Africa is a continent famous for its wildlife. But there’s one resident that’s often overlooked, and many don’t even realise exists – the African penguin. But years of overfishing have seen Africa’s penguins plummet to frighteningly low numbers, with scientists at the University of Cape Town recently heeding the gloomy warning that the species could be extinct by the year 2026.
A Place For Penguins follows an unlikely duo as they team up and take on an ambitious, novel and entirely unique project - creating the world’s first artificially-induced African penguin colony.
This short film is my Wildlife Filmmaking Masters dissertation. It's a story about art and science, and demonstrates that the two are not mutually exclusive. Conservation is a collaborative effort and if we are going to meet the challenges facing our planet we need to cooperate, think outside-the-box and break down traditional academic disciplines to unearth innovative solutions.
This film was made possible through the incredible kindness and hospitality of many hardworking and dedicated conservationists across the Western Cape. Special thanks go to Christina Hagen at BirdLife South Africa - the brains behind the ‘Penguin Colony Project’ - the South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) and seabird biologist Alistair McInnes for his amazing support, for which I’m very grateful.
Also a huge thanks to my family for putting up with me pursuing this dream for so long, and to all the crowd-funders who backed the project and helped get me and UWE’s cameras to South Africa.
Filmed, Edited & Narrated by Tom Parry
Original Score by Gard Figenschou Eriksen