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Release Date: April 20, 2012
Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield
Screenwriters: Alastair Fothergill, Mark Linfield
Starring: Tim Allen, China Anne McClain, Real Chimpanzees
Genre: True Life Adventure
MPAA Rating: G
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
ALASTAIR FOTHERGILL (Director and Producer) was described by the Wall Street Journal as "the Spielberg of nature films." He is the director of two previous Disneynature productions, "Earth" and "African Cats" (the last also directed by Keith Scholey), both of which number among the top four highest grossing feature-length nature films in North American box-office history. Fothergill's other theatrical credits as a director include "Deep Blue." From 2002 to 2006, Fothergill was series producer of "Planet Earth," one of the most critically acclaimed documentary series of all time. Most recently, he executive produced the BBC/Discovery Channel series "Frozen Planet," a natural history of the polar regions. His many other credits include "Life In the Freezer" and "The Trials of Life." Fothergill studied zoology at Durham University and began his career in 1983 when he joined the BBC's renowned Natural History Unit. He served as head of the Natural History Unit from 1992 until 1998. When he is not working, Fothergill is a keen walker and amateur artist.
MARK LINFIELD (Director and Producer) also shared directing duties with Alastair Fothergill on Disneynature's hugely successful feature film "Earth." He recently directed an episode of the BBC/Discovery Channel's popular "Frozen Planet," the sequel to "Planet Earth," as well as serving as one of the series' producers. Linfield produced and directed the award-winning "Capuchins: The Monkey Puzzle" and two episodes of the multiple Emmy®-winning "Planet Earth," including the opening episode "Pole to Pole." Among Linfield's other credits are the documentaries "The Triumph of Life," "Gelada Baboons: The Battles of Braveheart," "Orangutans: The High Society" and "The Temple Troop." He was also a director on the BAFTA-nominated "The Life of Mammals" with Sir David Attenborough. Linfield had a childhood passion for nature and photography, was educated at the University of Oxford and began his filmmaking career more than 20 years ago on a BBC documentary about gorillas in the Congo, West Africa.
ALIX TIDMARSH (Producer) was born in Rome and traveled around the world for many years before settling in London. After gaining a degree in psychology and zoology, she began her career working for L'Oreal and Unilever but subsequently joined BBC Worldwide as director of marketing. While there, she worked on such internationally acclaimed series as "The Blue Planet," "Planet Earth," "Walking With Dinosaurs" and several David Attenborough series, including "The Life of Mammals," "Life in the Undergrowth" and "State of the Planet," as well as the IMAX® version of "The Human Body." Her other two documentary feature films as producer are "Deep Blue," which came out in 2004 and has so far sold more than two million copies on DVD, and "Earth," which has taken in nearly $109 million at the box office worldwide and ranks as one of the most successful documentary features of all time. Prior to "Chimpanzee," Tidmarsh also produced Disneynature's feature films "African Cats" and "Wings of Life." She is currently developing two films about the natural world, "Dolphin: A 3D Adventure" and "Hurricane." Beyond her work as a producer, Tidmarsh runs her own consultancy firm, B8 Media. When not working, she can usually be found cooking or on the back of a horse, practicing dressage.
DON HAHN (Executive Producer) produced Disneynature's feature films "Earth," "Oceans" and "African Cats." He produced the Disney classic "Beauty and the Beast," the first animated film to receive a Best Picture nomination from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His next film, "The Lion King," broke box-office records around the world to become the highest-grossing Disney animated film ever and a long-running Broadway musical. Hahn served as associate producer on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" and produced "The Hunchback of Notre Dame." His 2006 short film "The Little MatchGirl" earned Hahn his second Oscar® nomination. Hahn is also executive producer on Tim Burton's stop-motion film "Frankenweenie."
JEAN-FRANÇOIS CAMILLERI (Executive Vice President and General Manager, Disneynature; General Manager, The Walt Disney Company-France) is a graduate of ESCEM Management School in France. He joined The Walt Disney Company in Los Angeles in 1990 as media manager at Buena Vista International. He subsequently served as advertising manager of Buena Vista's newly opened European office in Paris and in 1992 became the French marketing director for the newly formed Gaumont Buena Vista International joint venture. Camilleri was promoted to French general manager in 1997. Buena Vista International opened its own French office in 2004 with Camilleri as its senior vice president and general manager. As head of BVI France, Camilleri also developed local co-productions and acquisitions including "The March of the Penguins," the most successful French film ever in the USA, with a total box-office of $77 million ($130 million worldwide). The film also won the Academy Award® for Best Documentary in 2006. Camilleri helped establish Disneynature in 2008 and was later appointed The Walt Disney Company's country manager for France.
