The Taos Environmental Film Festival has been created with the support of the Taos Fall Arts Festival.  The festival was dreamed up by, and is organized by the hard work of Jean Stevens. It incorporates film honoring the land, environment and people of New Mexico, the country and the world, with performance and lectures to expand our knowledge and engagement with environmental activism and topics.The Taos Environmental Film Festival honors our land and showcases all artistic disciplines. Together, artists can support efforts to stop Climate Change.


2017 TEFF Posters

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  • ​Coral Reef Adventures
  • ​​Groundswell
  • ​Ode To Standing Rock


Coral Reef Adventure brings the beauty and mystery of the coral reef environment to the big screen with a film that both celebrates this vital ecosystem and warns of its imminent decline. The film follows the personal journey of two under-water filmmakers, Howard and Michele Hall, on a 10-month expedition across the South Pacific to explore and document some of the world’s most beautiful and endangered coral reefs. Coral reefs may become extinct within 30 years due to global warming, over-fishing and pollution, scientists warn. Coral Reef Adventure is both an emotional account of two extraordinary individuals doing what they can to help save the coral reefs, and an exciting story of drama and adventure. One of the most riveting sequences occurs when Howard Hall takes the IMAX camera down 370 feet to film a deep ocean reef, setting a record for the deepest a diver has taken an IMAX camera in the open ocean.

  • With its deep blue undersea vistas, vivid but delicate corals, and swiftly flashing schools of fish, Coral Reef
  • Adventure is one beautiful piece of work. But this is beauty with a point. The filmmakers don’t just want to
  • share their passion for the reef; they want to share their fear for its future. On both counts,
  • they succeed. . . Adventure it is, and of the most exhilarating sort.


Boston Globe
“With its deep blue undersea vistas, vivid but delicate corals, and swiftly flashing schools of fish, Coral Reef Adventure is one beautiful piece of work. But this is beauty with a point. The filmmakers don’t just want to share their passion for the reef; they want to share their fear for its future. On both counts, they succeed. . . Adventure it is, and of the most exhilarating sort.”
Chicago Sun-Times
“We don’t inherit the earth from our parents, we borrow it from our children. So says one of the scientists in “Coral Reef Adventure,” and it’s not a bad idea to get those children involved now in the idea that they could be the planet’s stewards. This big, beautiful film, at the Omnimax Theatre at the Museum of Science and Industry through the summer, does just that.”Montreal Gazette
“Stunning. . .Prepare to be blown away by Coral Reef Adventure.”

San Diego Union Tribune
(4 out of 4 stars)
“Both an ethereal manifestation of spectacular beauty and the sobering account of a slow-motion catastrophe, Coral Reef Adventure showcases underwater filmmakers Howard and Michele Hall at their very best-and the Halls and the MacGillivray Freeman team are the gold standard. . .This is a moving and not infrequently breathtaking film.”
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MORNING MATINEE – A Salute To Our First Nation People Throughout The World

Produced by: Farm League
Directed by: Chris Malloy
Edited by: George Manzilla

GROUNDSWELL is director Chris Malloy’s short film follow-up to 180° SOUTH. Surfers Dan Malloy, Trevor Gordon and Pete Devries set sail on a 68 foot sailboat guided by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation into British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest where a pipeline and oil tanker proposal looms. The team explores waves and a rainforest full of life while learning of the potential irreversible consequences of this project from local First Nations leaders. GROUNDSWELL beautifully and profoundly captures the spirit of this wild place and the passion of the Heiltsuk people who are committed to protecting it.

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Peter Walker/Lyla June Johnston

A poetic narrative tribute to the brave defenders of Standing Rock. The film includes unique cinematography with superb drone footage of the pipeline.

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Distinguished Writers/Photographers, John Nichols, William Davis, Jim O’donnell, Discuss The Intersection Of Environmental Photography And Writing. Book Signing Follows. 

