Unveiling Turtle Voices

by Basil

Manaus and Zürich

We follow an award-winning researcher to the turtles in the Amazon and come across fires, poaching and climate change. A profound learning experience about turtles and life.

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CHF 2’560

12% of CHF 20’000

12 %
This is how it worksä

The «all or nothing» principle applies: The project only receives the funds if the funding target is reached or exceeded.

17 backers

22 days to go

Where Science leads you

We followed Dr. Gabriel Jorgewich Cohen, an award-winning, Brazilian, young evolutionary biologist from the University of Zürich, on his latest expedition to study the Amazon River turtles, the largest freshwater turtles in the world. After proving turtle communication in published articles in 2022, he gained worldwide media attention. Now, this groundbreaking research continues in some of the most remote and challenging areas of the Amazon, far from cities and modern civilization. Gabriel is dedicated to uncovering the hidden communication of turtles (Podocnemis expansa) in their early stage of life, using hydrophones and microphones in their nests. This expedition aims to further work on the understanding of the vocalizations and social behaviors of these fascinating creatures.

  • Podocnemis expansa
    Podocnemis expansa
  • Dr. Gabriel Jorgewich Cohen
    Dr. Gabriel Jorgewich Cohen
  • Hours of patience, while recording
    Hours of patience, while recording
  • Me sweating at 50°C
    Me sweating at 50°C

A Story with Depth

Our journey is packed with challenges: human-made fires, poaching, and the ever-present threats of climate change and environmental destruction. Battling extreme heat and the logistical difficulties of operating in such remote areas, pushing us and our equipment to our limits.

We get to know legends and stories that have been told for hunders of years, by the locals. These cultural insights add an additional point of view to our scientific research, highlighting the deep relationship between the local communities and the turtles.

The documentary shines a light on the tireless efforts of the local team and volunteers working to protect these endangered turtles. We witness the struggles of communication, cultural differences, conflicts of interest, and the urgent need for resources and infrastructure to support these vital conservation projects to protect them. This is especially crucial during the turtles’ annual gathering to mate and lay eggs.

Through personal interviews and emotional reflections, the cinematic documentary takes you on a journey with profound impact on the lives of the researchers and the local people. It’s not just about turtles; it’s a journey of learning about life, human resilience, and our roles as outsiders understanding the behaviors of native people.

We aim to win a film festival and spread these incredible scientific discoveries and cultural stories to a wide audience worldwide. Your support will help us achieve this goal and bring the hidden realities of the Amazon Rainforest to the forefront.

  • Rio Trombetas, Pará, Brazil
    Rio Trombetas, Pará, Brazil
  • Msc. Raffael Benetti, Field Assistant and Researcher
    Msc. Raffael Benetti, Field Assistant and Researcher
  • Us, heading for shooting
    Us, heading for shooting

Support Us

In order to produce a captivating and high-quality documentary, we need your support for various critical upcoming aspects of the project. Here’s how your contribution will help:

Post-Production: We need funds to cover the extensive post-production work, including editing, sound design, and color grading. I will review all our material and craft the final product, ensuring the story is engaging and polished, with the help of friend in the film industries, as well with Gabriel it self for scientific accuracy.

Music Licenses and Storytelling: A portion of the funds will go towards music, font and transitions licenses to enhance the storytelling aspect of the film.

Publication and Festival Applications: We aim to submit our film to various film festivals with the goal of winning an award. Your support will help cover the costs of these applications and entry fees, increasing our chances of reaching a wider audience and gaining recognition.

Second Goal - Community Support and Compensation: Once we achieve our initial goal, we will focus on raising additional funds to compensate for bought equipment used during the production, such as harddrives and a gimbal. As well to replace some of my equipment damaged due to the harsh conditions. All this equipment was originally financed out of my pocket. Furthermore, we will allocate funds towards supporting the local community with better infrastructure, such as gasoline, and food, hammocks, or even a boat engine, to ensure future collaboration. This support is well-deserved and needed by the people who helped us during our expedition.

Detailed Costs:

  • 15’000 CHF for visual and editing work, sound recording, hardware & software
  • 2’000 CHF for music licenses & storytelling
  • 3’000 CHF for entryfees & marketing & presentations
  • Second Goal (Equipment Amortisation & Community Support): Additional funds amortise newly bought equipment for this production (Harddrives, and Gimbal 880 CHF) and damaged equipment (Drone Akkus and GoPro Akkus 489 CHF) due to the harsh climate conditions. The rest will be used support the local community’s infrastructure needs.

The amount of 20’000 CHF corresponds to our first interim goal and enables us to continue working on the film. It really gets the project rolling. As soon as this goal is reached, we want to switch to the second goal and give something back to the people that made it all possible.

Help us make this movie! We thank you for your support, no matter how big or small. Your contribution brings us one step closer to bringing this extraordinary story to life.

  • Evening mood and parrots
    Evening mood and parrots
  • All or nothing
    All or nothing