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FILM & TELEVISION

 


Yasuni Man, 2016

A documentary feature by Pollywog Productions
Role: Executive Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer

 

UPCOMING SCREENINGS:

July 29, 2017 - OFFICIAL SELECTION - ECOador International Film Festival 2017 - Quito, Ecuador

August 1, 2017 - OFFICIAL SELECTION - Woods Hole Film Festival 2017 - Woods Hole, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

October 19-29, 2017 - OFFICIAL SELECTION - Wildlife Conservation Film Festival 2017 - New York City, New York

 

PAST SCREENINGS AND AWARDS:

OFFICIAL SELECTION - Mountainfilm Festival 2017 - Telluride, Colorado

*WINNER - Cinema Planeta International Environmental Film Festival of MExico 2017 - "Best International Film" - Cuernavaca, Mexico

*WINNER - San Francisco Green Film Festival 2017 - Audience Award - San Francisco, California

OFFICIAL SELECTION - International Wildlife Film Festival 2017 - Missoula, Montana

OFFICIAL SELECTION - D.C. Environmental Film Festival 2017 - Washington, D.C. 

*WINNER - New York Wild Film Festival 2017 - "Best Feature Film" -  New York City, New York

*WINNER - Mill Valley Film Festival 2016 - "Silver Audience Award" - Valley of the Docs - San Rafael, California

*WINNER - Wildscreen Film Festival 2016 - "Emerging Talent Panda Award" - Bristol, England

 

Updated Yasuni Man Poster - 2017.jpeg

In the depths of South Americas, where the Andes, the Amazon and the Equator collide, a wilderness exists that is home to some of the last remaining uncontacted people in the world. The forest in which they live may claim our planet's highest biodiversity. A place where mammals, birds, plants and amphibians reach peak diversity, together.

Because of its biological diversity and cultural significance, the forest was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Ecuador's largest national park. It is now known as The Yasuni Man and Biosphere Reserve.

Well before it had a name, it was the territory of the Waorani - fierce warriors bound to the forest. After the discover of Ecuador's largest petroleum reserves in the 1940s, petroleum companies have had their eye on Yasuni with aims to develop it becoming a priority in the Ecuadorian government. After years of failed attempts to develop sites within Yasuni, Shell Petroleum abandoned its concessions due to a series of violent clashes with the Waorani that left several oil workers dead.

Soon after the oil companies abandoned the land, missionaries moved in seeking to convert the Waorani. They met the same resistance the oil companies had fought, and ended up speared to death and cast into the Tiguino River.

By the late 1950s, a missionary group managed to make peaceful contact and many Waorani were evangelized and removed from their ancestral territory. Disease and death spread, and years of assimilation eroded Waorani culture. Those who rejected missionary contact fled deep into the forest and remain in voluntary isolation still, fiercely protecting their territory from outsiders by whatever means necessary.

Now, in 2017, Yasuni and the Waorani hang on the edge of collapse.

Yasuni Man, a documentary feature, tells the story of the conflict in Yasuni that has pitted biodiversity and human rights against extractive industries and human consumption.

Director, Producer and Cinematographer Ryan P. Killackey, leads us on an incredible expedition through Yasuni – a 1,500 mile journey along 7 rivers, exploring the impact of oil development on the biodiversity of the forest and its people.

Through the documentary, Killackey ushers the viewer into a world unexplored and illustrates a cautionary tale of the far-reaching impact our dependence on fossil fuels can have on wildlife and indigenous people.

This social, political, environmental and human rights drama forces the question:
How far would you go to save it?


Earth - A New Wild: Forests, 2015

5 part series for PBS and National Geographic, produced by Passion Planet
Role: Field Producer and On-Screen Subject

*WINNER - Wildscreen Film Festival - Best Series - Bristol, England

A new look at humankind’s relationship with the natural world is a journey to the ends of the earth that reveals how the planet really works in the Age of Man.

