In the depths of South America, where the Andes, the Amazon and the Equator collide, a wilderness exists that was home to some of the last remaining uncontacted people on Earth. 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 Man and Biosphere Reserve and Ecuador's largest national park. It is now known as Yasuni the 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. Known as the Tagaeri and Taromenani, or the people in voluntary isolation, they 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 kilometer 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 all?
UPCOMING 2018 SCREENINGS:
May 30 - June 6, 2018 - Buenos Aires, Argentina - Festival Internacional de Cinema Ambiental (FINCA) - http://www.imd.org.ar/finca/
*Nominee - Best Feature Film 2018
June 12, 2018 - Moss Theater, Santa Monica, California
June 2018 - Helsinki, Finland - Coming Soon!
June 2018 - Stockholm, Sweden - Coming Soon!
June 2018 - Taiwan - Coming Soon!
PAST SCREENINGS AND AWARDS:
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Films4Climate - Guadalajara International Film Festival - 3/14/18
*WINNER - "Jury Award - Excellence in Documenting a Human Rights Issue" - Bellingham Human Rights Film Fest - Bellingham, WA - 3/13/18
*WINNER - "Best Environmental Film" - Sedona International Film Festival - Sedona, Arizona - 3/4/18
*WINNER - "Special Jury Prize - Dublin Film Critic's Circle" - Dublin International Film Festival - Dublin, Ireland - 3/4/18
OFFICIAL SELECTION - United Nations Cine-ONU Program Screening - Brussels, Belgium - 2/21/18
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Wild & Scenic Film Festival - Nevada City, California - 1/12/18
*WINNER - "Best Documentary Feature for People and Cultures" - Mountainfilm Festival Graz - Graz, Austria - 11/14/17
NOMINEE - "Best Documentary Film" and "Best Environmental Spotlight Film" - Red Nation Film Festival - Los Angeles, California - 11/8/17
*WINNER - "Audience Award for Best Documentary - Explorers and Adventures" - Friday Harbor Film Festival - San Juan Island, WA - 11/5/17
OFFICIAL SELECTION - DOCtober Film Festival - Bellingham, Washington - 10/30/17
NOMINEE - "Best Environmental Film of the Year" - Green Film Network Awards - Toronto, Canada - 10/20/17
NOMINEE - "Best Conservation Film" - Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival - Grand Teton National Park, WY - 9/26/17
Colorado State University Global Biodiversity Summit 2017 - Fort Collins, Colorado - 10/12/17
Gene Siskel Film Center - Chicago, Illinois - 9/10/17
*WINNER - "Directors Award for Fortitude in Filmmaking" - Woods Hole Film Festival 2017 - Woods Hole, Cape Cod, Massachusetts - 8/1/17
OFFICIAL SELECTION - ECOador International Film Festival 2017 - Quito, Ecuador - 7/29/17
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Mountainfilm Festival 2017 - Telluride, Colorado - 6/26/17
*WINNER - "Best International Film" - Cinema Planeta International Environmental Film Festival 2017 - Cuernavaca, Mexico - 5/4/17
*WINNER - "Audience Award for Best Film" - San Francisco Green Film Festival 2017 - San Francisco, California - 4/23/17
OFFICIAL SELECTION - International Wildlife Film Festival 2017 - Missoula, Montana- 4/16/17
OFFICIAL SELECTION - D.C. Environmental Film Festival 2017 - Washington, D.C. - 3/19/17
*WINNER - "Best Feature Film" - New York Wild Film Festival 2017 - New York City, New York - 2/29/17
OFFICIAL SELECTION - Wild Scotland Film Festival - Dumfries, Scotland - 2/18/17
*WINNER - "Panda Award for Emerging Talent" - Wildscreen Film Festival 2016 - Bristol, England - 10/11/16
*WINNER - "Silver Audience Award - Valley of the Docs" - Mill Valley Film Festival 2016 - San Rafael, California - 10/7/16
