Rich Ross, Discovery Channel and Science Channel group president, announced today at the networks’ annual Sundance Film Festival reception that Oscar-winning filmmakers Fisher Stevens and Ross Kauffman will be making the upcoming documentary Taken by the Tiger.
Kauffman won an Oscar for the 2004 feature doc Born Into Brothels: Calcutta’s Red Light Kids, while Fisher took home an Academy Award for producing the 2009 feature doc The Cove. Kauffman will direct with Stevens producing. It marks Kauffman’s first collaboration with the Oscar-winning RadicalMedia since joining them last year as a Radical Artist in Residence. Xan Parker, Zara Duffy, Dave Sirulnick and Justin Wilkes are producing for RadicalMedia; John Hoffman and Jon Bardin executive produce for Discovery.
Taken by the Tiger (the working title of the doc) is tied to Discovery’s Project C.A.T. initiative, which is part of a global effort to double the population of tigers living in the wild by 2022. Filming for the feature-length documentary will span to remote areas in Asia where these majestic cats still roam freely. In addition to capturing the sheer splendor of these fierce felines in the wild, the crew will also document the heroes saving these tigers from extinction.
“Telling the most important stories about our natural world and what we can do to protect it is core to who Discovery is as a purpose-driven company,” said David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive of Discovery Communications in a statement. “We are proud to showcase this important documentary, work with these passionate filmmakers and continue our commitment to preserve wild tigers for future generations through Project C.A.T.”
“With Fisher, Ross, and RadicalMedia on the front lines telling the stories of the heroic efforts to save the rapidly deteriorating populations of these magnificent animals, Discovery will once again highlight important issues for audiences around the world,” added Ross.
“Our fascination with these mythic, even god-like, creatures is primal. A century ago, over 100,000 wild tigers roamed Asia, but today fewer than 4,000 live in the wild,” says Stevens. “Many of the same behaviors that are damaging our planet have brought these tigers to the brink of extinction. It’s our fault and our responsibility, and that is why we’re making this film.”
“Man’s connection with the tiger is 1% scientific and 99% spiritual,” said Kauffman. “Our film will tell the story of man’s duality – on the one side, the childlike innocence we feel when we behold a tiger in the wild, and on the other side, the collective guilt we all bear for extinguishing that species’ existence.”
In addition today, the Sundance Institute and Discovery presented the 3rd annual Sundance Institute Discovery Impact Fellowship to Kahlil Hudson and Alex Jablonski at the reception.
“These talented filmmakers are telling the stories of real people and their communities as they grapple with the evolving environment,” says Ross. “Discovery and our friends at the Sundance Institute are eager to see what new projects they will present through their distinctive lenses.”