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A Non-Fiction Feature Film

By George Butler

 

Winner: William Warner Award - DC Environmental Film Festival

Finalist: Conservation Heroes Award - Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

 

 

 
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ABOUT THE FILM

The tiger - Panthera tigris, is one of the largest and most powerful predators to stride our planet. In the usually dispassionate language of science, the tiger is anointed as a "charismatic species" - In other words, an animal possessed of both beauty and rare mystique. Yet while the tiger is celebrated in folk legends and mythologies throughout the world, its presence on earth is greatly threatened. Fewer than 3,200 tigers now survive in the wild, and extinction in our lifetime is a real possibility.

Set in the Sundarbans, the mystical semi-aquatic belt of mangrove forest shared between India and Bangladesh, Tiger Tiger follows Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, one of the top big cat conservation biologists in the world, as he travels through the one tiger habitat he has never before seen. Schooled on the rough streets of the Bronx in his youth and afflicted with a potentially devastating speech impediment, Alan found salvation in his communication with and passion for animals. And like the tiger he faces his own diminishing timeline. Diagnosed with leukemia, Alan makes what may be the last expedition in his long career in search of the last wild tigers of the Sundarbans.

Here in remote forests of menacing beauty, the tiger is not only the feared lord of the jungle, but also of the water, for the Sundarbans tiger has adapted to become a powerful swimmer and aquatic hunter. On land and in water, the Sundarbans tigers have a reputation for being man-eating, and our film follows Alan as he explores the relationship between local people who live on the margins of the forest and the fearsome, but threatened predator.

Set in one of the least-known landscapes left on earth, Tiger Tiger is the story of a man with numbered days seeking to save an animal whose days may also be numbered.

DR. ALAN RABINOWITZ

Tiger Tiger follows Dr. Alan Rabinowitz, renowned big cat conservationist and co-founder of Panthera, as he travels deep into the primordial landscape of the of Sundarbans - a tidal mangrove forest spanning the India Bangladesh border. Known as one of the most dangerous places on Earth, the Sundarbans is an entirely unique habitat for the Royal Bengal Tiger.

Dr. Alan Rabinowitz is one of the world’s leading big cat experts, and has been called ‘The Indiana Jones of Wildlife Conservation by TIME Magazine. Dr. Rabinowitz graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1981 with an M.S. in zoology and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology and is currently the CEO of Panthera, a nonprofit organization devoted to saving the world’s wild cat species. Prior to co-founding Panthera with the organization’s Chairman, Dr. Thomas S. Kaplan, Rabinowitz served as the Executive Director of the Science and Exploration Division for the Wildlife Conservation Society for almost 30 years.

Dr. Rabinowitz has traveled the world on behalf of wildlife conservation and over the years has studied jaguars, clouded leopards, Asiatic leopards, tigers, Sumatran rhinos, bears, leopard cats, raccoons, and civets. His work in Belize resulted in the world's first jaguar sanctuary; his work in Taiwan resulted in the establishment of this country's largest protected area and last piece of intact lowland forest; his work in Thailand generated the first field research on Indochinese tigers, Asiatic leopards, and leopard cats, in what was to become the region's first World Heritage Site; and his work in Myanmar has led to the creation of five new protected areas, including the country's first marine national park, first and largest Himalayan national park, and the world’s largest tiger reserve in the Hukaung Valley. In northern Myanmar, Dr. Rabinowitz also discovered a new large mammal species and the world’s most primitive deer, the leaf deer.

Dr. Rabinowitz has dedicated his life to surveying the world’s last wild places, with the goal of preserving wild habitats and securing homes, on a large scale, for some of the world’s most endangered mammals. His focus on cats is based on conserving top predators, which affect entire ecosystems. By saving cats, the impacts are far reaching and conserve vast landscapes upon which many species depend, including humans. One of Dr. Rabinowitz's greatest achievements was the conceptualization and implementation of the Jaguar Corridor - a series of biological and genetic corridors for jaguars across their entire range from Mexico to Argentina.

MEET THE TEAM

PRODUCER/DIRECTOR/PRESIDENT WMF - George Butler

  • Butler was born in England and raised in Wales, Somalia, Kenya and Jamaica. A 1972 photo assignment for LIFE Magazine to cover the Mr. Universe Contest in Baghdad led to the publication of Pumping Iron: The Art and Sport of Bodybuilding (Simon and Schuster, 1974), a book that proved to be an unlikely bestseller.

In 1977 Butler produced and directed Pumping Iron, which launched Arnold Schwarzenegger, put bodybuilding and the gym business on the map and became a classic film. In 1985, Butler produced and directed Pumping Iron II, The Women. The film, according to Gloria Steinem, redefined the boundaries of femininity. In 1990, Butler released In the Blood. The film was shot on location in Kenya, Tanzania and Botswana. It played at Sundance, Leningrad, Denver, Toronto and many other film festivals. It was also a finalist in the IDA award as one of the ten best documentaries of 1990.

