Overland: A Documentary Experience
About The Project
A photograph is to credit for the spark that ignited this project. Large format. Timeless. Inspiring. A lone Arabian falconer, his bird about to fly from his wrist. Triple exposure.
We knew falconers here in the United States, but we had no idea of the global tradition and history we were about to delve into, to immerse in, to explore when we decided to research this film. One NEH grant and a lot of blood, sweat and tears later we are officially starting production on the project that has haunted our dreams for years: OVERLAND.
Whether speeding across the desert in a fleet of Land Rovers, thundering down a mountain on horseback, stalking prey in a misty forest, breeding hybrids, training falcons with drones, or having long fireside discussions over tea, today’s falconer is a complex archetype. At once poet, philosopher, hunter, conservationist, warrior, engineer, naturalist ‐ he is always adapting to protect his ancient practice.
Once upon a time someone, somewhere saw a falcon and thought, “I will trap that bird and train it to hunt for me.” The falcon is the fastest creature on earth; it pulses with a primal instinct to attack, and has zero‐tolerance for human ill will. As a result, the successful falconer is unwavering, calm, and sensitive. He relies on a tradition of cultural exchange and roughly 6000 years of trial and error by his predecessors.
OVERLAND will explore falconry as it has been handed from father to son by Bedouin tribes, ancient armies, merchants, diplomats, and royals. With a cast of strong characters, the story spans the Silk Road from Mongolia to the Persian Gulf, across the Mediterranean from Sicily to Scotland. In the modern era of soaring cities and dwindling wilderness, falconry is one of the last great animal‐human partnerships. The falconer approaches the puzzles of nature with innovation and humility.
OVERLAND is character‐driven exploration of the fragile traditions, enchanting landscapes and dramatic passions of a dynamic cast falconers around the world, and the curious chain of events that connects them. The audience is transported on an epic, intimate and textured journey using falconry to explore and connect guarded societies, foreign landscapes and ancient souls.
Falconry is creeping into the popular cultural zeitgeist and the time is right for OVERLAND to capture the hearts of audiences around the world. They will be surprised by what they learn – not only about this mysterious and revered ancient art form, but about our interconnectedness and humanity.
CREATE WITH US
The style of our production, the value we place on groundbreaking imagery and navigating difficult terrain and access, our far-flung locations and the incredible creative team that we have assembled to tell this story add up to a signfinicant budget.
We know our characters. We know where we need to film, and when. We have a plan and a vision. And, we hope that you will get involved with our project to support us as we shake-up documentary filmmaking to create an immersive and unforgettable experience.
REVERE LA NOUE AND ELISABETH HAVILAND JAMES WITH EAGLE HUNTERS LAUREN MCGOUGH AND CHASE DELLES IN KANSAS