2019 Films

Adventuring in the Name of Science
Directed by: Pablo Durana (2018, 4 minutes)
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In Adventuring in the Name of Science, Ricky Jones turned his hobby into his job, his van into his home, and his life onto a path of contributing real data to science and conservation. Now he’s part of Adventure Scientists’ Timber Tracking project, collecting tree samples to help stop illegal logging. Find out what he’s learning along the way.


An Eagle Over Dubai
Directed by: Oliver Riethauser (2019, 52 minutes)
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An Eagle Over Dubai takes us behind the scenes of one of the greatest animal exploits in recent years : an eagle flying with an onboard camera, broadcasting live to TV channels around the world from the highest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. An extraordinary adventure for an environmental cause : take advantage of the worldwide TV coverage to raise public awareness of eagles threatened by the risk of extinction.


Arrested (Again)
Directed by: Dan Goldes (2017, 5 minutes)
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Activist Karen Topakian has been arrested dozens of times for using nonviolent civil disobedience to protest nuclear proliferation, human rights abuses, environmental issues, and war. What drives her to repeatedly put her body on the line? In Arrested (Again), Karen’s story speaks to the need for Americans, now more than ever, to exercise this important First Amendment right.


Borneo’s Vanishing Tribes
Directed by: Kent Wagner (2018, 23 minutes)
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In the forests of Borneo, a native community struggles to protect its ancestral homeland from an industry poised to destroy one of the Earth’s oldest and most biodiverse rainforests. Borneo’s Vanishing Tribes offers a glimpse into the lives of those who are most at risk, the Dayak “people of the forest,” who have relied on the forests for thousands of years.


Burkinabé Bounty: Agroecology in Burkina Faso
Directed by: Iara Lee (2018, 37 minutes)
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Burkinabè Bounty, a documentary from Cultures of Resistance Films, chronicles agricultural resistance and the fight for food sovereignty in Burkina Faso—a small, landlocked country in West Africa. Showcasing activist farmers, students, artists, and leaders in the local Slow Food movement, the film looks at how the Burkinabè people are reclaiming their land and defending their traditions against the encroachment of corporate agriculture. From women gaining economic independence by selling “dolo” beer, to youth marching in the streets against companies like Monsanto, to hip-hop musicians reviving the revolutionary spirit of Thomas Sankara, Burkinabè Bounty shows the creative tactics people are using to take back control of their food, seeds, and future.


Cascade Crossroads
Directed by: Ted Grudowski (2018, 31 minutes)
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A documentary film about building bridges, both literal and metaphorical. Cascade Crossroads chronicles the amazing story of seemingly opposite interests joining forces to restore a critical wildlife corridor while improving Washington State’s vital transportation corridor over the Cascade Mountains. Told in the varied voices of the men and women who worked across ideological, political, and geographical differences to set in motion the world’s largest wildlife project of its kind, Cascade Crossroads shows what can happen – for people and the environment – when we build bridges.


Chrome
Directed by: Jeremy Roberts (2016, 12 minutes)
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In the immortal words of fly fishing luminary Tim Romano, a steelhead is “a trout that lives in the ocean … it’s a bad-ass fish.” Back in September, six intrepid anglers – Tom Rosenbauer, Kate Taylor, Dylan Tomine, Hannah Belford, Todd Tanner and Tim Romano – hooked up on a remote North American steelhead river known for its incredible scenic beauty and fantastic fishing. CHROME condenses their five-day adventure into eleven epic minutes. It also examines the looming threat that climate change and ocean acidification pose to our steelhead & salmon. CHROME is the most recent collaboration between Conservation Hawks and the cinematic team at Conservation Media.


Dammed to Extinction
Directed by: Michael Peterson (2019, 51 minutes)
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For eons, a one-of-a-kind population of killer whales has hunted chinook salmon along the Pacific Coast of the United States. For the last 40 years, renowned whale scientist Ken Balcomb has closely observed them. He’s familiar with a deadly pattern, as salmon numbers plummet orcas starve. The orcas need roughly a million salmon a year, where to find a million fish? The solution, says Balcomb, is getting rid of four fish-killing dams 500 miles away on the largest tributary to what once was the largest chinook producing river on earth. Studying whales is science. Removing dams is politics. Defiantly mixing the two, says Balcomb, has become the most important work of his storied career.


