nobody movie_A glimpse into the painstaking process of bringing Texas Wildlife to the big screen

Capturing footage of an endangered ocelot in Texas takes some patience, as Ben Masters discovered.

The documentary maker strategically embedded cameras in the Rio Grande Valley bushveld for 10 months just to get an adequate visual glimpse of the rare feline, whose population has dwindled to fewer than 100 in the United States.

Those were the challenges and rewards of crafting deep in the heart, a project conceived by Masters as the definitive wildlife documentary in Texas. The first public screening of the film will take place on Thursday EarthX Film Festival in the Dallas Arts District.

Narrated by Matthew McConaughey, the article showcases the diversity of rural landscapes and wildlife in the state, with sections devoted to the mountain lions of Big Bend, bats near Austin, alligator gar in the rivers and estuaries that flow to the Gulf of Mexico, and more are .

“People are going to experience Texas in a way that nobody has done before,” said Masters, who will attend the screening followed by a Q&A session. “The main character of the film is our society’s relationship with the natural world.”

Master (The river and the wall) grew up near Amarillo, attended high school in San Angelo, and majored in wildlife biology at Texas A&M. His Austin-based company Fin & Fur Films specializes in making short films about nature for research institutes and conservation organizations.

“It’s definitely a heart project,” said Masters. “I got to travel across the state and fall in love with my home in a new way. It was an amazing experience.”

He has been working on the documentary for about four years, including three years of traveling and filming, plus an additional year of editing, narration and post-production.

“You can’t write and then go out and shoot what you’ve written,” he said. “You have to imagine what’s possible and then bring what you’re capturing back into the editing room and write along with the images. It’s such a visually driven film.”

deep in the heart also sheds light on historic and contemporary conservation efforts and how issues of land management and government regulation affect our ecosystems.

“I make films because I care about wildlife and habitat, and film happens to be the most powerful medium for showing that,” said Masters, whose film will hit 60 theaters in Texas beginning June 3, followed by a digital release later this year.

The festival, which is an extension of the annual EarthX Festival each spring, will feature dozens of environmental-themed documentaries and shorts Demonstration at different locations until Sunday.

Prominent titles like Ron Howard’s We feed peopleStacy Peraltas The Yin and Yang by Gerry Lopezand NatGeo project the territory are in the lineup. Also, some of the programs have ties to Texas, including:

Fight for the heart of Texas – Follows the aftermath of a 2018 announcement regarding the construction of the Permian Highway Pipeline via landowners and county officials who began a battle over significant domain and property rights.

Slim pickins So short portrays the unique cultural heritage of the eponymous Stephenville retailer, which is also the first black-owned outdoor gear store in the country but nearly closed due to financial difficulties during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

If it’s good, it’s good — In this short film, a filmmaker returns to her small hometown in west Texas to document the impact of the boom-and-bust nature of the oil industry. For five years she experiences a political change in her family and community.

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