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Who we are

The International Association of Wildlife Film-makers (IAWF) was founded in 1982 to encourage communication and cooperation between people who are often isolated on location in the field. Our members are professional cameramen and camerawomen who earn most of their income from making wildlife films.

What we do

We provide a friendly forum for sharing technical and contractual problems. The IAWF hold a meeting once a year for all members and also hold a meeting during the Wildscreen Festival week which is open to everyone. We offer guidance on the following;

  • How to get work
  • Basic rates of pay
  • Negotiating contracts and credits
  • Residual payments and royalties
  • Insurance for equipment, travel, liability, health
  • Equipment innovations and modifications
  • Equipment purchase and hire
  • Travel and expeditions
  • Stills agencies, licensing, stock footage
  • Ethical standards

The IAWF and BECTU

In 2004 the IAWF membership voted overwhelmingly to become a specialist freelance branch of BECTU. Since then we have forged a good negotiating relationship with the BBC Natural History Unit where we have regular meetings about a range of issues – not just rates of pay. We are not unionised and this relationship with the union does not confer any right to strike or make any demands or impositions on our members with regards to rates, contracts or anything else. What it does give us is a strong impartial voice with which to address members’ issues with production companies and especially the BBC NHU, as well as other business and employment issues.

Only IAWF members who are members of BECTU are able to vote on BECTU and BBC NHU negotiations related issues.  Full members who are not in BECTU can only vote on general IAWF business when the occasion arises.

We therefore strongly recommend that all UK members of the IAWF also join BECTU so that we have a strong voice in the industry for all our members. The starting BECTU membership rate is £120 pa which includes Worldwide Public Liability Insurance to a value of £10 million. The PLI is free for the first year then subsequently £30 pa (half the price of comparable insurance elsewhere) in addition to membership fees. To see full membership & insurance details visit the BECTU website.