Untitled Dinosaur Bone Film

: Hybrid Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Production


In wake of the dramatic 2013 court case "United States of America vs One Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton," Dr. Bolor Minjin, one of Mongolia’s first female paleontologists travels from her new home in New York City back to the Gobi desert to confront the poachers who stole the contested dinosaur bones. Following the trail of fossils around the globe, the character driven feature documentary BOLOR AND THE BONES will track Dr. Minjin’s quest to bring stolen bones back home, as she comes face-to-face with challenges to creating her own place in the world.


On May 17th, 2012, Dr. Bolor Minjin, one of the first female paleontologists fromMongolia, was eating breakfast in a Manhattan café and half-watching the flat screen TVon the wall when a shiver went through her body. Staring back at her was an extremely rare Mongolian Tarbosaurus Bataar skeleton that was to be sold for $1 million at the Heritage Auction house in three days’ time. Bolor knew she was witnessing a crime in progress; those were stolen bones.

Within days, Bolor had secured the support of the President of Mongolia and the U.S. Department of Justice to have the bones arrested on the floor of the auction house just as the gavel was descending. In the ensuing spectacular court case, United States of America vs. One Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton, the stolen dinosaur bones were repatriated with much fanfare to Mongolia, where they would wind up alone in the enormous dilapidated former Ivan Ilyich Lenin Museum.

A character-driven feature documentary, BOLOR AND THE BONES unfolds as Bolor Minjin embarks on a quest to stop the international theft of Mongolian dinosaurs. Bolor decides to return to the Gobi desert from her new home in New York City to directly confront the poachers. Following the global trail of fossils, she will encounter renowned scientists, “commercial paleontologists,” high-end art traders, local politicians, and other players with lucrative stakes in the underground economy of international fossil trading.

Bolor will drive through Mongolia in a mobile dinosaur museum, a retrofitted Winnebago donated by the American Museum of Natural History which she managed to have shipped to Ulaanbataar. We’ll travel with her from the city to the Gobi, where she’ll meet the impoverished nomads living near the new mining compounds, where foreigners are again extracting wealth from Mongolia. Her greatest challenge will be convincing themthat poaching the bones—which fetches the equivalent of 6 months’ wages in one night—is not ultimately in their best interest. If she succeeds, she will break one critical link in the chain of the bone trade.

Exploring themes of legal intrigue, scientific passion and the commodification of the natural world, the film will examine the global culture that converts the scientific pursuit of the most profound mysteries of life into objects for sale. Combining verité, archival footage, animation, and scripted fictional sequences, we will follow the physical and emotional journeys of Bolor and the bones as they circle the world, eventually returning, inevitably changed, to their starting point.


No artisic statement provided


Jeremy Xido - Director/Producer

Filmmaker and performing artist originally from Detroit, Jeremy graduated cum laude in Painting and Comparative Literature from Columbia University in NYC. Since 2003, artistic co-director of performance and film company CABULA6, voted “company of the year 2009” by Europe’s prestigious performance magazine, Ballettanz, and awarded “Outstanding Artist of the Year 2010” by the Austrian Ministry of the Arts.

Jeremy’s award-winning feature documentary DEATH METAL ANGOLA screened at more than 80 film festivals including Rotterdam, Dubai, BAFICI, Sydney, CPH:DOX, and DOC NYC. Reviews in Indiewire and the Hollywood Reporter have described it as “riveting,” “absorbing, beautifully shot... superb,” “raucously crowd pleasing,” and “a cult classic in the making."  www.deathmetalangola.org



Johan Legraie - Cinematographer

Belgian director of photography working for more than 10 years on cinematic documentaries all around the world. Films have screened on ARTE, Canal +, France 2, RTBF, and premiered at festivals such as IDFA, Rotterdam, Cannes and Berlinale among many others. For several years he’s also been working on narratives, short and features. He worked with Jeremy Xido on Death Metal Angola.


Stephanie Levy - Producer

Stephanie is an internationally recognized award-winning producer. Recently a producer on An Honest Liar, a feature documentary which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the 2014 Audience Award at the AFI Documentary Festival In Washington, DC and recently completed a 60 city theatrical release with Abramorama. An Honest Liar sold to Netflix and ITVS/Independent Lens and the BBC Storyville amongst many other foreign broadcasters. She is currently producing a feature length documentary about the tragic effects of plastic pollution in our oceans told from the perspective of a colony of seabirds in the middle of the Pacific, currently titled Midway. Midway, in post-production received the 2013 documentary fund grant from Sundance and many other prestigious grants and premiered as a work-in-progress film at TIFF. Stephanie produced the independent narrative feature film, David, winner of many awards, including: the Ecumenical Prize from the Montreal World Film Festival, Special Jury Award at the Napa Valley Film Festival. Stephanie also develops and produces numerous industrials, PSA’s and fashion web content for luxury companies like Hermes and Barney’s. Stephanie has 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and brand strategist. Stephanie is a proud member of the Producers Guild of America and Women in Film.


Connect With The Filmmakers:


The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2021
CATAPULT fund development grant


UPDATE - January 09, 2016

 Bolor and the Bones was awarded the winter 2016 Catapult Fund Development Grant!

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