Dignity at a Monumental Scale
Directed by: Kelly Whalen (2018, 8 minutes)
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When images of everyday Navajo life began appearing at a monumental scale on abandoned buildings, roadside stands and water towers across the Four Corners region, it was a surprise for many in the community to discover it was the work of Chip Thomas aka “Jetsonorama”, a long-time resident known by many as a healer of another kind. By day, Thomas is a primary care physician at the Inscription House Health Clinic, part of Indian Health Services on the Navajo Nation, where he’s lived for 30 years. In his free time, Thomas installs massive photo murals depicting his neighbors, from sheepherders to grandmothers, and celebrating the beauty of a people whose land has been mined and poisoned, cut up and sold off. Blowing up and wheat-pasting his black and white photos onto the sides of merchants’ stands, abandoned buildings, and mobile homes, Thomas creates work that allows community members to see themselves represented at monumental scales; while his installations off the reservation help disseminate their struggles — and their resilience — to the world at large.


Eating Up Easter
Directed by: Sergio M. Rapu (2018, 76 minutes)
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In a cinematic letter to his son, native Rapanui (Easter Island) filmmaker Sergio Mata’u Rapu explores the modern dilemma of their people who risk losing everything to the globalizing effects of tourism. The film follows four islanders, descendants of the ancient statue builders, who are working to tackle the consequences of their rapidly developing home. Mama Piru leads recycling efforts to reduce trash, Mahani and Enrique use music to reunite their divided community, and Sergio tries to understand the motivations of his father who embraces the advantages of building new businesses. These stories intertwine to reveal the complexities of development and the contradictions within us all as we are faced with hard choices about our planet’s future.


Guardian
Directed by: Courtney Quirin (2018, 77 minutes)
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GUARDIAN follows stewards of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest, who live full-time on boats in the depths of the wilderness to monitor salmon, the backbone of the ecosystem, economy and culture along the B.C. coast. But, in an age of science censorship and soaring natural resource development, Guardians—and the wildlife they have dedicated their lives to protect—are now disappearing. The film tackles the consequences of the erosion of science and environmental management.


Ince Ka Mogetun (I Too Was Reborn)
Directed by: Aypi Llacolen Ancan Naipio, Mónica Luisa Ancan Naipio, Ayelen Atton Cayuqueo, Silvia Calfuqueo Lefio, Leufu Kvyen Calfuqueo Painefil, Ayen Alhe Contreras Calfuqueo, Kajfv Malen Contreras Calfuqueo, Julio José Contreras Calfuqueo, Matias Curitol Calfuqueo, Awkan Kvrvf Espinel Chehuin, Ivonne González Monsalve, Iphigénie Marcoux-Fortier, Daniela Naipio Freire, Nawel Painefil Vejar, Martin Perez Painefil, Aukyn Rain Ancan, Carolina Trayen Rain Ancan, Lihuen Rain Ancan, Juan Rain Blanco, Ale Margarita Rain Soto (2018, 8 minutes)
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Through the voice of a young girl, Ince Ka Mogetun tells of the courage of a Mapuce family, whose members decided to change their life’s course. They returned to their source, reconnecting with the spirit forces of the land. From that moment, they began thinking, acting and feeling in harmony with the natural world that surrounds them.


Into the Arctic: Awakening
Directed by: Cory Trepanier (2018, 77 minutes)
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Untamed beauty and the lure of the North have drawn artist Cory Trépanier to paint the Canadian Arctic for over a decade. Preparing for a touring exhibition to premiere in Washington DC, he now heads back on an expedition to complete his vision. But much has changed since he first went North. Shrinking sea ice is opening the door to a world hungry for its resources. Remoteness can no longer protect this land or its people from the coming impacts. For 9 weeks and 25,000 kilometres, Cory immerses himself into the Arctic. Explores with Inuit elders. Paddles the most northerly canoe route in North America. Walks in the footsteps of early explorers John Rae and John Franklin. Voyages through the Northwest Passage. And deeply connects with a changing land, to bring it to the eyes of those who may never see it.


Keepers of the Future
Directed by: Avram David “Avi” Lewis (2017, 24 minutes)
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In a fertile floodplain in El Salvador, where the great river meets the sea, a peasant movement puts down roots – growing resilience in the scorched earth of exile and civil war. But soon these farmers and fishing folk discover new challenges, and this time they are global: climate crisis, exacerbated by an economy of ruinous extraction. The solutions they come up with will be a revelation for audiences in the prosperous north. On the surface, the life of these campesinos may resemble the past: but in their model may lie the key to the future. Canadian journalist, media personality and documentarian Avi Lewis, along with his wife, author Naomi Klein, has advocated for radically new social and political structures as the only viable and effective response to climate change. In KEEPERS OF THE FUTURE he profiles the Bajo Lempa coordinadora, a farmers’ cooperative that demonstrates how “deep local democracy” can help even a poor population build environmental, economic and political resilience.