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  • Chasing Coral
  • Reefs at Risk


Directed by: Jeff Orlowski and produced by Larissa Rhodes

Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world. ​

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Reefs at Risk – 11 min

Directors/Producers:  Malina Fagan & Lynn Pelletier

Set on the beautiful beaches of Hawaii, “Reefs at Risk” explores the harmful effects some sunscreen chemicals have on coral reefs and marine life. In order to protect this fragile ecosystem, Hawaii strives to ban a commonly used UV chemical, called oxybenzone, and hopes that other states and nations will follow.

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THURSDAY – 9/28, 7 p.m. Evening Show


  • The Colorado


Director, Murat Eyuboglu and William deBuys will be present to receive the Environmental Activism in Film Award and will offer a prologue and Q&A.

Composers: John Luther Adams, William Brittelle, Glenn Kotche, Paola Prestini, and Shara Worden Performing Ensemble: Roomful of Teeth, percussionist Glenn Kotche, and cellist Jeffrey Zeigler Narrator: Mark Rylance
Script & General Advisor: William deBuys
Director: Murat Eyuboglu
Cinematography: Sylvestre Campe & Murat Eyuboglu Editor: David Sarno
Education Advisor: Michael Preston
Writer/Educator: Christa Sadler

The Colorado is a music-based documentary that explores the Colorado River Basin from social and ecological perspectives across history. The project is conceived as equal parts documentary film, live performance, and an educational tool for classrooms.

The Colorado River has carved some of the most majestic landscapes on the planet for five million years, and its delta as a lush wetland is within living memory. Today, with a booming agricultural industry to support and nearly forty million people in a half-dozen major cities dependent on its waters, the Colorado is overused, overpromised, and unable even to reach its delta.

We believe that effective stewardship of land and water begins with love and knowledge and continues with dedicated activism. We have designed The Colorado to inspire the love, instill the knowledge, and encourage the activism.

The film component of the project is an immersive and sensorial experience in which music and images play a central role. Brief voiceover texts—narrated by the great Shakespearean actor Mark Rylance—lead the viewer into each section of the film. Contextual images along with lyrics—sung by the 2014 Grammy laureate Roomful of Teeth—explore topics ranging from the prehistoric settlements of the region to the present-day plight of the Colorado River Delta. The intervening sections cover crucial facets of the river’s history, such as the period of European exploration, the dam-building era and its legacy, and industrial agriculture and immigration, as well as the impact of climate change on the region.

A full-length textbook (approximately 400 pages), corresponding section by section to the film, will offer students and the general public the opportunity to explore any of the topics addressed in the film in greater depth. These educational materials include original text, along with timelines, maps, photographs, videos, teaching aids, and more. Making this content available in both an art-book– style print edition and a state- of-the-art website will provide all interested parties with a reference tool as well as a source of in-depth learning.

The mission of The Colorado is to create a crossroads between art, ecology and regional history, while sensitizing audiences to pressing issues of our times.

The Colorado is intended to be the first in a series of multi-media projects, cultivating a layered understanding of different regions, towards a better stewardship of resources.

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  • ​​Before The Flood ​
  • Seed: The Untold Story




From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Fisher Stevens and Academy Award-winning actor, environmental activist and U.N. Messenger of Peace Leonardo DiCaprio, Before the Flood presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions we as individuals and as a society can take to preventcatastrophic disruption of life on our planet. The film follows DiCaprio as he travels to five continents and the Arctic speaking to scientists, world leaders, activists and local residents to gain a deeper understanding of this complex issue and investigate concrete solutions to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.

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Directed and Produced by Taggart Siegel & Jon Betz

The story of our seeds is a defining story of our time. Caught between the runaway juggernaut of industrial agriculture and the ecological, cultural, and spiritual destruction in its wake, seeds offer us a profound chance to restore mutual harmony between people and planet. They are the eternal promise of an abundant new world waiting to be born. But the time for this redemption is running out. In telling this story, we aim to bring into clear focus the beauty, hope, and magic that seeds represent for humanity at this critical juncture.