ANDY NETLEY (Editor) studied at Newport Film School and began his working life as an assistant film editor at BBC Birmingham, where he worked on drama productions. He became a freelancer in 1990 and since then has edited numerous documentaries, mostly about natural history. Among his credits are three episodes of the acclaimed "Planet Earth" series; two episodes of "Wild China," one of which earned him an Emmy® nomination for Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming ; "Snow Leopards: Beyond the Myth"; two episodes of "Life"; and most recently, two episodes of "Frozen Planet": "To the Ends of the Earth" and "Spring." Netley lives on a smallholding in Monmouthshire, Wales and when he isn't working looks after a menagerie that includes a cat, two dogs, eight sheep, six chickens and four ducks. He also plays darts–badly, he says–for his local pub team.
NICHOLAS HOOPER (Composer) also composed the music for Disneynature's feature film "African Cats." In 2007, he won considerable acclaim for his score for director David Yates' "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" and worked with Yates again as the composer on "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince." Hooper's other feature film credits include "The Heart of Me" and "The Tichborne Claimant," while his television drama credits include the BBC original series "State of Play," "The Young Visitors," "The Chatterley Trial" "My Family and Other Animals," "Prime Suspect: The Final Act" and "Einstein and Eddington." At the start of his career, Hooper combined his love of nature and his passion for music to establish himself as a leading composer for natural history television. Among his many credits are "Land of the Tiger," "Warrior Monkeys" and "Elephants of the Sand River." Hooper has been nominated for five BAFTA Awards for best original music and has won twice.
MARTYN COLBECK (Principal Photography) has been filming wildlife all over the world for more than 25 years, principally in association with the BBC's Natural History Unit in Bristol. His numerous credits as a cinematographer include episodes of "The Trials of Life," "Planet Earth," "Nature's Great Events," and more recently, "Frozen Planet." As a director, Colbeck has also made his own films about orangutans, gelada baboons and pygmy chimpanzees, but he is probably best known for his many films about African elephants, including the "Echo of the Elephants" trilogy, made in association with Cynthia Moss of the Amboseli Trust for Elephants in Kenya. These films are a unique chronicle spanning 20 years in the life of an elephant matriarch known as Echo. Colbeck has won the Best Cinematography Award at The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in the United States and at the Wildscreen Film Festival in the UK. He has also won an Emmy® as part of the camera team on "Planet Earth" and the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain's Lumiere Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinematography. Martyn's still photographs have appeared in major publications and exhibitions around the world and he is a past overall winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition run by BBC Wildlife Magazine and the Natural History Museum in London.
BILL WALLAUER (Principal Photography/Scientific Consultant) became aware of the Jane Goodall Institute's (JGI) Gombe Stream Research Centre in 1989 while on assignment for the U.S. Peace Corps in southern Tanzania. After completing his Peace Corps work in 1991, the Oregon native was drawn back to Tanzania and JGI. For the next 15 years, Wallauer spent nearly every day tracking the wild chimpanzees of Gombe National Park and capturing the intimate details of their daily lives. During this period, he believes he spent more time with chimpanzees than with humans. Since then, film production companies from around the world have recruited Wallauer as a camera operator, videographer and consultant for wildlife films shot at Gombe and in other parts of Africa. He has served as camera operator and scientific advisor for more than 30 productions, including the BBC/Animal Planet's "Chimpanzee Week," which aired in 2005 and 2006. He also shot the closing sequence of the hugely acclaimed 10-part series "Planet Earth." For "Chimpanzee," Wallauer filmed the chimpanzees in the Kibale National Park in Uganda and says that it was his most challenging and technically demanding film project.
WARWICK SLOSS (Additional Photography) is an award-winning camera operator and director of photography who has traveled to more than 50 countries over the last 16 years working on a wide range of science and natural history documentaries. Among many other specialty filming techniques, he is experienced in time-lapse, macro photography, motion control and the use of infrared cameras. Sloss' credits include "Blue Planet," "Dolphin Murders," "Inside the Perfect Predator," "Life," "Nature's Great Events," "Planet Earth," "Ganges," "Earth Pilgrim" and "Frozen Planet." He also filmed special effects shots for the James Bond film "Casino Royale." Sloss won a Wildscreen Panda Award for his work on "Earth Pilgrim" and has also won awards for his black and white still photographs. For "Chimpanzee," Sloss shot aerial cable dolly scenes, time-lapse sequences, storms and detailed sequences of forest animals. He was also stung by more than 100 bees in one day and struck by lightning.
