The Becoming Animal Team

PETER METTLER | Director

Mettler produces works which elude categorization. Melding intuitive processes with drama, essay, experiment or documentation, his films hold a unique and influential position in creative expression not only in film but also in new art forms where cinema and other disciplines merge.

His films include Tectonic Plates (1992), Picture of Light (1994), Gambling Gods & LSD (2002), Petropolis (2009), and The End of Time (2012). He is also known as a collaborator on many other projects – e.g. as cinematographer and creative consultant on Jennifer Baichwal’s Manufactured Landscapes (2006).

He is currently experimenting with live sound and image mixing performances, working with anthropologist Jeremy Narby and musician Franz Treichler, performing around Europe.

Meditations on our world, rooted in personal experience, his works reflect the visions and wonder of their characters and audiences alike. Mettler’s films have garnered many prizes and been the focus of several retrospectives internationally. Retrospectives include TIFF, BAFICI, Lincoln Centre NYC, Jeu de Paume Paris, amongst others.  His awards include Best Film & Cinematography & Writing at Hot Docs in Toronto, Director of Excellence at Yamagata, the La Sarraz Prize at Locarno, the Grand Prix and Prix du Jeune Publique at Vision Du Reel, and the Best Documentary Genie Award, Canada.


EMMA DAVIE | Director

Emma has made a wide variety of documentaries for national and international broadcasters and most recently directed a feature documentary called I Am Breathing with a fiction filmmaker, Morag MacKinnon. This film was nominated for three Scottish BAFTAs, won the Scottish BAFTA for Best Director, and played in over 50 countries.

Previous work includes What Age Can You Start Being An Artist? for Channel 4, which was shortlisted for a Grierson; Gigha. Buying Our Island, and Flight which was a co-production with Canada, while also pursuing more experimental work herself such as 71˚N, a co-production with Norway.

She currently teaches at Edinburgh College of Art where she is Head of Film & TV and supervises many documentaries. She also works as mentor and advisor on films with companies such as DOXBOX and others, and regularly teaches on workshops and gives seminars internationally. She programmed documentaries for the Edinburgh International Film Festival, was on the board of the European Documentary Network for four years, and taught at the European Film College in Denmark for a year. She has also written widely on documentary-making practice. A background in performance theatre gave her a love of the collaborative process. For many years she ran a performance company called Clanjamfrie, which specialized in immersive large-scale shows incorporating performance and film, often in unusual spaces. She also collaborated with theatre directors such as Robert LePage on Tectonic Plates and first worked with Peter Mettler as an actress in the film version he directed of this in 1991. Emma was educated at Oxford University where she studied English literature, and then studied theatre in Paris.


DAVID ABRAM

David Abram is a cultural ecologist and geo-philosopher who lectures and teaches widely on several continents. His book multiple award-winning book   The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-than-Human World (Vintage, 1997),has become a classic of environmental literature. and Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology (Vintage, 2011) was hailed as "revolutionary" by the Los Angeles Times, as “daring” and “truly original” by Science, Abram’s work has helped catalyze the emergence of several new disciplines, including the burgeoning field of Ecopsychology, in both it's clinical and research branches.

Abram’s work engages the ecological depths of the imagination, exploring the ways in which sensory perception, poetics, and wonder inform the relation between the human body and the breathing earth. His philosophy is profoundly informed by the European tradition of phenomenology (in particular, by the work of the French phenomenologist, Maurice Merleau-Ponty) and by his fieldwork with indigenous peoples in southeast Asia and North America. David’s essays on the cultural causes and consequences of environmental disarray are published in numerous magazines, scholarly journals, and anthologies.

Among his various engagements, Abram recently held the international Arne Naess Chair in Global Justice and the Environment in Norway. He has held in a large public dialogue with the Dalai Lama (in Oslo), and a broad public debate with the distinguished American biologist Edward O. Wilson (in Boston).  He delivered the final keynote for the United Nations sixtieth anniversary to 70 mayors from the largest cities around the world (offering his address under the towering redwood trees at Muir Woods, at the very spot where the United Nations charter had been signed into being exactly sixty years earlier). David is a distinguished teaching Fellow at Schumacher College in Devon, England. He lives with his two children in the foothills of the southern Rockies, where he directs the Alliance for Wild Ethics (AWE) a consortium of individuals and organizations working to ease the spreading devastation of the animate earth through a rapid transformation of culture, providing consultation and training for communities and organizations committed to the flourishing of a more-than-human world.

Quotes about David Abram’s work:

“This book is like a prehistoric cave. If you have the nerve to enter it and you get used to the dark, you’ll discover things about storytelling which are startling, urgent and deeply true. Things each of us once knew, but forgot when we were born into the 19th and 20th centuries. Extraordinary rediscoveries!” —John Berger, author of Ways of Seeing and Why Look at Animals

“One of the most compelling and important ecology books in decades.” —Rex Weyler, co-founder of Greenpeace International


“A truly alchemical book. . . . Those of us who still hope for a revolutionary change in our thinking toward animals, the living land and the climate will welcome this book. Abram is an audacious thinker, a true visionary, and, really, just a damn good nature writer.” —San Francisco Book Review