winner best short documentary

I just returned from Belize, where my film “The Wood Thrush Connection” was selected as the Best Short Documentary at the 12th Annual Belize International Film Festival! This was my first feature film and this is a huge honor as a new director. Thanks and praise to Andrea Desky, director of photography and editor of “The Wood Thrush Connection” for believing in me, going on this amazing adventure, and creating a film that is visually stunning. We showed the many ways climate change is impacting so many people around the world – and how love connects us all and drives us to work together for solutions.

This film follows the path of the Wood Thrush’s migration from North Carolina to Belize and shows the many people working together to protect this beloved song bird from climate change impacts around the world. For the Wood Thrush, a bird that travels thousands of miles between its breeding grounds in eastern North America to its wintering grounds in Central America, the threats of climate change are compounded by dwindling habitat. This newly discovered Wood Thrush connection between North Carolina’s breeding grounds and Belize’s wintering grounds has further inspired action to help this beloved bird. According to Audubon’s Birds and Climate Change Report, the Wood Thrush is predicted to lose up to 82 percent of its summer range by 2080.

I started the Climate Listening Project three years ago in Asheville and have been following these connections (a bird we love, the food we eat, the faith we believe, the children we care for, and the businesses we want to thrive) to share hopeful conversations on climate and community across the United States and around the world through video and film.

This film was made in collaboration with National Audubon Society, Audubon North Carolina, Forsyth Audubon, Audubon’s International Alliances Program, and Belize Audubon Society. Thanks to Kim Brand of Forsyth Audubon and Audubon North Carolina for envisioning “The Wood Thrush Connection” and trusting me to bring this story to life. And, thanks to all the bird lovers who shared their stories.

It was inspiring to meet so many women in film at the Belize International Film Festival. Including talented new friends, Emmy Winner Lynn Whitfield and Costumer Deborrah Fairweather. I learned so much from them and the judges, talented filmmakers Rebecca Roos of Aruba and Pletscher Marianne of Switzerland. Also, had an opportunity to attend a pitching class with producer Tracey Bing! And, time shared with filmmakers from around the world and beautiful Belizeans including festival director Suzette Zayden was just really special. So grateful.

Special thanks to Mack Pearsall, founder of The Collider, for sponsoring my journey to the Belize International Film Festival, an experience I will never forget!

Follow my journey via Climate Listening Project on Facebook.