Our presenter, M. Sanjayan discovers that there is no wilderness - the real wild is utterly connected to we humans, often in the most surprising ways. Traveling across the habitats of planet earth, five episodes focus on the nexus of wildlife and people combining spectacular natural history images with compelling human stories. What Sanjayan discovers is our relationship with the greatest natural history events on Earth can provide a key to preserving our present and enriching our future existence.

Episode 1: HOME
Episode 2: PLAINS
Episode 3: FORESTS
Episode 4: OCEANS
Episode 5: WATER

Journey to the ends of the earth, to discover how our planet works “with us in the picture”

 

One Village at a Time: Community Health Workers on the Front Line, 2015

A documentary short in collaboration with Save the Childern, World Vision and Gorongosa National Park, and Pivit LLC
Role: Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer

Mozambique suffers from one of the worst heath care systems in the world, leaving thousands to die from preventable diseases and the lack of access to essential health services. Now, to save lives, communities are bringing health workers to the front lines.

 

Star Spangled Banner: Anthem of Liberty, 3D/IMAX, 2015

A 3D/IMAX film by Dave Clark Inc., Blue Mountain Films Inc. and The Maryland Science Center
Role: Line Producer, Production Manager, Actor

This documentary explores the origins of the War of 1812 and the British torching of Washington, DC, the White House, and Capitol.  The film follows the actions of Major George Armistead, American commander of Fort McHenry in defense of the City of Baltimore, and his nemesis Rear Admiral George Cockburn, commanding the attacking British fleet.  Learn how Major Armistead commissioned “a flag so large that the British would have no difficulty seeing it from a distance” and how local flag-maker Mary Pickersgill with her daughter, two nieces, and a servant hand-stitched what was, at 30 feet by 42 feet, the largest battle flag ever flown.

Star-Spangled Banner tells thestory of the young American lawyer and poet Francis Scott Key, who witnessed the shelling of Fort McHenry from a ship in the harbor and authored the poem that became our National Anthem.  Experience the Battle of Fort McHenry from the ramparts of the fort to the gun decks of the British frigates.  Cameras will soar over the real Fort McHenry, brought to life with hundreds of 1812 military re-enactors.  In the Baltimore Harbor, the British fleet will sail once more via hyper-realistic computer graphics.  Across the giant IMAX screen and over the heads of the audience, cannons will fire, rockets will streak, and the sights and sounds that inspired Key will come alive once more.  And, just like that misty dawn of September 14, 1814 when the sky lightened and the smoke cleared, we’ll see that “our flag was still there.”

Narrated by Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor, Sam Waterston.

 

Into the Heart of Yasuni, 2013

A documentary short in collaboration with Yale Environment 360
Role: Co-Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer

Few places on earth harbor as much biodiversity as the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, a 6,500-square-mile territory in eastern Ecuador where the Amazon basin ascends into the Andes Mountains. But Yasuni also sits atop vast reserves of oil, and this rainforest wilderness, home to the indigenous Waorani people, faces intense development pressure.

In this Yale Environment 360 video, filmmaker Ryan Killackey travels into the heart of Yasuni with seven scientists and chronicles their work as they inventory the reserve’s remarkable birds, fish, animals, and plants. Through their work, the researchers hope to bolster international initiatives to preserve a large swath of this threatened land.

Yale Environment 360

WATCH the entire thing

 

Titans of the Ice Age, 3D/IMAX, 2012

A 3D/IMAX film by Digital 3D, Giant Screen Films and David Clark Inc.
Role: 3D Camera Assistant, Location Scout, Grip, Production Assistant

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Titans of the Ice Age transports viewers to the beautiful and otherworldly frozen landscapes of North America, Europe and Asia ten thousand years before modern civilization. Dazzling computer-generated imagery brings this mysterious era to life—from saber-toothed cats and giant sloths to the iconic mammoths, giants both feared and hunted by prehistoric humans. The magic of the giant screen reveals the harsh and beautiful kingdom of these titans: an ancient world of ice, the dawn of our ancestors, a time when humans fought for survival alongside majestic woolly beasts.

