Doug Kass' documentary signed for domestic, international distribution

The award-winning 'Emptying the Skies' will also be screened at two upcoming film festivals.

Doug Kass
“Emptying the Skies,” an award-winning documentary directed and produced by Elon University School of Communications Instructor Doug Kass, has recently signed distribution agreements for release in the United States and abroad.

Music Box Films signed it for U.S. distribution, Films We Life signed it for Canadian distribution, and Java Films signed it for international distribution.

Last week, the documentary screened at the Budapest International Documentary Film Festival, and it was also shown at the Rio International Film Festival at the end of September. In October, it will play at the Eco FIlm Festival in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and at The American Convservation Film Festival in West Virginia.

The film has already been shown at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, the Goteborg International Film Festival in Sweden, the Big Sky Doc Fest in Montana, the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in Greece, the Washington, D.C. Environmental Film Festival, the Sarastoa Film Festival in Florida and the San Francisco Green Film Festival.

“Emptying the Skies” 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 in October 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.”

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.