Once released, BEARTREK the movie is expected to raise at least $1 million - possibly much more - for worldwide bear projects like those in the film. All profits from box office tickets, DVD sales and TV-series revenue will be pumped right back into conservation and exciting new films about wildlife conservation.
But bears - and other wildlife that share their home - can't wait. That's why we're funding conservation projects leading up to BEARTREK's theatrical release. So far, we've distributed more than $95,000 in cash, equipment, and in-kind services to bear conservation projects.
Here's a sampling of how Wildlife Media is already making a big difference for wildlife and the local communities who live nearby:
Borneo: Home of the sun bear
- Gave thousands of dollars in direct funding to sun bear conservation.
- Created a fundraising video from Borneo BEARTREK footage, which helped Siew Te Wong raise several thousand more for conservation.
Siew Te Wong, Joe Pontecorvo & Orphaned Sun Bear Cub - (c) Chris Morgan
Peru: Home of the Andean (spectacled) bear
- Gave thousands of dollars in direct funding to spectacled bear conservation.
- Sent two, donated, high-tech satellite radio collars to track bears from a researcher's laptop. The collars obtained movement patterns for two bears, and that data was used to create boundaries for a brand new National Park!
- Paid 8-month salaries of two local villagers to track the movement and activities of local bears. This effort has helped develop a more accurate population count of the elusive Andean bear.
- Built an anti-poaching fence.
- Provided a small, high-definition video camera so that these villagers can capture spontaneous moments among the bears. Their work has already paid off through the rare footage they have captured.
- Helped purchase remote, motion-sensor cameras to film these bears when the project team is not around.
- During BEARTREK filming in Peru, Wildlife Media took ground-breaking footage of several Andean bears, including a newborn cub, and the incredible acrobatic efforts these elusive bears take to find food in their rugged habitat. From this footage, we produced a fundraising video that helped raise awareness and several thousand more dollars for spectacled bear conservation.
Canada: Home of the polar bear
- Facilitated $60,000 in direct funding to research the impacts of climate change on polar bears in Hudson Bay.
Other results of Wildlife Media's work
- The 20-minute BEARTREK demo reel (footage from Alaska and Borneo) led to Wildlife Media's Chris Morgan and Joe Pontecorvo being asked to produce and host a 3-hour TV special about bears of Alaska for PBS and National Geographic. The PBS Nature TV series Bears of the Last Frontier aired in the United States in May 2011. The National Geographic Channel's International TV series Bear Nomad aired worldwide in late 2011. Total broadcast audience of over 200 million homes in 147 countries and 26 languages!
- Chris Morgan talks Bears of the Last Frontier with David Letterman. View the clip here.
- The Bears of the Last Frontier book, accompanying the TV series, written by Chris Morgan. A 213-page large format publication of beautiful photos that describes the experience, the bears, and even behind the scenes insight from the production of the film.
Find the book, DVD, and additional information here.
- PBS Nature loved Bears of the Last Frontier so much that they asked Joe and Chris to do more. Joe's show on snow monkeys in Japan, Snow Monkeys, aired in the United States in April 2014, and worldwide on National Geographic International. Joe is also working on a show about orangutans (Chris will host and narrate). Chris continues to work on new productions with PBS Nature, hosting or narrating a total of 13 films to date, including:
Echo: An Elephant to Remember
Elsa's Legacy: The Born Free Story
Bears of the Last Frontier (episodes 1, 2, and 3)
Survivors of the Firestorm
The Animal House
Fortress of the Bears
Siberian Tiger Quest
Magic of the Snowy Owl
Great Zebra Exodus
Love in the Animal Kingdon
- Strong interest has been expressed by several major broadcast channels in a BEARTREK TV series (following the theatrical release of the film).
- Several additional films have been triggered by BEARTREK, which makes us very proud. In March 2012, the BBC aired Grizzlies of Alaska, co-created by Joe and Chris. The following month, Chris was a featured expert in Land of the Lost Wolves, a BBC series about the return of wolves to Washington State's Cascade Mountains. Chris also teamed up with the creators and cameramen from Frozen Planet and Planet Earth for Great Bear Stakeout, a film that follows grizzly bears for an entire season in the Alaskan wilderness. This BBC/Discovery Channel production aired in two parts on BBC One April 24 and 25, 2013 and in one part on the Discovery Channel May 12, 2013.
We are a small organization, so every donation helps. We are especially committed to supporting and funding projects in developing countries that include a focus on the needs of local people as well as wildlife.