Shot largely in and around the picturesque Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone National Park, Alaska and the Northern Great Plains, Titans of the Ice Age captivates audiences with a vision of a world inhabited by creatures both familiar and exotic—leading us to consider the possible fates of today’s living mammals. As our climate continues to warm and human encroachment threatens the existence of thousands of species, could the megafauna of our millennia—elephants, bison, tigers—be lost to time like their Ice Age cousins?    

Travel across monumental glaciers and sweeping grasslands, rich in life—a Northern Hemisphere whose vast plains resembled the African Serengeti. Witness a time when the hunters became the hunted, where saber-tooths, dire wolves and cave bears ruled untamed continents.   

Journey to a lost age of mighty snow titans…an age of ice.

Narrated by Academy Award winning actor, Christopher Plummer.

WATCH the trailer

 

Dangerous Encounters with Dr. Brady Barr - 4 Episodes, 2009-10

A television series by National Geographic Television for The National Geographic Channel
Role: Associate Producer, Camera 2

Episode: Barr V. Bear
Dr. Brady Barr goes on an investigation to track brown bears, then venture to the frozen shores for an up close encounter with a polar bear.

Episode: Wild West
Brady will look into what he knows about animals and rate them on three factors — weapons, danger to humans, and how much they symbolize the Wild West.

Episode: Electric Eel
Brady travels in search of an incredibly dangerous fish, the electric eel. But, along the way he encounters venomous snakes and piranhas.

Episode: Cannibal Squid
Join Brady as he collaborates with researchers to capture a Humboldt squid unharmed, and attach National Geographic's Crittercam.

 

 

Frogs: The Thin Green Line, 2009

A feature documentary for PBS Nature by Argo Films
Role: Camera Assistant, Field Biologist, On-Set Animal Handler, Production Assistant, Set Builder

Frogs have been living on this planet for more than 250 million years, and over the centuries, evolved into some of the most wondrous and diverse creatures on earth.  Today, however, all their remarkable adaptations and survival tactics are failing them.  Recent discoveries are startling: more than a third of all amphibians – most of which are frogs and toads – have already been lost, and more are disappearing every day.  It is an environmental crisis unfolding around the globe, traveling from Australia to North and South America.  Where the calls of frogs once filled the air, scientists now hear only silence.  Ecosystems are beginning to unravel, and the potential to discover important medical cures may be lost forever.  Habitat loss, pollution and a human population that has doubled in the past 50 years have set the stage for their diminished numbers.  But now, a fungus called chytrid has been identified as the major culprit, and so far the spread of the fungus can’t be stopped.

Chytrid continues to move quickly, extinguishing entire frog populations in a matter of months.  Scientists have taken drastic measures to counteract it, such as evacuating frogs from the wild and sheltering them in a sterile environment.  The El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center in Central Panama, for example, houses 58 species of frogs in their facility, including the rare golden frog, which no longer exists in the wild. To date, the only chytrid-free area left in Panama is the Burbayar Forest, a thriving environment still full of healthy, unaffected frogs.

Frogs may seem small and insignificant, but their bodies may hold the key to important new discoveries in medical research. Our chances for the discovery of future medical miracles may be slipping away with the disappearance of these tiny creatures in our midst.

Their impact on the world’s ecosystems is great.  Frogs sit right in the middle of the food chain, and without them, other creatures are disappearing, too.

 

Looking into the Eye of Extinction: The Amazon, The Galapagos, The Andes, 2007

A three-part documentary series by Pollywog Productions
Role: Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer

 

Life in Peril: Montana’s Amphibians and Reptiles, 2005

A documentary short by Pollywog Productions
Role: Producer, Director, Writer, Cinematographer