The Messenger


Su Rynard’s wide-ranging and contemplative documentary THE MESSENGER explores our deep-seated connection to birds and warns that the uncertain fate of songbirds might mirror our own. Moving from the northern reaches of the Boreal Forest to wetlands near Mount Ararat to the streets of New York City, THE MESSENGER brings us face-to-face with a remarkable variety of human-made perils that have devastated these airborne music-makers.

For thousands of years, songbirds were regarded by mankind as messengers from the gods. Today, these creatures – woven inextricably into the fabric of our environment – are vanishing at an alarming rate. Under threat from climate change, pesticides and more, populations of hundreds of species have dipped dramatically. As scientists, activists and bird enthusiasts investigate this phenomenon, amazing secrets of the bird world come to light for the first time in this acclaimed and visually thrilling documentary. Beautiful slow motion photography illustrates the power and beauty of these delicate winged creatures that have been praised and eulogized across cultures and throughout time.

Find out what’s killing our songbirds, and what can be done about it. As in ancient times, songbirds may once again be carrying a message to humans – one that we ignore at our own peril.


Directed by: Su Rynard
Produced by: Joanne Jackson, Sally Blake, Diane Woods, Martin de la Fouchardiere
Written by: Su Rynard


Length: 90 minutes
Certificate: TBC (anticipate U/PG)
Format: DCP or Bluray
Festivals: Hot Docs 2015 (Top Ten Audience Award, 3rd out of 210 entries), International Wildlife Film Festival, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival


Date: Late October/Early November

Terms: 35% vs £100 minimum guarantee, or 50% for Q&A screening