Celebrating filmmakers worldwide age 24 and under




National Geographic Society

Panel Talk

The Power of Storytelling To Illuminate and Protect

Moderated by National Geographic Fellow, Andrew Brennen with 
Ami Vitale and Jahawi Bertolli

Date: Thursday, February 25, 2021
Time: 12:15 PM EST

Join National Geographic Explorers Ami Vitale and Jahawi Bertolli, for an inside look at how storytelling — on a global and local scale — can improve and strengthen the human connection with our planet and its wildlife. Moderated by National Geographic Education Fellow Andrew Brennen, Vitale and Bertolli will present their groundbreaking and innovative work, followed by an engaging conversation about how they and the National Geographic Society pursue storytelling that inspires action.
 Andrew Brennen, National Geographic Education Fellow,...
Andrew Brennen, National Geographic Education Fellow, Advocate
Nicholasville, KY, USA

Andrew Brennen is a National Geographic Explorer and Education Fellow supporting youth-led movements and organizations around the globe. He is co-founder of the Kentucky Student Voice Team, which helps to amplify and elevate students as partners in improving Kentucky schools. Today, the Prichard Committee Student Voice Team consists of over 150 young people from across Kentucky and serves as a national model for how young people can hold educational institutions accountable. Through National Geographic’s #GenGeo initiative, Andrew works to provide skill, community, and knowledge-building opportunities to young leaders seeking solutions to problems facing their community.  To learn more about #GeoGeo check out or the hashtag #GenGeo. Andrew studied Political Science at UNC Chapel Hill and is currently studying Education Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
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 Ami Vitale, National Geographic Explorer, Photographer,...
Ami Vitale, National Geographic Explorer, Photographer, Writer & Filmmaker
Missoula, Montana, USA

Ami Vitale’s journey as a photographer, writer, and filmmaker has taken her to over 100 countries where she has witnessed civil unrest and violence but also surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. She has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit—all in keeping with her philosophy of “living the story.” She is an Ambassador for Nikon, contract photographer with National Geographic magazine, and has been awarded multiple prizes from World Press Photos, the International Photographer of the Year prize, the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting, and Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association, among others. Vitale comes home to Montana in between making films and documenting stories about the planet’s most pressing issues, including wildlife on the edge of extinction, climate change–precipitated migration, and the struggles and triumphs of the human spirit. She lectures and teaches workshops throughout world, and her work is exhibited in museums, galleries, and private collections worldwide. She is  Chair of the Photographers Advisory Board for National Geographic photographers and a founding member of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of scientists, writers, photographers, and filmmakers creating powerful stories illustrating the specific issues women face in developing countries.

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 Jahawi Bertolli, National Geographic Explorer,...
Jahawi Bertolli, National Geographic Explorer, Photographer, Writer & Filmmaker
Nairobi, Kenya

Jahawi Bertolli is a filmmaker, photographer, and music producer from Kenya who specializes in wildlife and the underwater world, striving to portray the beauty, power, and vulnerability of wild environments. His work has taken him across Kenya, from the remote northern coast to the Masai Mara, as well as to distant corners of the globe, like Myanmar and the Galapagos Islands. He has worked with the BBC Natural History Unit, United Nations Environment Programme, safariLIVE, CORDIO, and SVT Sweden, and had showings at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., the UN headquarters in New York and is also a National Geographic Photo Camp instructor. Before becoming a photographer, Bertolli worked in the music industry and is an accomplished music producer with releases and remixes on international record labels. In 2018 he stumbled upon an ancient rock gong in the central Serengeti, which reignited his musical curiosity, and the First Rock project was born. He is working on recording ancient African rock gongs, along with the voices and instruments of the tribes who live close to them, to create contemporary music that highlights the ingenuity and complexity of ancient Homo sapiens. Bertolli is also currently establishing the East African Ocean Explorers Club, which aims to inspire a new generation of Kenyan ocean explorers who will champion marine conservation.

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Scout Film Festival

Scout Film Festival (Scout)—is a 501c3 non-profit organization that produces an annual international event celebrating emerging filmmakers - aged 24 and under - through film.
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