Directors: Jacques Perrin & Jacques Cluzaud
Release Date: 30 May 2003
Narrator (English version): Philippe Labro
Narrator (voice): Jacques Perrin
Imagine flying alongside thousands of birds as they make there way across the continent, their wings so close you could almost reach out and touch them. This is the magic of the documentary Winged Migration; this film follows many different species of birds as they make their annual pilgrimage to escape winter.
This simple premise has produced a film that is a joy to watch, the beautiful scenery – seen from so high above the earth – will take your breath away. During the film you will follow several different species including storks and pelicans – the camera is right there with the birds the whole way. Amazingly there was no CGI used in the filming of the birds, when you see the birds in flight you are getting the unvarnished truth.
The biggest problem for the producers of this film (Jacques Cluzaud, Michel Debats and Jacques Perrin) was being able to get so close to the birds, they solved it by raising the birds from hatchlings and got them acclimatised to the equipment being so present in their lives. The result is the most awe-inspiring images of birds in flight you will ever see.
The technical challenge went even further with the need for an extraordinary amount of footage before finding the perfect moment; it was common for two months of location shooting to be edited down to 1 minute of film time.
This film is clearly a labour of love and the amount of work and dedication needed to create such a beautiful piece of cinema is evident. It was recognized by others as well, there was strong critical acclaim for the film and a Best Documentary Feature nomination from the Academy of Motion Pictures (the Oscars).
Seeing this film is a true cinematic experience.