In the remote Darién Gap rainforest, indigenous communities face the advance of loggers and cattle ranchers, an existential threat to their way of life and the ecosystem upon which they rely. When a rare Harpy Eagle nest is discovered near their community, the Emberá tribe of Playa Muerto find an unlikely ally. By protecting their lands and the Eagle’s habitat, they can benefit from the ecotourism she attracts, and reconnect with their own traditional heritage. Aguilucho: Dance of the Harpy Eagle is an exploration of a renewed relationship between the tribe and the great raptor. From the development of collaborative science and monitoring practices to the revival of an ancient Eagle Dance, it shows an inspiring model for conserving both a culture and a rainforest. The film was made in partnership with the Emberá of Playa Muerto and The Peregrine Fund, who work tirelessly in Panamá and around the world alongside various indigenous peoples to help save birds of prey from extinction.
Daniel Byers is the Director of Skyship Films. As a documentary filmmaker, he’s tracked cartels along the rivers of Honduras, chased the elusive snow leopard through the mountains of Afghanistan, and rafted through the icebergs of glacial lakes in the shadow of Everest. His films have been featured at numerous international festival screenings, events, and museums including the Smithsonian, Dallas Museum of Art, three UN Climate Change Conferences, Doc NYC, Banff Mountain Film Festival, and the International Wildlife Film Festival, and his work has been shown on the UK Guardian, BBC, and National Geographic.