Return of the Musk Ox
Most of our screenings are enriched by discussions or Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers, environmental experts, and other special guests. Below are just some of the bios of those attending. Bios will continue to be added throughout the Festival.
Ana Unruh Cohen
Unruh Cohen will be discussing Thin Ice.
Ana Unruh Cohen is the Director of Energy, Climate and Natural Resources for Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Massachusetts). She has worked on a variety of energy and environmental issues, both on and off Capitol Hill, during her career. In the U.S. House of Representatives, she served as the Deputy Staff Director of the Natural Resource Committee Democratic staff from 2011 to July of 2013 and as the Deputy Staff Director of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming from 2007 through 2010. Prior to joining the Select Committee, she was the first Director of Environmental Policy at the Center for American Progress. She has also served a legislative aide to then-Congressman Edward J. Markey, handling various issues pending before the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Natural Resources Committee. Dr. Unruh Cohen originally joined Congressman Markey's staff as the 2001-2002 Science and Technology Policy Fellow sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Meteorological Society and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research. She has a B.S. in Chemistry from Trinity University and received her Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar. Dr. Unruh Cohen’s husband is an entrepreneur and they have a young daughter.
Vail will be discussing Gringo Trails.
Pegi Vail is an anthropologist and Associate Director of the Center for Media, Culture, and History at NYU. She has taught at NYU and Columbia University on Film, Culture, and Tourism. Her book, Right of Passage, based on her research among backpackers in Bolivia as a Fulbright scholar, is forthcoming. Vail has additionally served as lecturer for Columbia Alumni Travel Study Tours, National Geographic and Soros Open Society. As a curator, she has collaborated with organizations such as the Museum of the American Indian, American Museum of Natural History, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and The Moth, the storytelling collective she was a founding board member and curator for, currently on the General Council and curatorial committee. Gringo Trails is Vail's first feature-length documentary.
Vyn will be discussing Field Report: Migratory Bird Trapping in South China.
Gerrit Vyn is a Seattle-based photographer deeply committed to conservation and connecting people more intimately with the myriad creatures we share this miraculous and fragile planet with. His work often focuses on birds because they are such powerful and visible indicators of environmental health and change. Connecting people with birds is often a first step in opening people’s eyes to the natural world around them – and to the unprecedented environmental crises now unfolding. Vyn’s purpose is to help conservation groups better communicate their stories to individuals and policy makers through powerful compelling media. Vyn’s images have been used by most major conservation organizations and appear regularly in books and magazines including National Geographic, Audubon, Living Bird, BBC Wildlife, Natural History, National Wildlife and New Scientist. He was the primary image provider for the 2009 and 2011 State of the Birds reports that were delivered to the Obama administration and congress by a coalition of leading environmental organizations. As a natural sound recordist, Vyn has contributed thousands of recordings to the Macaulay Library collection at Cornell University and have produced and authored two CD compilations, Voices of North American Owls and Bird Songs of the Pacific Northwest. Vyn’s audio and video work have been featured on radio and television programs including NPR’s Morning Edition, PRI’s Living on Earth, Birdnote, PBS News Hour and CBS Sunday Morning. Vyn is a Producer for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and an Associate Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP).