Birds Take Center Stage

The International Ornithological Film Festival, a training hub for animal cinema, and pedagogical events: the Mainate association has turned Ménigoute, in the Deux-Sèvres district, into a mecca for the discovery and protection of biodiversity.

Environment and Biodiversity

Ménigoute, France

Érick Tercinier

25 000 € to the Selection Committee at 2007/07/03

Project leader


"The zeal of the Mainate association has enabled it to last and to promote what has become one of the foremost nature festivals in the world. Recognized for the quality of its work by all ardent environmentalists, it plays an economic and educational role attested by the interest shown by the General Council of the Deux-Sèvres, the Poitou-Charentes region, the State and the European Union. The Foundation grant will enable it tomake full use of its investment in equipment and stabilize its budget more easily."
Erick Tercinier

Every autumn, the birds come back to Ménigoute. Since 1985, this town in the Deux-Sèvres has been home to the International Ornithological Film Festival, organized today by the Mainate association created in 1993. With forty odd works presented in competition —documentaries as well as fiction and animated films — and a series of conferences on the environment and wildlife protection, this world famous event is extremely popular and about 30 000 persons attended the latest editions.

A Unique Hub in Europe Dedicated to Animal Cinema

The highlight for the fans of animal cinema, artists of animals (painters, sculptures, photographers) and many environmental defense associations, the film festival is the most visible part of Mainate's action. While running a permanent centre for environmental initiatives, its staff are also involved in film production and distribution, and in late 2003, initiated the creation of the Institut Francophone de Formation au Cinéma Animalier (IFFCAM), in partnership with the University of Poitiers.

By using the grant from the Veolia foundation, to buy the collapsible 650-seat second-hand stands which it previously leased for the festival, the Mainate association is consolidating its budget resources and acquiring the means to perpetuate its pedagogical action.