Directed by Emma Davie and Peter Mettler 
Countries: Switzerland / UK  
Year: 2018  
Duration: 78 minutes
Production companies: Maximage / SDI Productions Ltd
Funding: Creative Scotland, Doc Society / Genesis Fund, Swiss TV SRF, BAK National Film Fund, Volkart Foundation, Suissimage, Zurich Film Fund, University of Edinburgh.  

Becoming Animal started as a quest to find out how the way we sense the world has impacted on the current environmental crisis and how we could find a cinematic language to explore this. We set out to make a different kind of nature film: one which traces the act of perception itself. Travelling to the Gran Teton Park with radical writer and philosopher David Abram (The Spell of the Sensuous, Becoming Animal) it examines our shifting relationship to what we call “nature” and how film can convey this.  

Becoming Animal challenges audiences to ask questions about how we see, hear and sense what is around us, in the places where humans and animals meet. In recent years there has been a huge rise in the popularity of writings about nature, and this film uses the words and presence of one of the most influential environmental thinkers and writers to reflect on how we can see beyond our human-centric perspective. Becoming Animal embraces the audio-visual sensory tools of cinema to trace how the written word and technology has affected how we see. We pique our senses to witness the so-called natural world - which in turn witnesses us, prompting us to reflect on the very essence of what it means to inhabit our animal bodies. 

It opened at CPH DOX in Denmark and has been nominated for many international awards including Best Documentary at CPH DOX, Edinburgh Film Festival, Documenta Madrid, Docs Against Gravity and has played at many other international festivals including IDFA, Jihlava, RIDM, Montreal as well as obtaining cinema release in Switzerland, Canada, UK and Germany. 

Award nominations 

  • CPH:DOX (Denmark) - Nominated for Best Feature, 2018 
  • Documenta Madrid (Spain) - Nominated for Fugas Feature Film Competition, 2018 
  • Docs Against Gravity (Poland) - Nominated for Grand Prix, 2018 
  • Bildrausch Filmfest, Basel (Switzerland) - Nominated for  Best Feature, 2018 
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival (UK) - Nominated for Best Feature Documentary, 2018 
  • Porto Doc Fest ( Portugal) - Nominated for Best Documentary, 2018


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