Kvpalme (The Origin)
Directed by: Escuela de Cine y Comunicación Mapuche del Ayja Rewe Budi (2019, 13 minutes)
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Harmony has been broken. The Mapuce people have been stripped of their territory. In search of their origin, a group of young people live, defend and share kvmun (knowledge). In the voices of their Elders, they extend and deepen their roots.


Messages from the End of the World
Directed by: Matteo Born (2018, 51 minutes)
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Overwhelmed by the consequences of climate change, Doris and Charles are determined to do something. Convinced that the solution is in the hands of young people, these two retirees sell their house in Zürich and buy a boat. Their idea is simple. Take five young Swiss people to the arctic circle to observe the signs of global warming and then raise awareness through social medias amongst their generation. The great adventure begins. For three weeks, the crew of the San Gottardo is going to navigate in hostile but beautiful landscapes. Armed with cameras, these kids are going to document the health of the end of the earth.


Mountain, Priest, Son
Directed by: John Seddon & Vaibhav Kaul (2018, 27 minutes)
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A short Himalayan documentary on the metaphysics and morality of risk in the face of socio-environmental change. Set in one of India’s most sacred and geologically fragile mountain landscapes, the film brings alive the everyday experiences, beliefs and hopes of a priest, his wife, and their 22-year-old son who survived a great flood not long ago. Through their story, we explore a traditional society’s understanding of its own vulnerability and resilience in the face of dramatic environmental change on the one hand and the rapid intrusion of modernity, urbanism and consumerism on the other.


Our National Mammal
Directed by: Thia Martin (2017, 13 minutes)
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Our National Mammal is a short documentary exposing the controversial management and ruthless treatment of America’s last wild bison and the people fighting to protect them.


Poisoning Paradise
Directed by: Keely Shaye Brosnan & Teresa Tico (2019, 77 minutes)
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Journey to the seemingly idyllic world of Native Hawaiians, whose communities are surrounded by experimental test sites for genetically engineered seed corn and pesticides sprayed upwind of their homes, schools, hospitals, and shorelines. Discover what’s at stake for Hawaii from local activists, scientific experts and healthcare professionals as they expose the effects of environmental injustice on a local population. Join the international debate about pesticides that is raging around the world, as well as the people’s movement to hold corporations and governments accountable for poisoning planet Earth.


Raven People Rising
Directed by: Andrea Palframan (2018, 35 minutes)
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The Heiltsuk Nation upholds an unbroken lineage of ancestral teachings that powerfully connect people to place. When the Nathan E. Stewart ran aground in their Great Bear Rainforest home, the Heiltsuk took to the courts. Witness how, in the wake of the devastating spill, the Heiltsuk are working to enshrine Indigenous governance of their homelands and waters into law. They are taking power back from regulators asleep at the wheel to ensure that the Pacific coast is protected for future generations. Their work will ensure marine safety for anyone who cares about the coast, the climate and future generations.Stunning footage combines with compelling storytelling to paint an urgent picture of a Nation poised to change the conversation about Indigenous rights and climate justice.


Russell Jim, A Quiet Warrior
Directed by: Jeanne Givens (2017, 20 minutes)
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Yakama tribal leader Russell Jim has been waging a decades long battle to clean up the unclear contamination from Hanford Nuclear Site. The nuclear waste is a threat to air and water quality, fisheries, overall health of the region and its citizens. The Yakima Nation chose Russell Jim to engage with the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection agency and clean up contractors. Jeanne Givens, a Coeur d’Alene Tribal member focuses on Mr. Jim’s tribal biography that easily lends itself to a new and unique tribal approach to saving the environment for his tribe and future generations.


Simple Living
Directed by: Kate Aubrey (2018, 25 minutes)
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Simple Living explores whether ‘less is really best’. The film follows three Australian families’ unique journeys to build their small dream homes, from tiny homes to cob cottages, using mostly local, recycled and salvaged materials. Find out how they navigate past land challenges and bank debts to find their ultimate abundance.


