Tackling climate change, one penguin at a time...
Armed with low-tech gear and high-minded notions that penguin populations may hold the key to human survival, Ron Naveen lays bare his 30 year love affair with the world’s most pristine scientific laboratory: Antarctica.
Famed as a place that ‘wants you dead,’ his ragtag team of field-biologists embark on a journey to some of the harshest corners of the planet, where they track the impact of climate change and ocean health on penguin populations - one nest at a time. But penguins aren’t the only stars. During the fifteen-day voyage to the rookeries, Ron discovers that the ashes of Ernest Shackleton’s best friend and colleague - Frank Wild - are on board his ship, along with descendants of both the Wilds and Shackletons.
What’s unique about this film is the verité style of filmmaking on a scientific quest in the Antarctic, skillfully embedding an important environmental message with a good yarn. Special permits allowed unprecedented access to remote penguin colonies – in all their chaos and splendor.
Haunted by the ghosts of fallen explorers and charmed by the eccentricities of feathered bipeds, the penguin counters’ treacherous, heart-warming journey poses the ultimate question in the world’s fastest warming region: What can humans learn from penguins on the frontlines of climate change?
Starting out as a ‘grab the cameras and go’ documentary, this film received funding and support from One Ocean Expeditions, The Tinker Foundation, The Jeniam Foundation, many Kickstarter donors and The Pew Charitable Trusts. From April 21-27 THE PENGUIN COUNTERS will play at the Village Cinema in New York, with Q/A's after the 7.15 screening each night by the filmmakers and Ron Naveen. The first screening was a private preview for 300 people held at National Geographic in Washington DC. Melissa Shackleton Dann introduced the film followed by a lively Q/A about the production and Ron’s 20-year study.
Once a government lawyer, now a 21st century Dr. Dolittle, Ron dreams of conserving this stunning but fragile region for future generations.
Mexico International Film Festival - Grand Jury Award 2015
Esperanza International Film Festival - Audience Choice Award British Documentary Film Festival - Wild Animal Award
Environmental Film Festival In the Nation’s Capital
Santa Barbara International Film Festival
UN Climate Change Conference COP15, Paris 2015
Blue Ocean Film Festival, Monaco - Honorable Mention
Hebrides International Film Festival, Scotland
Great Lakes Environmental Film Festival, Milwaukee
Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival