Ella Van Cleave, Vancouver has been selected as the first Scholarship recipient in North America. Her film, Fight for Flight was generously funded by $30K donations, making her able to create a pilot. Ella was selected through the Jackson Wild mentorship programme.

Ella’s website


The second scholar has launched his project to be developed: Ocean Meetings. We are currently looking for financial support, to help Ismaele Tortella, a young Italian photographer turned filmmaker realize his Whale & Kids vision in the deep, cold waters outside Tromsö, Norway.

Ismaele’s website


As this initiative grows, we are seeking to gradually introduce scholarships and filmmaking opportunities around the world’s continents, all seven. The Next Step: a scholarship hub based in Central Africa is in development.


Ella Van Cleave, domiciled in Vancouver and graduate from the University of West England Wildlife Filmmaking MA in 2021, is creating a powerful film about the rehabilitation of Bald Eagles, recovering from lead poisoning in a wildlife hospital on Vancouver Island. Her film follows a young woman learning about the little publicized effects of lead shot used to kill game in America. Her story challenges communities to make a difference to hunting practices and standards. A single fragment of lead, the size of a grain of rice, eaten by a scavenging bald eagle, is lethal. Can Ella’s film help prevent an iconic and protected species be inadvertently destroyed by the side effects of hunting for sport?

Ella’s website

Photo: Steve Woods

Ismaele Tortella is a young Italian photographer turned filmmaker, who has based himself in Tromsø, more than 350km North of the Arctic Circle. Here, in the gathering darkness of the polar winter night, he is exploring the story of four young school children meeting orca for the first time in the wild. Ismaele wants to see if these meetings can inspire the children to create a conversation amongst their peers about the importance of whales of all species. With one of the children professing to like eating whale meat, it’s fascinating to see if these encounters can change perspectives in one of the three countries in the world that engages in commercial whaling. 

Ismaele’s website   

Ismaele Tortella

Backgroud photo: Ismaele Tortella