Six Mile Stretch
Directed by: Carol Chambers (2018, 5 minutes)
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This is a hand-painted film from the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. It is an artist’s response to the last wild six mile stretch of the Bear River that is under threat of inundation from a new dam planned for the river (Centennial Dam). There is a movement in the local community to stop the dam being built to protect this last bit of wilderness along its banks. The film is an artist’s response to this beautiful place, and is dedicated to all who strive to protect the remaining wild places of our world. The film is an oil painting animation.


The Adventures of Jungle Jolly: Damn de Dam
Directed by: Brian Campbell (2018, 40 minutes)
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Kimo Jolly has experienced life on the road in Central and South America from age 5-11, settled life in rural Belize, gang life in south Miami, the yuppie life of an engineer, and the abandonment of the rat race to return to live off-the-grid in Belize as a watershed ecologist, activist, father, and educator. His varied education informs his resistance to the construction of the Chalillo Dam in Belize, which would dam the Macal River, his boyhood swimming hole. Western/Gringo conservationists focus on the destruction of vital habitat and breeding grounds, but Kimo realizes that this does not resonate with the Belizean public. He forges a divergent strategy, emphasizing the increased costs of electricity and the foreign (Canadian) ownership of the dam. These varied perspectives on the fate of the Macal River showcase the marginalization of Belizean voices, with Kimo providing counterpoint to both the corrupt Belizean leaders willing to sell out their people and land, and foreign environmentalists unable to see from a Belizean perspective.


The Future Forest – A Happy Distopia
Directed by: Alexander Lauritzen (2018, 28 minutes)
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The uncrowned king of recycled art, Thomas Dambo, travels to Mexico City making his most ambitious art project to date. With his project “Future Forest” Thomas Dambo aims to make a potent statement: for every day we don’t act, a new forest becomes a plastic landfill. To put attention on this matter the eccentric Danish artist aims, with the help of hundreds of local volunteers, to raise a giant colorful forest made out of plastic waste in the botanical garden of Mexico City. “Future Forest” succeeds in uniting different social layers, from wealthy people managing the City’s Botanical garden, to the poorest people working with trash and garbage collection, with a strong message of action towards protecting our planet, and the dwindling forests we still have left.


The Great Route
Directed by: Maximilian Stolarow (2018, 11 minutes)
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An incredible SUP trip along the west coast of Greenland to show the effects of global warming in the high north. Stand up paddler Michael Walther, photographer Daniell Bohnhof and filmmaker Maximilian Stolarow were on the trail of the inuit ancestors. Following their “THE GREAT ROUTE” from Aasiaat to Ilulissat to find out more about the life on the rough island in the past and in the present. Apart from icebergs, never-ending days and minus 15 degrees, they met the inspiring Valdemar Petersen, a 84 y.o hunter and poet. Their trip along “THE GREAT ROUTE” shows, that we have to act, to protect this unique northern region and of course our whole planet!


The Man of the Trees
Directed by: Andrea Trivero (2018, 19 minutes)
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The Man of the Trees, Daniel Balima, is a senior horticulturist from Tenkodogo, a small Sub-Saharan African town in Burkina Faso. As a child, Daniel fell ill with polio and although growing up without the use of his legs, he was able to follow his father in the family nursery, walking on his hands. He works immediately with great passion and talent so much that his disability, which for many in Africa means a marked destiny, is for Daniel an opportunity: “I could take two paths: begging or taking my life in hand and devoting myself to work with dignity .” In over fifty years of activity he has given life to more than a million trees. This is what is most important for Daniel because, as he tells us, his country needs many trees. Daniel does not stop. On the contrary, he dreams of planting another million.


The Reef
Directed by: Sven Dreesbach (2019, 8 minutes)
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The Maldives Whale Shark Research Programme carries out marine wildlife research and fosters community focused conservation initiatives. The field team of the MWRSP monitors the demographics and movement of different species such as whale sharks. This is their story.


The Sacred Place Where Life Begins
Directed by: Jeremy Lá Zelle & Kristin Gates (2019, 25 minutes)
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It’s best to experience what you’re fighting for. When two adventurers embark on a dangerous four-month expedition documenting the world’s longest land mammal migration through the Arctic Refuge of Alaska and Canada, they soon discover an incredible ecosystem protected by the Gwich’in Nation for more than 25,000 years, yet held on the precipice of collapse by resource development corporations. 


