Kissaki Films producing doc on teenage “Eagle Huntress”

OgilvyEntertainment creative director Otto Bell is to direct a doc about 13-year-old Mongolian eagle hunter-turned-Internet sensation Ashol Pan (pictured), and her family.
July 17, 2014

New York-based Kissaki Films is producing a documentary about Mongolian eagle hunter-turned-Internet sensation Ashol Pan (pictured).

The film, which will be directed by OgilvyEntertainment creative director Otto Bell, is inspired by a photo essay on the 13-year-old created by photographer Asher Svidensky that went viral earlier this year.

“I optioned Asher’s story the day I saw his photos,” Bell said in a statement. “It was clear that Asher had found a special story and I immediately felt a sense of responsibility to carefully bring Ashol’s inspiring story to life through film.”

Bell and his Eagle Huntress production crew recently traveled to the remote Altai Mountains of North Western Mongolia to spend a week with Pan and her family and learn about the age-old tradition of hunting with eagles, which is usually an all-male preserve.

The footage includes shots of eagles in-flight and a sequence of Pan scaling a mountain to capture an eaglet she intends to train. The crew will return to the region later in the year to film Pan competing in the annual Eagle Festival.

“We went for a test shoot and to secure the rights to her story, but we ended up coming home with so much more,” Bell added. “The family welcomed and entrusted us with their story, and the resultant footage has provided us with a great foundation upon which to build our film.”

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Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.