A Story of Friendship, Survival and the Beauty of Flight
In this intimate portrait of an iconic seabird species, filmmaker Judy Irving (The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, an Indie smash hit!) follows a wayward, starving California brown pelican from her “arrest” on the Golden Gate Bridge into care at a wildlife rehabilitation facility, and from there explores pelicans’ nesting grounds, Pacific coast migration and survival challenges.
The film is about wildness: How close can we get to a wild animal without taming or harming it? Why do we need wildness in our lives, and how can we protect it? Pelican Dreams stars “Gigi” (for Golden Gate) and “Morro” (a backyard pelican with an injured wing), as well as the wildlife professionals who care for them.
Pelican Dreams (Rated G, 80 min.) premiered on October 24, 2014, in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Rafael, CA. The documentary opened in New York and Los Angeles on November 7. Following a 100-city arthouse theatrical tour, the film is now available for special-event screenings. For upcoming screenings, and/or to inquire about planning your own, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A New York Times Critics’ Pick!
“By its end, we know about pelicans’ habits, their struggles with DDT and oil spills, their interactions with fishermen. We, like Ms. Irving, have come to appreciate them.” — Neil Genzlinger, New York Times
“Eloquent, lyrical and beautifully photographed … ‘Pelican Dreams’ transcendentally takes flight.” — Randy Myers, Oakland Tribune/San Jose Mercury News
“Too beautiful for words … erases the line between human and beast.” — Erin Blackwell, Bay Area Reporter
“A charming film with heart!” — Emma Fidel, Audubon Magazine
“Like [The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill], Irving’s study of brown pelicans is affectionate, at times humorous and reveals a sense of wonder and awe at the birds’ simple beauty.” — Carolyn Jones, San Francisco Chronicle
News and Reviews
New York Times: It’s a plane! No, it’s a bird (review)
Hollywood Reporter: Pelican Dreams: film review
Los Angeles Times: Pelican Dreams documentary by Judy Irving finally takes wing
CORNELL LAB OF ORNITHOLOGY: Pelican Dreams: The Cornell Lab movie review
New York Post: Pelican Dreams is an ode to the birds alien beauty (review)
Newsweek: Stuck with the Bill
San Jose Mercury News: Pelican Dreams a Lovely Flight
Audubon Magazine: I Dream of Gigi
Bay Area Reporter: A Tale of Two Pelicans
KQED: Winged Contemplation: ‘Pelican Dreams’ Dives into Bay Area Ecosystem
Huffington Post: Filmmaker Judy Irving on ‘Pelican Dreams’
LA Observed: Native Intelligence: Problems with pelicans
reel life with jane: ‘Pelican Dreams’ Doc — A Valentine to Unsung Birds
NYU News: Pelican documentary soars
IndieWIRE – Women and Hollywood: Guest Post: Finding the Perfect Animal Doc Subject As She’s Being “Arrested” on the Golden Gate Bridge