SCIENTIFIC PUBLICATIONS (from research conducted in the film):
Report 1 of 8 – BIRDS - Publication date: 3/1/19
"Rapid inventory, preliminary annotated checklist, and breeding records of the birds (Aves) of the Boanamo indigenous community, Orellana Province, Ecuador" - Greeney, et al 2018 - https://doi.org/10.1080/23766808.2018.1433430
Reports 2 through 8 coming soon - Reptiles and Amphibians, Mammals, Fish, Fungus, Plants, Megatransect
YASUNI MAN - IN THE NEWS
NBC Nightly News – Channel 5 Chicago – Yasuni Man goes to Jackson Hole - at the Field Museum of Natural History w/ Lauren Petty – http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/making-a-difference/homewood-amazon-nomination-448342813.html – 9/20/17
Mongabay.com – Interview – “Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Finalist: Yasuni Man” - https://news.mongabay.com/2017/09/jackson-hole-film-festival-finalist-qa-yasuni-man/ - 9/15/17
Telluride Inside-and-Out – Podacst – “Mountainfilm: Ryan Killackey and Yasuni Man” - http://www.tellurideinside.com/2017/05/mountainfilm-ryan-killackey-yasuni-man.html - 5/15/17
The Missoulian – Interview - Destruction in the Amazon: UM grad's film shows plight of tribe vs. oil companies - http://missoulian.com/news/local/destruction-in-the-amazon-um-grad-s-film-shows-plight/article_7498f2ec-0dfa-5cd6-8e6b-43c67e2c470f.html - 5/03/17 - 5/03/17
The Missoula Independent – Review - “Three Films You Must See At This Years International Wildlife Film Festival” - http://missoulanews.bigskypress.com/missoula/three-must-see-features-at-this-years-international-wildlife-film-festival/Content?oid=3835214 - 4/14/17
The Jane Goodall Institute – Interview - “The Amazon You Have Not Seen Is Disappearing: YASUNI MAN” - http://news.janegoodall.org/2017/03/16/the-amazon-you-havent-seen-but-need-to-protect-yasuni-man/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss - 3/16/17
Washingtonian Magazine – Featurette - “When and Where: 16 Things You Really Ought to do this Month” - https://www.washingtonian.com/2017/02/28/16-things-to-do-around-dc-this-march/ - 2/28/2017
BBC Radio 4 – Interview - Costing the Earth with Tom Heap – “Black Gold in Paradise” - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08ffv88 - 2/22/17
The Guardian - Interview - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/12/yasuni-man-film-ecuador-ryan-killackey - 10/12/16
Mongabay.com – Interview - https://news.mongabay.com/2016/10/new-film-documents-real-life-avatar-story/ - 10/4/16
National Geographic Channel/PBS – Film Subject – ‘Earth A New Wild – Episode 3: Forests” - http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2i3hse - 2/28/15
The Hill – Op-Ed - http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-environment/232677-all-you-need-is-ecuador - 2/13/15
Yale Environment 360 – Documentary Short Co-Production – “Into the Heart of Yasuni” - http://e360.yale.edu/features/video_into_heart_of_ecuador_yasuni_killackey - 4/15/13
National Geographic Radio - Weekend with Boyd Matson - National Geographic Podcast – Episode 1302 - http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/media-content/audio/ngwkd1302-Hour1_Seg1-cb1357941636.mp3 and http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2013/01/13/january-13-2013-bonding-with-elephants-unlocking-our-genealogy-and-more/ - 1/13/13
National Geographic Radio - Weekend with Boyd Matson - National Geographic Podcast – Episode 1211 - http://radio.nationalgeographic.com/radio/ng-weekend-archives/1211/ - 3/11/12
Mongabay.com – Interview - Yasuni on film: could a documentary save the world’s most biodiverse ecosystem? - https://news.mongabay.com/2010/10/yasuni-on-film-could-a-documentary-save-the-worlds-most-biodiverse-ecosystem/ - 6/10/10