For years, we have passionately made films that reveal our deep connection to nature and our food. The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2005), tells the story of a maverick farmer who saves his family farm against all odds. Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? (2010) investigates the mysterious colony collapse disorder ravaging honeybees around the world.

SEED: The Untold Story began with an article in National Geographic reported that up to 96% of the vegetable seeds available in 1903 have disappeared. Within moments we knew that was our next film. The speed and scope of this loss is staggering, and its implications for our future are stark. As the renowned naturalist and author Gary Paul Nabhan puts it, “Many of our seeds today are as endangered as a panda or polar bear.” In an era of climate uncertainty, this dearth of diversity is a recipe for catastrophic crop failure and human suffering– not unlike The Great Famine of Ireland that saw the starvation of nearly a million people when their sole crop variety, a potato, was wiped out by blight. SEED explores a topic that is still largely unknown, yet it is increasingly urgent with climate change and the consolidation and control of the seed industry.

SEED completes a trilogy of films that uncovers the invisible connections between our food and the natural world. As we filmed seed savers, farmers, scientists and indigenous communities for SEED, we were struck by how little their voices are heard. SEED presents audiences with a hidden fabric of our food, the people that painstakingly and meticulously curate the diversity of our food. The film charts a David and Goliath battle as these marginalized people fight the large corporate power of chemical companies that now control the majority of our food.


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  • Dream Day
  • One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts
  • My Haggan Dream
  • Native Waters-Rio Grande
  • Growing Change
  • Iran A Skier’s Journey
  • Writing On Stone
  • Water Song
  • The Pastoralist
  • Wasfia
  • Leave It As It Is
  • Kew Gardens: Beyond The Gardens’ The Forgotten Home Of Coffee
  • Defined By The Line
  • Art For Change

  • 62 Years
  • Think Like A Scientist Gorongosa
  • In Current
  • Undercover
  • Pale Blue Dot
  • Yellowstone’s Northern Range
  • The Fable Of The Wolf
  • The Last Resort
  • Douglas Tompkins—A Wild Legacy
  • Invisible Ocean
  • Eternally Wild
  • Mindful Vineyards
  • Avaatara
  • One Woman Roadblock
  • Flying Doors Over Baja California
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DREAM DAY – 2017 Official Selection – 10 min
What would it feel like to begin your day in fresh powder and end it in the briny Pacific on the perfect sunset wave? Four athletes, Jeremy Jones, Hilaree ONeil, Matt Hunter Greg Long, set out to see if they could make that dream a reality.

ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND BEATING HEARTS – 2017 Official Selection – 15 min
Tells the story of fourth generation cattleman Will Harris evolution from industrial, commodity cowboy to sustainable, humane food producer, whilst breathing new life into a community left behind and forgotten due, as Will says, the industrialization of agriculture.

MY HAGGAN DREAM – 2017 Official Selection – 8 min
On the island of Saipan, a young girls mysterious dream about a haggan, a green sea Turtle, leads her to investigate the sea turtles that live around her home. Join her adventure to find turtles, which leads to a wonderful birthday wish.

NATIVE WATERS-RIO GRANDE – 2017 Official Selection – 8 min
The Wild & Scenic Rio Grande River is the lifeblood of New Mexico. But for Tesuque Pueblo member Louie Hena and his family, the river is more than an office, more than a provider, it is home. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, happening in 2018, Louie urges us all to protect more wild rivers.

GROWING CHANGE – 2017 Official Selection – 4 min
Jim Cochran arrived at work before dawn. He walked out into the strawberry fields. As the sun rose and light hit the field, he began to smell chemicals. His eyes Watered. His head spun. He started to shake. He had just walked into a field that had been sprayed with pesticides. From this experience, Jim Cochran helped invent the organic strawberry industry. After pioneering and profiting from a healthier crop, he turned his attention to the health of his workers.

