An team of conservationists expose their lives and fight the odds in order to save the last wild scarlet macaws in Belize from being poached and becoming extinct.
The construction of a power dam in the heart of a Belizean jungle, the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, brings despair after it floods the nesting grounds of endangered scarlet macaws. With their nesting grounds wiped away, the scarlet macaws in Belize are believed to be once and for all headed towards extinction.
While doing research for his masters thesis project in the Chiquibul Forest Reserve, an American biologist, Charles Britt, discovers that the birds have survived the dam construction and have moved their nesting area deeper into the forest.
Hopeful by the discovery, Britt focuses his thesis research on these birds, only to find that, while the scarlet macaws have adapted and are still breeding in the area, the poaching is occurring at an unsustainable rate. Britt, along with a local tour guide, Rony Martinez, decide that the only way to protect the scarlet macaws efficiently is by camping underneath their nests for the entirety of the breeding season to scare off any poachers. They recruit a team of volunteers, from scientists and bird lovers to biology students and regular citizens, to take turns watching over these charismatic birds over the course of the birds’ 6-month nesting season to protect them from being poached for their high value in the illegal wild animal trade market.
In order to carry on their efforts successfully, the passionate nest watchers go through a set of challenges including: leaving their families and homes behind for the duration of this period, facing dangers and adversity in the dense jungle, which is home to an abundance of exotic wild animals and unpredictable tropical conditions, lack of financial support and last but not least they must figure out how many birds exactly are left in Belize. Researches and locals suggest there are roughly 200 birds left, but nobody has done a proper population survey in over 15 years to confirm this number.
The lack of an accurate bird count and resources makes it difficult to monitor their work.
Determined to improve their operations and find answers to the unknown data, Charles Britt organizes the first official scarlet macaw population survey across Belize. The survey brings together people from a variety of backgrounds willing to help, creating a sense of community and support; however, will the final results show a growing or declining population? Meanwhile the poachers aren’t gone and the protection efforts must continue to grow before it is too late and scarlet macaws in Belize go extinct forever.
As any independent project, funding is always a big part of the challenge in completing a film. Our film will require a lot of logistical planning in order to navigate rustic and hard to access areas of Belize; principal photography will involve a small but tactical crew to accompany the protagonists of the film up dense rainforests, rivers, mountains and other areas as we follow them in their endeavors to making their protection efforts a success, including camping underneath the birds nest sites and participating in a scarlet macaw population survey.
In an effort to make filming go as smooth as possible, we are looking to raise enough money to get us through production and hopefully into post-production. If you feel compelled by the story we are trying to tell or have a particular interest in some aspect of the film- wildlife conservation, endangered species, etc. please consider contributing to our project. We could really use your support! You might be wondering where does my money go? Your support will cover everything that goes into making the film. This will include travel, lodging and pay for crew, equipment rentals, hiring local guides, rental cars and other contingencies. We are happy to talk to you about the specifics of any of this so feel free to reach out through our contacts page.
Also, if you would like to support the film in any other way please reach out. And feel free to forward this on to anyone you think would be interested in supporting.
Be sure to know that your contributions, no matter how big or small, will not go unacknowledged.
Thank you so much for supporting our film A Scarlet Sky!