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Eden, the natural history channel from UKTV, last week crowned the winner of its annual nationwide amateur filmmaking competition, Eden Shorts.

“In the wildlife filmmaking business, we know how difficult it is to find and film nightingales. On top of this, the other wildlife featured are superbly incorporated into the story. Mat’s passion is evident and the story of how he was introduced to the bird brings a real point of view and the penultimate line ‘I track him down and listen, even though the song is not meant for me’ really wraps the film up nicely.” – Judge, Michaela Strachan

The top prize was scooped by wildlife filmmaker Mat Larkin whose short film, The Return of the Nightingale, was selected by a panel of judges including wildlife presenters and enthusiasts Michaela Strachan and Nigel Marven, as well as the General Manager of Eden, Emma Ayech.

The Eden Shorts competition was launched to inspire future nature filmmakers to capture the beauty and wonder of the world around them. Two hundred entries were judged on their creative filming technique, quality editing and post-production combined with thoughtful communication of a story or message.

“Mat explored nightingale song and expressed his own personal thoughts and opinions without ramming the natural history down our throats. It would have been all too easy to read up about nightingales and impart second-hand knowledge, filling the piece with references to A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and other such clichés. The Return of the Nightingale left me warm inside and I’m so pleased that someone else is so passionate about this tremendous little bird.” – Judge, Nigel Marven

Mat’s winning film will be broadcast on Eden, and he also wins £500 worth of filming equipment.

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