IRAN A SKIER’S JOURNEY – 2017 Official Selection – 13 min
Cautioned not to travel to Iran, Chad Sayers and Forrest Coots decide to go, regardless. They immediately find comfort in Tehrans bustling bazaars, Isfahan’s dazzling mosques, and the powder filled slopes of the Alborz and Zagros mountain ranges, topping 3,000m. It is a culture not easily understood, but profoundly welcoming. Yet they are reminded, as Pico Iyer writes, to learn more about the world than our newspapers will accommodate.

WRITING ON STONE – 2017 Official Selection – 7 min
This short film presents a portrait of Treffrey Deerfoot a venerated elder in the Siksika Tribe in Alberta, Canada, and explores his efforts through ceremonial dance, sacred Singing, and traditional storytelling to keep this proud heritage alive for his people.

WATER SONG – 2017 Official Selection – 5 min
Maxima Acua, a subsistence farmer in Peru’s northern highlands, stood up to the giant Newmont Mining Corporation over the development of gold and copper mine on her property. Her work was recognized in 2016 when she received the Goldman Environmental Prize. This short, narrated by Robert Redford, shows how an ordinary person can affect extraordinary change.

THE PASTORALIST – 2017 Official Selection – 7 min
Edward Loure organized his Maasai community to secure indigenous peoples stewardship of over 200,000 acres of Tanzania’s northern range lands and won the Goldman Environmental Prize for his work in 2016.

WASFIA – 2017 Official Selection – 18 min
National Geographic Explorer and Adventurer of the Year Wasfia Nazreen doesn’t just climb for the thrill; she climbs for a cause. The first Bangladeshi to scale the Seven Summits, Wasfia has made it her purpose to brave these climbs for the sake of something larger for the women of Bangladesh. Lyrical and poetic, this short documentary, shot entirely on iPhone 6S, is a reflective character portrait that takes us from the depths of Wasfia’s struggles to the highest peaks on the planet, as we explore what it means to pursue the unknown.

LEAVE IT AS IT IS – Official Selection 2016 – 3:27 min
The Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic landscapes on the planet. But this natural masterpiece of the Colorado River faces a battery of threats. Unless the Department of the Interior acts to stop these threats, one of our nation’s greatest natural treasures will be scarred forever.

This is the story of guardianship over one of the world’s most economically valuable crops, revealing the surprisingly fragile foundations that lie beneath the multi-billion pound industry, showing just how important Kew’s scientific research is to securing the fate of our cup of coffee

DEFINED BY THE LINE – Official Selection 2016 – 8 min
Josh Ewing began visiting the Bears Ears region of southeastern Utah to climb at Indian Creek and explore the local archaeology. But when he moved to the town of Bluff, he saw degradation from oil drilling, looting, and careless visitors. Ewing knew simply loving a place was no longer enough.

ART FOR CHANGE – Official Selection 2016 – 6:34 min
Facing heavy government scrutiny, Myint Zaw, an accomplished photojournalist, launched a series of art exhibits that influenced the government to stop construction of the Myitsone Dam on Myanmar’s treasured Irrawaddy River.


62 YEARS – Official Selection 2016 – 9:04 min
The last time Ken Brower traveled down the Yampa River in Northwest Colorado was with his father, David Brower, in 1952. This was the year his father became the first executive director of the Sierra Club and joined the fight against a pair of proposed dams on the Green River in Northwest Colorado. The dams would have flooded the canyons of the Green and its tributary, Yampa, inundating the heart of Dinosaur National Monument. With a conservation campaign that included a book, magazine articles, a film, a traveling slideshow, grassroots organizing raft trips and lobbying, David Brower and the sierra Club ultimately won the fight–ushering in a period many consider the dawn of modern environmentalism. 62 years later, Ken revisited the Yampa & Green Rivers to reflect on his father’s work, their 1952 river trip, and how we will confront the looming water crisis in the American West.

THINK LIKE A SCIENTIST GORONGOSA – Official Selection 2017 – 7 min
This is the story of Greg Carr and his involvement in the restoration of Gorongosa National Park after its destruction from 30 year of war in Mozambique. The film also features Princeton biologist Rob Pringle, who does research in the park.

