Winner 2001

Mzima: Haunt of the Riverhorse

Survival Anglia LTD, U.K.

This evocative documentary combines powerful storytelling with un-compromised production values and specialist cinematography to take audiences into the underwater realm of two of Africa’s most dangerous animals, the hippopotamus and the crocodile. Filmmakers Mark Deeble and Victoria Stone spent two years documenting the remarkable way in which a family of hippos brings life to Kenya’s crystal-clear Mzima spring. Using cutting edge diving techniques and an underwater camera system they devised, Deeble and Stone chronicle the intimate behavior of these animals, much of it new to biologists. Their film reveals the intricate pyramid of life supported by the hippos and the astonishing animal behavior hidden beneath the surface of Mzima. To portray and explain the dynamics of this delicate African ecosystem the program moves fluidly among revelatory behavioral sequences, scored with a seamless blend of natural sound and indigenous music. A seemingly simple story, this visually stunning documentary resonates well beyond the banks of an oasis in the African bush to link all nature. For presenting the dazzling underwater realm of the hippopotamus and crocodile in a mesmerizing film, a Peabody goes to Survival Anglia, LTD, U.K. for Mzima—Haunt of the Riverhorse.