KRISTIN MOSHER (Sound Recordist) was born in New York. She spent three years as director of operations at the Jane Goodall Institute before embarking on a career as a wildlife photographer and sound recordist. Her early photographic work focused on capturing the life histories of wild chimpanzees in Gombe National Park, Tanzania. Mosher has received two awards in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, including the mammal behavior category in 2005. Her photographs have also been published in, among others, "National Geographic" and "BBC Wildlife Magazine," as well as in many books. Her images of chimpanzees were also selected to promote the BBC's series "Planet Earth." As a sound recordist, Mosher has worked on documentaries about the Gombe chimpanzees and Jane Goodall's pioneering work in primatology. She says her favorite sound is chimp laughter.
TIM SHEPHERD (Time-Lapse Photographer) has always been fanatical about the natural world and knew from an early age that he wanted a career that would reflect that passion. After earning a botany degree from Oxford University, he got his first job with Oxford Scientific Films, eventually becoming a cameraman. Shepherd went freelance in 1990 and since then has specialized in time-lapse and macro photography. Among his numerous credits are contributions to some of the BBC's most successful natural history series, including "The Private Life of Plants," "Planet Earth," "Life in the Undergrowth," "Life," "The Nature of Britain" and, most recently, "Frozen Planet" and the forthcoming "Africa." He won Emmy® Awards for his work on "The Private Life of Plants" and "Life," and a Royal Television Society Award for "The Human Body." As well as being a cameraman, Shepherd has directed several programs for the BBC Natural World series including "The Fatal Flower." When Shepherd isn't filming, he is a keen natural history artist and his paintings have been exhibited around Britain and twice highly commended in the annual Wildlife Artist of the Year competition.
TED GIFFORDS (Cable Dolly) was responsible for some of the most striking shots of redwoods, glaciers and bat caves in the award-winning "Planet Earth." His many other credits include "Meerkat Manor" and the BBC/Discovery Channel's "Wild Pacific." Giffords moved into filmmaking after a stint as a photojournalist and training in fine art, photography and aquatic biology.
TIM FOGG (Canopy Access) is the managing director of Rope Access Specialists. He has been working in the film and television industry for more than 20 years assisting filmmakers to access difficult-to-reach locations, whether it's a glacier or forest canopy. Fogg has also provided rope access training, rigging and safety supervision for numerous natural history productions, including "Planet Earth," "Life," "Lost Land of the Jaguar," "Wild China" and, most recently, the highly acclaimed "Frozen Planet." Prior to establishing RAS, Fogg spent a number of years in the Antarctic with the British Antarctic Survey working as a diver, field assistant and running a dog team. He is a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society and a member of the British Cave Research Association. Fogg is an experienced caver and has been a member of 18 major caving expeditions, including locations in Arctic Russia, China, Uzbekistan and Brazil.
JAMES ALDRED (Canopy Access Rigger) grew up in the New Forest in England. A childhood passion for natural history, climbing and photography led him into wildlife filmmaking at an early age. Aldred specializes in filming from ropes at great height in the rainforest canopy and recently completed his hundredth rainforest trip to film lowland gorillas in the Congo. Whether operating a camera himself or providing rigging support for others, Aldred has contributed to many award-winning programs over the years, including "The Life of Mammals," "Planet Earth," "Life" and "Human Planet."
LIZ STEVENS (Production Manager) was born near London and joined BBC White City in 1978. She worked in studio management before moving into production with music and arts documentaries. Stevens relocated to Bristol in 1994 to work on a natural history series about the human animal; and the past 12 years she has been working in the independent sector. Although "Chimpanzee" is Stevens' first feature film, she says there's nothing quite like the stark practicalities of listing, shifting and safely delivering one and a half tons of film equipment across Africa.
JAMES REED (Field Producer) was obsessed with dinosaurs as a child, studied zoology at the University of Leeds and subsequently worked on a whale and dolphin research project in the Canary Islands and a great white shark study in South Africa. He has been involved in documentary filmmaking for the last 10 years and has traveled to some of the most remote regions of the world, from the high Arctic to the Nubian Desert. Reed's many projects include directing and assistant producing "Perfect Predators," a natural history of sharks, for Discovery and assistant producing "Monster of the Frozen North" for National Geographic. Reed also directed a documentary about the making of "Chimpanzee."