IN CURRENT – Official Selection 2016 – 5:15 min
Rowing a dory in the Grand Canyon is considered by some as the most coveted job in the world. It can take 20 years of paying your dues to earn a seat on one of these legendary wooden boats. Amber Shannon has been boating the Grand Canyon nine years, trying to work her way from the baggage boat to a dory, while spending as many days possible in current.

​UNDERCOVER – Official Selection 2017 – 5 min
Leng Ouch risked his life when he went undercover to expose illegal logging and government corruption that was rampant in Cambodia. His work was recognized in 2016 when he received the Goldman Environmental Prize. This short, narrated by Robert Redford, shows how an ordinary person can effect extraordinary change.

PALE BLUE DOT – Official Selection 2017 – 4 min
Set to the words of Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot situates human history against the tapestry of the cosmos through an eclectic combination of art styles woven seamlessly together through music and visuals, seeking to remind us that regardless of our differences, we are one species living on Earth.

YELLOWSTONE’S NORTHERN RANGE – Official Selection 2017 – 6 min
The northern Range is the hub of wildlife in Yellowstone National Park. Occupying just 10 percent of the part, it is winter range for the largest elk herd in Yellowstone and is arguably the most carnivore—rich in area in North America. Early predator removal changed the ecosystem and restoration of carnivores has had significant and unexpected impacts on the habitat.

THE FABLE OF THE WOLF – Official Selection 2016 – 2:36 min
A long time ago wolves and men hunted together, but over time this relationship changed. This animated short explores the relationship between wolf and man and how that relationship has affected wild ecosystems.

THE LAST RESORT – Official Selection 2017 – 5 min
Be inspired by Luis Jorge Rivera Herrera; he led a successful campaign to establish a nature reserve in Puerto Rico’s Northeast Ecological Corridor, a critical nesting ground for the endangered leatherback sea turtle and won the Goldman Environmental Prize for his work in 2016.

DOUGLAS TOMPKINS—A WILD LEGACY – Official Selection 2017 – 16min.
Douglas Tompkins was a world-renowned adventurer, entrepreneur, and conservationist. The founder of The North Face and cofounder of Esprit, Doug spent the first half of his life building successful global brands, while simultaneously adventuring around the world, completing first descents of the world’s toughest rivers. In 1968 Doug embarked on a trip to Chile, driving with friends from California to the tip of Patagonia. In the early 1990’s, Doug sold his part of Esprit and turned his entrepreneurial energies to land and wildlife conservation projects in South America, working alongside his wife, Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, the former CEO of Patagonia. Inc. Over the last 25 years, Tompkins— initiated efforts have helped secure 4.75 million acres in new protected areas in Chile and Argentina including five new national parks. Tragically killed in a kayaking accident on December 8th 2015, A Wild Legacy tells the story of Doug’s incredible life, his lasting impact on the wild landscapes of Patagonia, and Kris and the Tompkins Conservation teams efforts to continue his audacious mission.

INVISIBLE OCEAN – Official Selection 2016 – 9 min
‘Invisible Ocean: Plankton & Plastic’ follows NYC sci=artist Mara Haseltine as she creates a sculpture to reveal a microscopic threat beneath the surface of the ocean. During a Tara Oceans expedition to study the health of the oceans, Haseltine finds an unsettling presence in samples of plankton she collected. The discovery inspires her to create a sculpture that shows that the microscopic ocean world affects all life on Earth. The film features Mara G. Haseltine, Christian Sardet (The Plankton Chronicles, TARA Oceans) and Mark Anthony Browne (Ecologist NCEAS).

ETERNALLY WILD – Official Selection 2016 – 15 min
The Smith River is a poster-child for how an entire watershed can be protected. Here there are no dams, no wretched clear—cut blocks,
and no mitigating hatcheries. Instead, ancient forest, including iconic redwood, cloaks canyon walls. But his pristine watershed is threatened by the Red Flat Nickel Corporation that applied to drill and test 59 locations over 4,000 acres on the pristine North Fork of the Smith River. This would pave the way for one of the largest nickel mines in the West.

