Thinking Like a Savanna is a documentary film that uses the teachings of Aldo Leopold as a foundation for understanding the savanna ecosystem of Namibia, Africa. This documentary will combine art and science in a way that explores and articulates the complex ecological relationship that exists between humans, predators, and the environment. The goal of this film is to provide viewers with an appreciation and understanding of the interconnectedness of all the elements of the arid savanna ecosystem. This film will teach about the importance of predators (cheetahs and leopards) in maintaining ecosystem balance.
Thinking Like a Savanna Teaser Trailer
In the summer of 2014 we traveled to Namibia, Africa to begin documenting a film on human- predator conflict. Our research focused on the relationship between local farmers, cheetahs, and leopards.
While collecting footage for our documentary we realized how great an endeavor it is to understand and convey the importance of predator cats in maintaining a healthy savanna ecosystem. As the significance of the cheetah and the complexity of the overall ecosystem became more apparent the scope of our project significantly magnified, thus Thinking Like a Savanna was brought into creation.
The idea for Thinking Like a Savanna is inspired by Aldo Leopold’s 1949 classic A Sand County Almanac which illustrates the deep interconnection between all living organisms. Leopold’s most famous essay in this work, "Thinking like a Mountain," emphasizes the necessary balance between predator and prey. He tells the story of the cowman who cleared the wolves from the mountains of Arizona and New Mexico and the disastrous effect this had. With the removal of the wolf, deer populations grew exponentially until “every edible bush and seedling [was] browsed, first to anemic desuetude, and then to death.” Leopold’s writings changed the way people view their environment. Leopold’s tale of the cowman is not unique to the wolves, deer, and the mountains of Arizona and New Mexico. It applies everywhere on the planet, including, specifically, the subject of Thinking Like a Savanna: the ongoing relationship between farmers and the predator cats of Namibia.
Quelia Gather at a Water Hole
How the Film Will be Used:
- Rights to Thinking Like a Savanna will be licensed to the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in Namibia, Africa to aid in their educational programs that teach farmers alternative methods of protecting livestock and reducing loss from cheetah and leopard attacks.
- With the assistance of the Cheetah Conservation Fund Thinking Like a Savanna will be shown publicly to local citizens to educate on the importance of understanding ecosystems and managing human predator conflict.
- To continue teaching about the importance of cheetahs and leopards in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem, Thinking Like a Savanna will be submitted to, and screened at film festivals worldwide.
How Funds Will be Used:
Your contributions towards the funding goal will be used to cover travel expenses, airfare, food and lodging in Namibia, Africa.
About the Artists:
Tiffany Deater and Jarrod Hagadorn collaborate to create short experimental films focused on the environmental and natural world. Their films are a journey through the perspective of other life forms seeking to understand how we connect and empathize with these organisms.
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge is going to be sorting through all the images and photos and converting it into video format!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)