EDWARD ANDERSON (Field Logistics Manager & Camera Assistant) took a degree in management and French at Leeds University before embarking on a career as an international expedition leader. He led groups into remote regions around the world to pursue biodiversity surveys in rainforests, construction projects in the desert and trips down rivers. Anderson also had a brief sojourn as a tree surgeon, during which he became used to working at great heights in the forest canopy. Anderson drew on these experiences when building the "Chimpanzee" production camp in the Täi Forest, which included building platforms high up in trees from which to film the chimps. In addition, Anderson became principal photographer Martyn Colbeck's camera assistant, recorded some of the soundtrack for the movie and shot footage for field producer James Reed's documentary about the making of "Chimpanzee."
SAMUEL MUNENE (Camera Assistant) was born in Kenya. Over the years, Munene has worked as a spotter and camera car driver on countless nature documentaries, including "Big Cat Diary," "Elephant Diaries," "Planet Earth" and "The Great Rift." He is also a marathon walker and his all-round fitness proved a useful asset as he and "Chimpanzee" cameraman Bill Wallauer lugged heavy equipment throughout the forests of Uganda in pursuit of their agile and often fast-moving subjects.
KATE HOPKINS (Sound Supervisor) began her working life as a receptionist at a post-production company. She subsequently became an assistant film editor before deciding to specialize in sound editing. Hopkins worked as a sound effects designer on the theatrical feature "Hardware" (1990) and as a sound editor on the 1992 film "Dust Devil," while her early television credits include the mini-series "Shanghai Vice" and the documentary "The James Bond Story." Based in Bristol, the center of natural history filmmaking in the United Kingdom, Hopkins increasingly came to concentrate on sound editing for wildlife films. Her many credits include episodes of "The Life of Mammals," "Planet Earth," for which she won an Emmy®, and "Life," for which she gathered another Emmy® nomination. Hopkins was also sound editor on the popular theatrical features "Deep Blue" and the hugely successful "Earth." Most recently, she worked on the BBC series "Frozen Planet" and the Disneynature film "African Cats." When Hopkins isn't working she goes to the movies and is a particular fan of the sound editing in Coen Brothers films.
TIM OWENS (Sound Designer) was born in Dar es Salaam and grew up in East Africa. He began his career as an assistant picture editor at BBC Bristol and made the move into sound editing at the end of the 1980s. He has since worked on a wide range of feature films, television dramas and documentaries and won an Emmy® for his work on National Geographic's "Haunt of the Hippo." Owens was dialogue editor on the theatrical features "Metroland," "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead," "Tideland" and "Notes on a Scandal"; ADR editor on "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit"; and sound editor on "Earth." As a sound editor, his television credits also include multiple episodes of such well-regarded series as "Planet Earth," "Wild Pacific" and "Life." His previous Disneynature credit was on the popular theatrical feature "African Cats."
LUKE RAINEY (D.I. Colorist) studied electronic engineering before moving to London, where he worked first as a video engineer, then as an editorial assistant and an online editor. He subsequently became intrigued by the emerging field of color grading and for the past 17 years has worked as a freelance colorist, grading numerous natural history films and television dramas. Among his many credits are the highly acclaimed "Planet Earth," "Frozen Planet" and HBO's "Band of Brothers," as well as the theatrical feature "Earth" and the Oscar®-winning documentary "Man on Wire." Rainey lives on Dartmoor and spends his spare time sailing and restoring an ancient farmstead.
ANDREW WILSON (Re-Recording Mixer) previously worked with Alastair Fothergill on Disneynature's feature films "African Cats" and "Earth." His working relationship with Fothergill goes back more than 20 years and includes "The Trials of Life," "Blue Planet," "Planet Earth" and the feature film "Deep Blue." His mixing style has won him numerous awards, including three Merit Awards at the Missoula International Wildlife Film Festival and a Conch Award for best audio for "Planet Earth." Outside work Wilson enjoys walking, fly-fishing and sailing. He is also an amateur musician.
GORDON LEICESTER (Camera Equipment Technician) has a background in engineering. He worked on Disneynature's feature film "African Cats" maintaining the production's filming equipment and ensuring that it survived the tough conditions of the African savannah. He performed the same role on "Chimpanzee," designing and building custom camera packages that would withstand the even more challenging conditions in the Taï Forest on the Ivory Coast. As the hire department technical manager for Films@59 in Bristol, Leicester has also assisted the camera teams of numerous other natural history productions, among them "Planet Earth," "Life," "Human Planet," "Frozen Planet," "Springwatch" and "Autumnwatch." When he isn't working, Leicester is an amateur astronomer and enjoys renovating the very old house in which he lives.
Studio photos, notes and videos © 2012 Disneynature