The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating 
Directed by: Elisabeth Tova Bailey (2019, 15 minutes)
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When a woman is bedridden by a mysterious pathogen, a forest snail unexpectedly takes up residence on her nightstand. Together, the woman and snail share an intimate journey of survival and resilience. Their captivating and graceful explorations expand the boundaries of the bedroom. An intimate and surprising live action true story. Adapted from the award-winning nonfiction memoir of the same title.


The Undamaged
Directed by: Rožle Bregar, Matic Oblak, & Miha Avguštin (2018, 51 minutes)
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The Balkans cradles Europe’s last wild rivers and supports abundant wildlife and healthy, intact ecosystems. These rivers are The Undamaged – clean, pristine, and undammed. With over 2,700 small and large hydro power plants planned or under construction in the Balkans, corruption and greed are destroying the last free-flowing rivers of Europe. Follow the Balkan Rivers Tour, a crew of whitewater kayakers, filmers, photographers and friends who decided to stand up for the rivers, travelling from Slovenia to Albania for 36 days, kayaking 23 rivers in 6 countries to protest the dams and show the world the secret, wild rivers of the Balkans. The film honours everyday people and local activists who are fighting to defend rivers and aims to spread the word of the plight of these rivers.


The Valley
Directed by: Bryan Reinhart (2018, 74 minutes)
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Ever since its transformation from an over-the-hill mining town to a world class ski resort, Telluride has been a diverse mix of ski bums, trust funders, back-to-the-land hippies, liberal second-home owners, urban dropouts and savvy business entrepreneurs. But the one thing they all agreed upon was that they weren’t going to let developers run the show. So when a multinational corporation proposed an Aspen-style development of trophy homes on the 600 acre gateway to Telluride’s box canyon, the citizens of Telluride said NO. “The Valley” is their story – an eclectic community’s monumental challenge to raise $50 million dollars in three months to purchase the Valley Floor and pull off an environmental triumph.


Tire Swing
Directed by: Gabriel Giaquinto (2019, 2 minutes)
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Written and Directed by 8 year-old Gabriel Giaquinto…Hot in winter, snowy in summer…A little boy, frustrated with climate change hilariously attempts to stop it by dismantling his father’s car.


Toxic Treasure
Directed by: Mark McNamara (2018, 16 minutes)
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A Mario Benassi Film about the incredible ecosystem in Haines, Alaska and the threat of a potential local sulfide mine. Also a look at the culture, ecology, and mining in greater Southeast Alaska.


Visions of the Lost Sierra
Directed by: Matt Ritenour (2018, 14 minutes)
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A look into the past, present and future of the Middle Fork of the Feather River, one of the first 8 rivers designated as Wild & Scenic in 1968.Thanks to the generous support of Patagonia Media Grants, Friends of Plumas Wilderness worked with Director / Cinematographer Matthew Ritenour to produce a film celebrating the story of the Feather River through interviews with local historians, ecologists, conservationists and outdoor recreation enthusiasts.  The film emphasizes the importance of the Feather River while showcasing its unique history and beauty.  The film explores how people need free-flowing rivers and wilderness for solitude and inspiration, showcasing the dreams of local people, and highlighting how we are connected to one another by the Middle Fork of the Feather River.  The film aims to increase awareness of threats to the Feather River and other rivers in the region and inspire viewers to protect public lands.


White Widows
Directed by: David Straub (2018, 26 minutes)
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White Widows portrays the tough and disadvantaged life of Indian cotton farmers in their village Dhanoli located in the region of Vidarbha, well known as the epicentre of Indian farmersuicides. The movie covers raising input costs of the cotton production, destroyed harvests and the devastating consequences of genetically modified seeds, as well as massive inequalities within the Indian village microcosm. At the same time however, it tells of hopeful possibilities for the farmers of Dhanoli: The Peace Foundation builds a “Cotton-to-cloth-production-unit“ in the village together with the farmers, so that they can produce finished textiles with simple handloom machines. This could help the farmers increase their income and improve their work and life, but also let them become part of a growing and independent local society.


Wild Possibilities
Directed by: Brady Holden (2019, 11 minutes)
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What’s a land trust? Journey across Oregon to hear five inspiring stories that answer that question—in their own ways.


Winter Cranes
Directed by: Joseph V. Brown (2018, 4 minutes)
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A short observational documentary that chronicles the Sandhill Crane migration near Baraboo, Wisconsin. Shot on location at the Aldo Leopold Center amidst 10,000 cranes in late November 2018.