/about the filmmakers
Susan Scott and Bonné de Bod
Documentary Filmmakers, Scott & de Bod Films
Susan Scott, Director & Writer –– Susan has been making documentary films for over two decades. Winning an athletic scholarship to a university in the states, Susan graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Film & Digital Media. She then went on to mentor with an ACE editor specializing in documentaries in Washington DC. Susan has been privileged to cut for some of the best documentary filmmakers in the US as well as in South Africa, where she currently lives. She has won numerous awards for her work, among them four SAFTAs, a Jackson Wild Media Award, as well as five SAB Environmental Media Awards for her work. In 2010 she was awarded the acronym from the South African Editors Guild in recognition of her editing skills. Susan is now directing her own feature documentary films on wildlife/natural history as well as the environment. Her filming was recognized by Africa Geographic when the magazine named her an ‘Unsung Conservation Hero’ for her work behind the camera. Her photography was awarded a commendation at the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPOTY) Award where her photograph "Late-Night Feed" of two black rhino orphans was featured in the photo-journalism category. The image featured in the WPOTY touring gallery at the Natural History Museum in London as well as making the top 100 iconic wildlife images of 2018. Susan's first film, ’STROOP - journey into the rhino horn war’ was a four year journey of the rhino poaching crisis where she and her producing partner Bonné de Bod embedded themselves on the front-lines to show the fight in Africa and the scope of wildlife trafficking in Asia. The film received critical acclaim and was officially selected for 40 film festivals, winning 30 awards while broadcast and streamed in nearly 100-countries around the globe in 7 languages.Her second film, ‘Kingdoms of Fire, Ice & Fairy Tales’ looks at earth's epic wildernesses, environments far different from Susan & Bonné's work of exposing crimes against the planet. Premiering at Jackson Wild, it has been officially selected for film festivals in the US, Europe & Africa as well as winning at the Impact DOCS and the New York Cinematography Awards.
–– Susan's IMDb page & personal page ––
Bonné de Bod, Producer & Presenter –– An award-winning television presenter and filmmaker, Bonné de Bod, is well-known for her in- depth reporting on wildlife and environmental issues. For over a decade, Bonné has presented in both English and Afrikaans on South African television and radio. She presented seven seasons on the long-running wildlife series ‘50|50’, and regularly appears on SABC, eNCA and kykNET's ‘GrootPlaas’. Bonné’s series, ‘Rhino Blog’ is on television throughout Africa and has been rated the number one show on People’s Weather. Awards for her filmmaking and her on-screen presenting include the prestigious SANParks Kudu Award for Best Journalist in 2015 and 2019; two Impact DOCS for Best On-Screen Talent as well as Best Narration; the SAB Environmental Media Award; a SAFTA (South African Film & Television Award) and the ATKV Media-Veertjie Award. A career highlight has been her recent nomination alongside Dame Judi Dench for Best Presenter at the 2019 Jackson Media Awards, known as the “Oscars” of wildlife.In 2014 she embedded herself, along with her co-producer Susan Scott, on the front-lines of the rhino poaching war for a four year film called ‘STROOP - journey into the rhino horn war’. The filmmakers were given unprecedented access to those fighting for the rhino species survival and accompanied elite enforcement units on police raids, special ranger units in the most poached areas in the world for rhino horn and risking their lives to follow the supply chain by working undercover to come face to face with wildlife smugglers in Asia. “Bold and fearless” is how Bonné’s work on ‘STROOP’ has been called by South Africa’s media. Her latest work, the award winning ‘Kingdoms of Fire, Ice & Fairy Tales’ premiered at Jackson Wild recently and will have its broadcast premiere in May 2021.
–– Bonné's IMDb page & personal page ––
PICTURE: Bonné de Bod and Susan Scott filming undercover in Vietnam.
Inclusion & Diversity at Scott & de Bod Films
There has long been a tradition of exclusion filmmaking in our genre of wildlife/natural history and investigative environmental filmmaking.
Most noticeably indigenous cultures globally have not had access to the natural world that they were once custodians of. Nowhere is this more evident than in South Africa where Scott & de Bod Films is headquartered.
We believe in an inclusive working environment when making our films. The reality is that as environmental investigative filmmakers, we cannot put our crew in harms way when we are with the police on raids or when we do undercover filming of traffickers or when we are out on armed ranger patrols in poaching hotspots. Susan and Bonné take those risks on their own so as not to endanger anyone else. But when hiring crew for safer environments, Scott & de Bod Films hire and film characters that represent intersectionality (accessibility, gender, ethnicity, age and sexual orientation) and have done so since their first work back in 2014.
To be unique is powerful. We have striven to achieve this in our crew hires and character representations in our films. Our films represent the desire of change we want to happen in the world... to of course make it a better place. And running parallel to that is our desire for a more inclusive culture in the genre of natural history and investigative environmental filmmaking.
We must know a variety of perspectives so that our very important films for the planet can speak to everyone... and hopefully foster belonging.
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