Why We Make Feature Documentaries
Crafting cohesive films around compelling issues and engaging characters is the foundation of our work — but our role as documentary filmmakers goes much deeper. The stories we tell are driven by our objective to create meaningful impact.
The Cove and Racing Extinction
We continue to draw inspiration from the significant shifts that our previous films and related action campaigns have catalyzed.
Since the release of The Cove — which earned the 2009 Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary — over 15 countries have banned dolphin captivity. The number of dolphins killed in Japan plummeted from 23,000 to 6,000 annually, and the town of Taiji also stopped serving mercury-laden dolphin meat in its school lunch program. Today, hundreds of thousands of people continue to place social media pressure on Taiji, in addition to pursuing more traditional forms of protest.
The campaign we built around Racing Extinction — which received 36 million views in 220 countries & territories in just 24 hours when it aired on the Discovery Channel — contributed to the passage of laws in Washington, Oregon and California banning the trade of ten endangered species.
Leuser: The Last Place on Earth
Our impact goals for this film are even more ambitious.
Make the Leuser Ecosystem a Global Household Name. Despite being one of the world’s most important intact tropical jungles and home to thousands of species — including critically endangered orangutans, tigers, elephants, and rhinos — Leuser is not widely recognized. We aim to change that.
Advance Global Discourse Around Wildlife Protection, Forest Conservation, and Indigenous Rights. Should current rates of tropical deforestation continue, the world’s rainforests — which contain about 50% of all terrestrial plant and animal species, but occupy only about 6% of our planet’s land mass — will vanish within 100 years. To reverse this trend, governments and industry must take bold action, to protect and restore forests and wildlife habitat, while formally recognizing the indigenous rights. We intend to elevate the conversation from “deforestation” to “reforestation” and galvanize global support for this crucial movement.
Spark A Massive Shift in Consumer and Corporate Practices. Despite countless corporate commitments to protect forests, about 70% of deforestation remains linked to the cultivation of crops used in food products eaten around the world. By engaging and inspiring consumers and brands around the world to refuse conflict palm oil, we hope to dramatically reframe the global market and ultimately eliminate its use in favor of sustainable, accountable alternatives.
Support Law Enforcement Against Corruption and Human Rights Violations. Agribusiness, forestry, mining and energy companies are notorious for operating through a web of corruption and committing atrocious human rights offenses. We intend to investigate and document this criminal behavior, and help spur prosecutorial action by law enforcement.
Help Forest Champions and Frontline Communities Restore Critical Jungle Habitat.
Our partners on the ground, including several of the film’s key characters, have been working for years fighting the destructive palm oil industry, revitalizing the rainforest, and establishing new populations of iconic megafauna. By shining an international spotlight on their successes and ongoing battles, we aim to increase their influence and generate global support and resources for their work for years to come.