MINDFUL VINEYARDS – Official Selection 2017 – 4 min
Amelia Ceja emigrated from Mexico when she was 12 years old to work in Napa Valley as a grape picker. The daughter of agricultural workers, Amelia met and befriended farmworker union founder Cesar Chavez as a child and honors his legacy today by operating a vineyard that prioritizes people and the planet. From farm-to-table she calls for justice in agriculture to protect some of the most vulnerable workers in the nation.

AVAATARA – Official Selection 2016
David Lama achieves first ascent of the Baatara gorge in Lebanon. “If you travel roads that have already been discovered, you are basically always just following. But if you go somewhere where no one’s ever been and do something no one’s ever done, you’re on the lead and that’s one thing that I really like.” David Lama’s guiding philosophy has already taken him to the most impressive mountain ranges of the world and, more recently, to the Baatara gorge in Lebanon. A surreal ‘Avatar’—like landscape, unexploited and untouched.

ONE WOMAN ROADBLOCK – Official Selection 2016 – 4:36 min
A former tribal chief of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, Marilyn Baptiste led her native community in defeating proposed gold and copper mines that would have destroyed Fish Lake—a source of spiritual identity and livelihood for her people. Narrated by Robert Redford, One Woman Roadblock illustrates how an ordinary person can effect extraordinary change. Marilyn Baptiste is a true environmental hero who placed herself squarely in harm’s way to battle intimidating adversaries while building strong grassroots support.

FLYING DOORS OVER BAJA CALIFORNIA – Official Selection 2016 – 7:37 min
Take the doors off your airplane, and join National Geographic photographer Ralph Lee Hopkins on an aerial photography expedition to capture the unparalleled beauty of Baja California. Conservation groups are using the images to help preserve the region for future generations. iLCP, the international League of Conservation Photographers, collaborating with LightHawk and WildCoast, pool their resources to make this the largest aerial photography expedition to protect Baja California.

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SUNDAY Evening 10/01

Films 6pm:

  • Chasing Coral

Films 8pm:

  • In The Pursuit Of Silence

Directed by: Jeff Orlowski and
​Produced by: Larissa Rhodes

“An emotional race against time” – The New York Times
Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.

The film took more than three years to shoot, and is the result of 500+ hours underwater, submissions of footage from volunteers from 30 countries, as well as support from more than 500 people from various locations around the world. ​

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Sunday 10/1, 8pm




“…reminiscent of seeing 1982’s Koyaanisqatsi for the first time… Shen’s In Pursuit of Silence incessantly inspires and sometimes takes the breath away and can even accomplish both at once.” – Austin Chronicle

In Pursuit of Silence is a meditative exploration of our relationship with silence, sound and the impact of noise on our lives. Beginning with an ode to John Cage’s ground-breaking composition 4’33”, In Pursuit of Silence takes us on an immersive cinematic journey around the globe– from a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto, to the streets of the loudest city on the planet, Mumbai during the wild festival season – and inspires us to experience silence and celebrate the wonders of our world.

“Replete with imagery that shimmers with the kind of almost otherworldly wonder one might associate with a Terrence Malick movie… This film does more than just tell a story, it testifies to the sheer loveliness of anything — everything — when drenched in silence.” -The Huffington Post

In Pursuit of Silence is a meditative exploration of our relationship with silence, sound and the impact of noise on our lives. Beginning with an ode to John Cage’s ground-breaking composition 4’33”, In Pursuit of Silence takes us on an immersive cinematic journey around the globe– from a traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto, to the streets of the loudest city on the planet, Mumbai during the wild festival season – and inspires us to experience silence and celebrate the wonders of our world.


The digital album featuring the original soundtrack by Alex Lu plus 10 special recordings of silent places captured during the making of In Pursuit of Silence is now available.