Kirkcaldy filmmaker releases wildlife documentary highlighting environmental issues

Balwearie High School alumnus Libby Penman, who focuses on wildlife and environmental issues, began her career filming extreme sports in the city’s Beveridge Park.

His documentary, ‘Shooting Animals: Can film making help save them’, follows his journey as a skate park filmmaker at COP26.

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Kirkcaldy filmmaker, Libby Penman. Photo: Lars Isaac.

The film features plenty of experts along the way, including marine biologists, youth activists, WWF Scotland and Scottish filmmaker and TV legend Gordon Buchanan.

She said: “I started my career making videos of filming in Beveridge Park at the skate park and it all took off from there – at the time I didn’t know I could make movies in so much work!

“As I spent so much time outdoors as a child, I naturally progressed into making nature films because Fife has so much amazing scenery.

Libby during filming. Photo: Lars Isaac.

“At first it was just a hobby, but as I was working as a runner with BBC Scotland I had a break when I was able to film for the TV program Springwatch.”

As Libby worked as a freelancer, she said when COVID hit it was both a curse and a blessing.

“When COVID hit, I, alongside many other freelancers, found ourselves out of work, which wasn’t ideal, but on the plus side, it gave me ample opportunity to work on my film” , she said.

Libby with filmmaker and TV presenter, Gordon Buchanan. Photo: Lars Isaac.

“It’s been very tough working through several lockdowns, but it’s also given me the chance to work with legendary filmmakers and TV presenters like Gordon Buchanan and Doug Allan, who is a key filmmaker behind ‘Blue Planet’ and ‘Frozen Planet’.”

Since finishing her documentary, Libby has returned to her old school in Kirkcaldy to present her film and talk to students about the possibility of a career in film.

“The school and all my former teachers have been amazing and incredibly supportive of the whole project.

“I showed my film to the students at Balwearie High School to get a few different points of view and to show the students that it’s possible to make your dreams come true.”