School of Communications instructor directs award-winning documentary

Doug Kass's film is based on a New Yorker piece that describes the issue of bird poaching in Europe.

Doug Kass, an instructor in Elon University’s School of Communications, has directed and produced an award-winning documentary titled “Emptying the Skies” that has been screened internationally.

The film is based on a New Yorker article by Jonathan Frazen, an American novelist and essayist. It focuses on the illegal hunting and poaching of birds in Europe and the individuals who are risking their lives to stop it.

The documentary premiered at the Sheffield Docs Film Festival in England in June and had its U.S. premier this month at the Hampton’s Film Festival in New York, where it won the Zelda Penzel “Giving Voice to the Voiceless” Award. According to the festival’s site, the honor is given to “a film that raises public awareness about contemporary social issues, including the moral and ethical treatment and the rights of animals.”

Doug Kass
“Emptying the Skies” has also been selected for screening at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival Oct. 30-31, which Kass said he plans to attend.

Kass also served as the film’s co-cinematographer and said music for the documentary was composed by Marty Beller of They Might Be Giants.

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