Tiger Tiger, conservation adventure film from George Butler (Pumping Iron, The Endurance) follows legendary big cat biologist, the late Alan Rabinowitz, as he tracks the wildest and least-known remaining tiger population on Earth—and one of the imperiled species’ last hopes for survival. His journey takes him deep into the Sundarbans, a mysterious expanse of mangrove forest shared between India and Bangladesh.
Alan’s odyssey leads him to the testimonies of people who negotiate everyday existence with the Tiger, and gives answer to the question that informs all conservation—how can humankind coexist with nature?
Shot by two-time Emmy award winning cinematographer, Tom Hurwitz, and edited by Mona Davis and Jean Tsien.
Producer/director George Butler and his team at White Mountain Films are currently in production for a new 40 minute IMAX version of Tiger Tiger, scheduled for release in 2020 in science centers and educational venues around the world. We are excited to bring an immersive adventure—glimpses of the rarely seen tiger on the majestic scale it deserves, the natural wonders of the Sundarbans, and the last journey of a beloved and fearless conservation icon—to an IMAX theater near you.
“Without the tiger, we would have no forest.”
With only some 3,900 wild tigers surviving in the world, extinction of the species in our lifetime is a real possibility. An estimated 250 tigers inhabit the combined Sundarbans of India and Bangladesh, protected by its uniquely difficult and dangerous landscape. In turn, the tiger as an apex predator is vital to the health of the Sundarbans, playing a key role in balancing the variety of life within the ecosystem. To local people, the tiger is the revered and feared guardian of the forest.
FOREST OF BEAUTIFUL TREES
“Sundarbans,” Bangla for “forest of beautiful trees,” is a UNESCO world heritage site, an unique ecosystem harbouring an estimated 425 interconnected species of wildlife. Situated in the Ganges Delta, this world’s largest single mangrove ecosystem is nursery to the vast majority of the Bengal coast’s marine life, and buffers the coastline against cyclones and rising sea tides.
Tiger Tiger proudly presents the world’s first 4K aerial footage of these remote forests. We invite you to experience the beauty of this challenging landscape as never before seen.
GUARDIAN OF THE SUNDARBANS
Through an array of remarkable adaptations, life in the Sundarbans thrives in this constantly changing world of salt and fresh water, ebb and flow of powerful tides, and shifting sandbars. Humans are no exception. A rural, poor population of more than 4 million people live on reclaimed islands in the area’s web of tidal rivers, creeks, and channels. To the southeast lies the tiger reserve, the improbable domain of the royal Bengal tiger.
Here in the Sundarbans, the tiger is not only the feared lord of the jungle, but also of the water, for the Sundarbans tiger has adapted into a powerful swimmer and aquatic hunter. On land and in water, the Sundarbans tigers have a reputation for being man-eating. Our film explores the relationship between the people who live on the margins of the forest and the fearsome, but threatened predator.
DR. ALAN RABINOWITZ
“The tiger is in desperate shape — the worst shape of any of the great cats. It’s the biggest cat in the world. It’s probably one of the most iconic species on the planet, [but] it’s left roaming approximately 5 to 7 percent of its historic habitat.” ----Dr. Alan Rabinowitz PhD
Tiger Tiger follows Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, one of the most celebrated big cat conservation biologists of our time, as he travels through this one tiger habitat he has never before seen. Diagnosed with leukemia, Alan knew this search for the wild tigers of the Sundarbans might be the last expedition in his long career. Even though Alan has since lost his battle to leukemia, the fight for tigers continues.
Panthera, an organization highly-respected for its work on big cat conservation, was co-founded by Alan after his lengthy tenure at the Wildlife Conservation Society. Described by TIME magazine as “The Indiana Jones of wildlife conservation,” Alan, working through Panthera, has mobilized governments and people around the globe to save the world’s big cats.
Just some of Alan’s conservation achievements are the conceptualization and implementation of Panthera’s Jaguar Corridor Initiative, an unprecedented effort to connect and protect jaguars from Mexico to Argentina, and the establishment of the world's first jaguar sanctuary in Belize. Alan’s work for tigers includes his work with the government of Myanmar to create the world’s largest tiger reserve, the spectacular Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve, in northern Myanmar.
MEET THE TEAM
PRODUCER/DIRECTOr - George Butler
George Butler is known as a pioneer of the theatrical documentary. Believing that well-crafted documentaries can hold their own against dramatic features, Butler has created many classic films. Some titles include Pumping Iron, introducing moviegoers to the then anonymous Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Endurance film trilogy, retelling Sir Ernest Shackleton’s saga of Antarctic survival, and Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry, about his friend John Kerry’s leadership in the peace movement. Butler has also produced acclaimed IMAX® features, such as the award-winning Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure and Roving Mars.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Julian Robertson
Julian Robertson is one of the most successful and well known hedge fund managers of our time. An active philanthropist, he serves on a number of organization and university boards. He has created the Robertson Scholars Program, which awards comprehensive merit scholarships for 36 Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students each year. In August 2010, Robertson joined an initiative by software mogul Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett in which the wealthy would pledge at least half their assets to charity.
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - frank marshall
Frank Marshall is one of the premiere film producers in the entertainment industry. His body of work has come to define a generation for moviegoers, producing such timeless hits as Back to the Future, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and the Indiana Jones franchise. In addition to a prolific producing career, Marshall has garnered wide acclaim as a film director, having brought to the screen such memorable movies as Arachnophobia and Alive. Marshall was a producer of the 2015 blockbuster Jurassic World, which has grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide, making it the fourth biggest box office hit of all time.
WRITER & PRODUCER - Caroline Alexander
A widely published and acclaimed writer, Alexander’s books include the New York Times best sellers, The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition, and The Bounty. Alexander has written extensively on global travel and adventure in such publications as The New Yorker, Smithsonian, Outside, and National Geographic Magazine, where she was a contributing writer for many years. She has penned the narratives for Butler’s award-winning films The Endurance and the IMAX® Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure, and his conservation film The Lord God Bird. A Rhodes Scholar, she recently published an acclaimed translation of Homer’s Iliad (the first English translation of an Homeric poem by a woman).
PRODUCER - Keero Birla
Keero S. Birla is an Indian-born, Montreal-based, producer and director known for the award-winning IMAX® films, India: Kingdom Of The Tiger and Dinosaurs Alive 3D! Birla is also a veteran producer of 150+ hours of documentary/reality television series, including five seasons of Eat St, four seasons of the Gemini-nominated food series Chuck’s Day Off, the 2014 CSA Nominated series Chuck’s Week Off as well as The Big Decision, for CBC Television, and The Property Shop for HGTV. Recently, he produced the IMAX film, Flight Without Wings for the Dubai IMAX Theatre as well as the science frontier series Brave New Worlds with Stephen Hawking for Discovery International.
PRESS FOR TIGER TIGER
NEW YORK TIMES - Tiger Tiger at DOC NYC (READ HERE)
WASHINGTON POST - Tiger Tiger Preview (READ HERE)
WASHINGTON POST - Environmental Film Festival Shows Strong Agenda (READ HERE)
SB INDEPENDENT - Tiger Tiger at SBIFF: An Interview With George Butler (READ HERE)
INDIEWIRE - SBIFF Exclusive: Tiger Tiger World Premiere (READ HERE)
OUTSIDE MAGAZINE - 500 Pounds of Man-eating Stealth (READ HERE)
FORBES - Tom Kaplan, Billionaire King of Cats (READ HERE)
TIMES OF INDIA - Filmmaker Who Launched Arnold Schwarzenegger Zooms in on Sundarbans (READ HERE)