We work in pixels, print, and the real world. We follow the clues and bring the story.
New Zealand is a global leader in conservation and for good reason. A deep history of ecological isolation stacked the odds against its unique nature. As the introduction of invasive species brings increasing catastrophe, only bold action has prevented devastation. This is the story of one of the most audacious conservation projects in New Zealand history: the effort to remove mice from the remote Antipode Islands. Scientists explain the unique value and rare inhabitants of the islands while operational staff explain the incredible challenges of working on the tiny oceanic islands, among the most remote places on earth.
The Caracara are a group of legendary falcons renowned for their resilience and intelligence. They inhabit every South American environment, from the high and desolate peaks of the dry Andean plateau to the Falkland Islands. If the birds can survive places like these, they may have other secrets. We're working with writer and musician, Jonathan Meiburg, as he follows caracara, and shares a history of South America told through their eyes.
The Congo River Basin is among the least studied and most important forests in the world. The watershed is second only to the Amazon and the forest is the least disturbed tropical forest on the planet. The basin offers a unique opportunity for study before it is lost and as it is altered. Peace and stability are returning to the region and bringing change to the forest: settlements, encroaching farming, mining, even industrial logging--but few researchers. An international team of scientists, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Belgium, the United States, and Switzerland, are trying to change that, rushing to establish studies in the Basin and encourage other scientists to join them.
VOYAGE OF THE BANGARANG
Adventures on board the Research Vessel Bangarang, a 37 foot motorsailer equipped for oceanographic research. Captain Eric Keen studies whale ecology in Canada’s Great Bear Fiordland with a rotating crew of friends. What he has learns touches that vast truth of the evolutionary world. The RV Bangarang is a husk on whale ceilings. It’s deep above and below, and the edges of the known world can be seen on the horizon. Sure, it’s a film about whales and birds and science - but it's more than that. Natural Histories are nothing without the Historian.
Sequatchie Cove Creamery
High summer in Sequatchie Cove, Tennessee. The forest boils, steam rises, rain falls. The Keeners, four generations at once, tend their land in the small cove, farming the above and the below. In a nearby shed, Nathan Arnold gently guides a symphony of microbes. Tennessee lacks a cheesemaking tradition but that never worried him. Old World cheeses are an accident of place. Careful study of European methods would be nothing without Nathan's knowledge of home terrain. He has made something native to Sequatchie Cove Creamery. It comes in species, in different shapes and flavors. They have names like Coppinger, Cumberland, Nickajack, and Dancing Fern. The cheeseboard reads like a map of the Plateau, and every map needs exploration.
THE HALLOWED ISLES
In the Chatham Archipelago, every resident is the descendant of some original pioneer who traversed the wide ocean. This film searches for the connection between creatures born for exploration and the ultimate journey to find home.
Isolation drives innovation, and these forces forge a relationship between man and the environment that transcends social and political preconceptions of what it is to be a conservationist.
James Reardon and Luke Padgett. 50 min. 2014.