It is a great honor for me to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's International Film & Television Showcase, it only saddens me that my husband, Tony Blanco, cannot be with me to share this moment, as he would be as honored and proud as I am.
I congratulate you on the beautiful initiative to support and celebrate the dedication, passion and integrity of women in film everywhere, and I thank TheWIFTS Board for considering me worthy of this precious award. I am very sorry to be unable to receive it in person. Thank you!
THE WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FILM & TELEVISION SHOWCASE
DEC 5th 2015 WEST HOLLYWOOD
Passion & Integrity Commerce & Creativity Equality Not Hierarchy
Natali Tesche-Ricciardi is the recipient of TheWIFTS Documentary Award 2015 (Environment) for The Freaky Fish, an eye-opening study of seahorse species, their history, their future and their habits, flowing with stunning underwater photography and data analysis and the fascinating fact that in the seahorse species the male bears their young.
Natali Tesche-Ricciardi was born in Germany in 1971, and lived in Leichlingen, a town near the city of Solingen where the famous Henkel knives are manufactured.
Tesche-Ricciardi was born into one Europe's most renowned underwater documentary production families, and she spent her entire childhood traveling with her father and his team to many countries and continents, producing underwater documentaries. This instilled in her a deep love for our planet, different cultures, the environment and the many creatures that live in it.
In 1992, Natali moved to New York to attend the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and studied acting and directing. She graduated with a degree in both. During her breaks she attended courses in underwater photography.
Following her New York experience, she moved back to Germany to work as a coordinator and director on a 65 episode animal veterinarian series for her father's company. In 1995, she returned to the US to study Broadcast Journalism. During her time as a student she won several awards, one of which being the renowned John Bent award for excellence in radio and TV journalism, an award that the press club in Atlanta bestows to only one student each year.
After graduating, Natali began working with the Cartoon Network in Atlanta as production manager of her own series and later managed the entire programming block Adult Swim. In 2003, she left Cartoon Network to become the co-producer in her father's company, Tesche Documentary Film Production, and has since been producing, writing and hosting documentaries for an international audience.
She has also written two books about a German river that is near where she grew up. During her childhood, the river was very polluted but has now become a prime example of a successful revitalization of a river.
Natali's main focus is the environment and its preservation for future generations. She has been a trailblazer in a traditionally male oriented business and continues to make a difference for future generations of girls to come. Besides receiving several awards for her camera and production work, Natali's true measure of success are the many messages she receives from young girls all around the world, asking how they can break into this business and leave their mark.