There are Still Wizards

: Documentary
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production


In a world where conservation seems to be a loosing battle, sometimes it is important to look at how far we have come. This is the story of a lifetime of adventures that culminated in incredible successes, protecting wildlife and habitats across the planet.



Film Statement:

This film will look at the life achievements of Dr. Lee Talbot and his wife Marty, who arguably have had the SINGLE GREATEST impact on conservation across our planet to date. Told through the eyes of the Talbot's in current time and through the eyes of colleagues, friends and family, we will weave through the history that was made (creating the most important conservation legislation and helping to secure the most critical protected areas on Earth). Watch as the Talbot’s recall their many incredible adventures (ranging from fighting off rebels to surviving attacks by lions), in the original locations (Africa, Asia and the USA), and as we follow them through what may be some of their last great achievements (they are in their mid 80’s but still working in remote locations to preserve species and habitats).

Purpose/Significance of this film:

Why make this film? The world NEEDS THIS STORY! First, it is very rare to find someone in science that is interesting, and then even more rare to find people who have made obvious impacts. Add to this, our characters provide outstanding and uncommon examples of making these differences through fair play, sensibility and empathy. With this film we can demonstrate that diplomacy (in conservation and beyond) CAN work in an age where many have only seen examples of strong-arm bully based tactics.

Second, the story we intend to tell involves a very important history that needs to be conveyed and preserved for the planet. The victories won by the films characters are seminal and EXTREMELY far reaching. They simply ARE the corner stones and foundation used to achieve conservation within the United States and globally (Lee Talbot was the author of the Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species and the World Heritage Treaty). Now more than ever, we need inspiration to conserve, and also to protect the very laws under threat that Dr. Talbot helped to create.

Finally, this is a story of INCREDIBLE adventure while achieving conservation victories. Travelling across the planet, facing danger and uncertainty, this film will showcase the many amazing stories our characters went through within the larger story of their lives. These include surviving airplane crashes into the sea, lion attacks, and grenades, mines and bullets in multiple conflicts (e.g., the Mao Mao Uprising in Kenya and the Vietnam War). All taken on with an incredible sense of humor and good nature (e.g., When Marty was told Lee had gone down in an airplane, she simply said, “Well, if he survived then I am certain he enjoyed it.” Then she thought “If he isn’t alive…Now where am I going to get another one of those?!!”).



Artisitic View:

As behavioral ecologists, we have spent years photographing and observing wildlife. Without realizing it, this was fantastic training for documentary filmmaking. Because we had spent so much time being quiet and observing what we were witnessing in detail, we developed a capacity to note intricacies in stories others might not see. Our attention of detail has also formed the basis of our aesthetic. We are drawn to film that allows thorough examination of the frame. We also prefer (probably because we love the outdoors) natural light when we can incorporate it.



Jennifer Lewis - Producer

Jennifer is a trained biologist who began her career studying tropical dolphins. While this career was interesting and rewarding, Jennifer worried the impacts she wanted to make were not far reaching, and that her work was not significantly aiding conservation. After working for a summer as a naturalist for a BBC nature film crew, she became curious about the impact of film. She decided to get training to use this medium and set off to work on her first film (“Who Will Save the River Dolphin?” ). Her interests in using stories through film to help promote conservation led her to return to school and she is currently working on a dissertation project to study this subject in more detail.

Mahmud Rahman - Producer

Mahmud has an extensive background in wildlife conservation, with a focus on aquatic ecology. It was during this work that he learned to master wildlife photography. Along with conservation and photography, he also has had a long-term interest in individual human stories, spending free time interviewing people from different perspectives while considering character development. He had an interest in film but being from Bangladesh, had never considered this to be a possible career avenue. At least until he met his now colleague Jennifer Lewis. Since that meeting he has moved to full time filmmaking, taking the things he had learned as a wildlife biologist and his amateur interests to fully develop his skills in video production and editing. His abilities as a filmmaker are heightened by his knack to invent, and to use that to enhance the films he creates.


Connect With The Filmmakers:


The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2023
Fauna and Flora International
Winsome McIntosh of McIntosh Foundation
Defenders of Wildlife
The Rachel Carson Council
The Center for Biological Diversity
The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists
Private Individuals
In-kind support provided by Intercontinental Hotels Group


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