Jon Bowermaster Wins International Film Award

We recently reported on the success of NG Young Explorer Neil Losin’s video short “The Runner” which he made with collaborator Nate Dappen, in a film competition from WWF. Their prize included  a trip to the CMS VATAVARAN film festival in India this past weekend.

“Initiated in the year 2002 by CMS,” the festival website announces, “the festival and forum is aimed towards enhancing understanding, appreciation and shift in attitudes towards the natural world and to increase space for environmental issues in mass media and evolve a nationwide environment outreach framework.” At its founding it was India’s only environment and wildlife film festival.

Now, NG Explorer and frequent News Watch blogger Jon Bowermaster has taken home the festival’s Union Bank of India Best of the Festival Award for an international film for his documentary about oil, man, and nature in southern Louisiana called “SoLA.”

Watch a preview for “SoLA,” view photos, and read Jon’s dispatches from the field on jonbowermaster.com.

You can also keep up with his latest work by following @NatGeoExplorers and @JonBowermaster on Twitter.


Andrew Howley is a longtime contributor to the National Geographic blog, with a particular focus on archaeology and paleoanthropology generally, and ancient rock art in particular. In 2018 he became Communications Director at Adventure Scientists, founded by Nat Geo Explorer Gregg Treinish. Over 11 years at the National Geographic Society, Andrew worked in various ways to share the stories of NG explorers and grantees online. He also produced the Home Page of nationalgeographic.com for several years, and helped manage the Society's Facebook page during its breakout year of 2010. He studied Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He has covered expeditions with NG Explorers-in-Residence Mike Fay, Enric Sala, and Lee Berger. His personal interests include painting, running, and reading about history. You can follow him on Twitter @anderhowl and on Instagram @andrewjhowley.

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