife and the people protecting the planet. Adventure feature films Wild Waters (March 4) and Pasang: In the Shadow of Everest (Best Feature – WILD Spirit Award, March 5) remind us about the connection between the human spirit and the natural world.

“More than ever people are fascinated with all things connected to our planet and are increasingly aware of the urgency to save it. Documentary film has become an enormously powerful and popular medium for that kind of outreach,” said Nancy Rosenthal, Founder & Executive Director. In previous years, the New York WILD Film Festival provided a platform for stories about the world’s last Northern white rhino (Kifaru, 2020), the first female Afghani mountaineering team (Ascending Afghanistan, 2019), and a climate change kayaking mission to reach unexplored territory in Greenland (Into Twin Galaxies, 2018).

New York WILD inspires audiences to care deeply about the planet, highlights the dedicated scientists and explorers in the field, and celebrates the filmmakers and those in the field who bring these stories to light. 

The festival is made possible in partnership with the The Explorers Club, Wildlife Conservation Society, Fujifilm, Arc’teryx, Flite, and The New Yorker Documentary. 

As hosting partner to the festival, The Explorers Club was founded in New York City in 1904 by a group of the world’s leading explorers of the time. The not-for-profit organization is dedicated to scientific exploration of land, sea, air, and space by supporting research and education in the physical, natural and biological sciences. The Club’s members have been responsible for an illustrious series of famous firsts: first to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to the summit of Mount Everest, first to the deepest point in the ocean, first to the surface of the moon. With over 3,500 members worldwide, the organization is headquartered at 46 East 70th Street, New York, N.Y. 10021. Festival-goers will gain access to the private Club for the festival’s film screenings, Q&As, and receptions.

Featured Films:

HAULOUT: Best in Festival / U.K. (Directors: Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev, Producers:  Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev)
On a remote coast of the Russian Arctic in a wind-battered hut, a lonely man waits to witness an ancient gathering. But warming seas and rising temperatures bring an unexpected change, and he soon finds himself overwhelmed.
Screening Friday, March 3, 2023
Attending: Director Maxim Arbugaev & Scientist Maxim Chakilev
2023 Oscar Nomination: Documentary Short Subject

WILD WATERS: Best Adventure Film / France (Director: David Arnaud, Producers: Victor Saliba, Frédéric Travert)
Adventurer, pioneer, and badass human – all words used to describe French extreme  kayaker, Nouria Newman. Follow Nouria as she prepares to become the first woman to run a 100 ft waterfall.
Screening Saturday, March 4, 2023
Attending: Director David Arnaud & Extreme Kayaker Nouria Newman

THE TERRITORY: Best Environmental Film / Brazil (Director: Alex Pritz, Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Sigrid Dyekjær, Will N. Miller, Gabriel Uchida, Lizzie Gillett, Alex Pritz)
Battling land grabbers and deforestation, the Uru-eu-wau-wau vérité footage captured over three years shows a community risking their lives to set up their own news media team in the hopes of exposing the truth.
Screening Thursday, March 2, 2023
Attending: Director Alex Pritz & Activist Marianna Olinger

WALKING TWO WORLDS: Finalist / U.S.A. (Director: Maia Wikler, Producers: Maia Wikler, Keri Oberly, Princess Daazhraii Johnson, Rob Wassmer, Kaki Orr, Eric Raymond)
19 year-old trailblazing Quannah Chasinghorse pursues her dreams as an Indigenous supermodel, breaking barriers of representation, while walking in two worlds: her Indigenous way of life and modern society.
Screening Saturday, March 4, 2023
Attending: Director Maia Wikler

PATH OF THE PANTHER: Best Conservation Film / U.S.A. (Director: Eric Bendick, Producer: Carlton Ward, Jr., Thomas Winston, Tori Linder, Eric Bendick)
In the headwaters of Florida’s Everglades, conservation photographer Carlton Ward Jr. embarks on an ambitious journey to help save the last of Florida’s Panthers.
Screening Saturday, March 4, 2023
Attending: Director Eric Bendick & Producer Carlton Ward Jr.

GREYWATER: WILD in New York Award / U.S.A. (Director: Daniel Lombroso, Producers:  Soo-Jeong Kang, Erik Baard, Yifan Yu)
A filmmaker sets out to investigate a poaching ring and discovers a tangle of environmental-justice issues in the New York City waterway.
Screening Saturday, March 4, 2023
Attending: Director Daniel Lombroso


To access film stills, please visit the Dropbox link listed here.

An invader rides his motorcycle through the rainforest fire blaze. (Credit: Alex Pritz/Amazon Land Documentary)

The Territory
Screening on Opening Night, Thursday, March 2


Path of the Panther
Screening on Saturday Evening, March 4


Fire Under the Sea
Screening at WILD Sunday, March 5