In 2001, Butler completed a trilogy of films based on Caroline Alexander’s bestselling book, The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition. The trilogy included the IMAX® Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure, which won the Giant Screen Cinema Award for Best Film in 2001, a two-hour TV special and The Endurance, a 92-minute theatrical feature. The Endurance was nominated for a British Academy Award in 2000, won Best Documentary of the Year from the National Board of Review, was selected for over 30 international film festivals and was one of the most successful documentaries in the world in 2001.

In 2004 Butler completed a feature documentary about his longtime friend John Kerry, Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry, which premiered at The Toronto Film Festival and was distributed by TH!NK Film. It earned high praise across the country and was a selection for the 2006 Whitney Biennial. Butler’s latest IMAX® film, Roving Mars, was produced in 2006 by Frank Marshall and is now being distributed by Disney around the world. The New York Times called it “the best IMAX movie ever made”; it won Best Science Film of the year from the National Academy of Science in 2008.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Julian Robertson

  • Julian Robertson is one of the most successful and well known hedge fund managers of our time. Now retired, Robertson is an active philanthropist and serves on a number of organization and university boards. He is the founder and benefactor of the Robertson Scholars Program which awards a merit scholarship that provides four year full-tuition, room and board, and travel funding for 36 Duke University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students each year. In August 2010 it was announced that Robertson had 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.

WRITER & PRODUCER - Caroline Alexander

  • A widely published and highly acclaimed writer, Caroline’s books include The New York Times bestsellers, The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition, and The Bounty. The curator of the major exhibition, “Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition,” Alexander has written extensively on global travel and adventure in such publications as The New Yorker, Smithsonian, Outside, and National Geographic Magazine, where she is a contributing writer. Alexander wrote the narrative for Butler’s award-winning films The Endurance and the IMAX® Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure. A Rhodes Scholar, She is currently working on a new translation of Homer’s The Iliad.

PRODUCER - Keero Birla

  • Keero S. Birla, is an Indian-born, Montreal-based, producer & director known for the award-winning IMAX® films, India: Kingdom Of The Tiger and Dinosaurs Alive 3D! as well for 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 CSANominated 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 Steven Hawking for Discovery International.

DIRECTORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY - Tom Hurwitz

  • Winner of two Emmy Awards and the Sundance and Jerusalem Film Festival Awards for Best Cinematography, Hurwitz has photographed films that have won 4 Academy Awards and earned several more nominations--most recently for Dancemaker and Killing in the Name. Over the last 25 years, his television programs have won many of the highest awards, including--most recently-- two Emmys for Best Documentary Special for PBS’s Jerome Robbins and, separately, Franklin, on which Hurwitz directed photography. Other projects include: Valentino: The Last Emperor, Harlan County USA, Wild Man Blues, My Generation, Down and Out in America, The Turandot Project, Liberty, Dolley, and Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero, among others.

EDITOR - Mona Davis

  • Mona Davis has edited numerous award-winning feature documentaries. Her credits include the critically acclaimed Love and Diane (premiered at the New York Film Festival), The Farm, Angola USA, (Grand Jury Prize winner at the Sundance Film Festival, Academy Award nominee), for which she won an Emmy, A Perfect Candidate and Dream Deceivers (both nominated for Emmys), and the American versions of 7 Up and 14 Up. She was the consulting editor on the award winning 51 Birch Street and Girls Like Us. Her work has appeared in theaters, and on HBO, CBS, PBS, BBC, Arte, and Showtime.

COMPOSER - Mark Kilian

  • South African born Mark Kilian has had a successful and eclectic film scoring career since moving to Los Angeles in 1994. He is most known for his ethnic flavored scores like the oscar winning Tsotsi, Traitor, Rendtion, Bless Me Ultima, and Before The Rains. His most recent scores include Revenge Of The Green Dragons (executive produced by Martin Scorsese,) John Carpenter’s The Ward, Trust Me (Clark Gregg, Felicity Huffman, Sam Rockwell, William H Macy,) Seal Team 8 (Tom Sizemore,) Repentance (Forest Whitaker,) and Pitch Perfect for which he has a platinum album for soundtrack sales. His TV work includes HBO’s 41, ABC’s Killer Women and Daybreak. He has also written music for many TV commercials including Apple, Toyota, Budweiser, American Express and Microsoft. He has 3 albums out under the name ‘The Gravy Street’ which have received airplay in Los Angeles and also 2 albums with the electronica duo ‘Ape Quartet.’.
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Upcoming Screenings

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  • DOC NYC (November 12-19)
    • Wednesday, November 18th at 7:30pm
    • Tickets and more information available HERE

 

 

 

PAST SCREENINGS 

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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 Maneating 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)

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC - A Cry for the Tiger (READ HERE)

NEW YORKER - Tigerland (READ HERE)

FOR ALL MEDIA/PRESS INQUIRIES, PLEASE CONTACT - Whitney Kuhn: kuhn@sunshinesachs.com/212-691-2800