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Nomad’s Latest Short Film Premieres at The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

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Black Sheep Ivory follows the efforts of the rangers at Kasungu National Park in preserving the elephant population

Nomad’s Latest Short Film Premieres at The Big Sky Documentary Film Festival

‘Black Sheep Ivory’ premiered at the 16th annual festival, taking place 15th-24th February in Missoula, Montana. The short film follows undercover operations leader and former French military member 'Matt' and his team in their fight against elephant poaching in Kasungu National Park in Malawi. Created by filmmakers Joseph Haldeman and Justin Deshields, the pair turned to their long-time collaborators Jared Coller and Collin Ketterer at Nomad to cut the film. 

Speaking to Collin on his experience of cutting the film, and working with Joseph and Justin: “I felt like we were all on the same page from the first day in the editing bay to finish. That doesn't always happen with big projects such as these; so this was special. I have previously worked with them on projects for Media Arts Lab. I had no idea that both of those guys were going out and shooting such amazing different work outside of that world. They are both very driven and talented filmmakers, and I feel fortunate to be a part of their project.”

“This was certainly a change of pace from the work that I've cut here at Nomad. The months of footage that Joe shot in Malawi were very 'eye opening'. It's quite a contrast from working on tech. When I moved out here to LA, my first editing gig was with an experienced documentary editor, Cheryl Hiltzik, who taught me the nuances of creating stories from interviews. Even though I hadn't worked on a documentary piece in quite some time, it felt very familiar shaping and refining the story from the protagonist's own words.”

At the centre of the narrative of the film are the efforts of the rangers at Kasungu National Park in preserving the elephant population within the park in Malawi and its bordering countries. They go a step beyond by carrying out their own investigations and undercover operations, developing it into a more sophisticated strategy to combat both elephant poaching as well as the illegal ivory trade. 

In pursuing these operations, the film manages to bring to light the frustrations the rangers deal with in the face of their everyday fight, and the toll it can have on their mental health.

The film ultimately brings home the harsh reality of the situation in the park in Malawi, following the discovery that the country’s capital, Lilongwe, is becoming a hub for the ivory trade. “I was caught off guard by the almost impossible scenario that is playing out at Kasungu National Park where it just seems like it's only time before there are no more elephants left. I hope audiences have a real reaction to the story in this documentary. It would be a real victory to bring serious change to the killing of the elephants in Malawi.”

You can watch the trailer here.

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Genres: People, Scenic

Categories: Short films, Short Films and Music Videos

Nomad, Tue, 26 Feb 2019 14:49:22 GMT