Owen Prümm, born in Johannesburg / South Africa in 1963 of German-Welsh origin, is an award-winning wildlife director/DoP.
He began his career in mainstream cinema in NYC and Toronto in 1985/6 subsequently working for ten years in the camera department on fiction films and commercials all over the world. In 1997, he decided to shift to wildlife filmmaking, focusing mainly on Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. As Principal Cinematographer (SASC), he has since then shot and directed multiple wildlife films for most of the major international broadcasters.
In 2008, he founded his first production company in South Africa and his base camp in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania, thus being able to work in a more embedded way. Owen combines artistic and technical skill with a unique approach to all wildlife he is observing, which allows his camera to get into the skin of his animal protagonists. Much of the behavior he has recorded has never been documented and rarely even witnessed, like the first-ever recording of the killing of an adult giraffe by two different prides of lions.
His special interests in the natural world are the symbiotic relationship possibilities between species and unrecorded animal behavior with the main focus on lions and their co-operative hunting techniques.
Owen received a lifetime honorary membership from the South African Society of Cinematographers (SASC) on receiving two out of only three ‘Golds’ awarded at the Visible Spectrum Awards in 2000 for his work on spiders and snakes for Discovery Channel, including numerous craft awards for his innovative cinematic style of shooting.
Some of his accreditations include “The Bandits of Selous” as DoP/Director/Co-producer for Animal Planet/NDR and “Lion Battle Zone” as DoP/Co-producer for National Geographic’s ‘Big Cat Week’. Owen continues to enjoy the participation as a freelancer for challenging sequence work, for example for the BBC’s Natural History Unit and ORF Universum.
In 2010, he shot the South African World Cup Ad for FIFA with ‘animals playing football’ and also made his unique stock footage library available for the event. He is the responsible DoP for the famous ‘Acacia Tree’ commercial logo/opening sequence of Nature Channel/PBS.
In 2015 Owen moved his home and work base from Johannesburg to Berlin, where he founded his company ‘Shibumifilms’, while continuing his main work in Tanzania from his own camp in Ruaha National Park. From ‘Owen’s Camp’ he facilitated the crew and shot the Tanzanian section of the BBC1’s new landmark series ‘Wild Cats’ in 2016.
His recent European work includes Principal Cinematography of the Germany feature documentary “Who owns Nature?” for Arte TV, due for release in German Cinemas in 2017.
Currently, he is acting as Director/Principal Cinematographer/Associate producer on the 3 -part series ‘Blood, sweat and tears – A lion’s story’ (WT) for Terramater Factual Studios/National Geographic Channel/NDR, due for broadcast in 2017.
In parallel, Owen is developing a feature-documentary on wolves ‘Of wolves and men’ (WT) with Berlin-based production company - Kinomaton, as well as the feature film ‘Scarface’, (WT) a drama filmed entirely with wild lions, in collaboration with Bonne Pioche/France, Canal Plus and Terramater Factual Studios.
The Lion Rules - Death in the Glade
Best Story 2018