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Moko doco leaps into international spotlight

For immediate release: 5 August 2013

Moko doco leaps into international spotlight   

A kiwi filmmaker never imagined that her independently made feature-length documentary about Moko the dolphin would gain international recognition from some of the world’s elite wildlife and natural history filmmakers.  

The story of the wayward and extroverted dolphin and his unique and playful relationship with people has already started making a big splash.

Just one week after premiering at the New Zealand International Film Festival, Soul in the Sea is now competing alongside internationally acclaimed directors and filmmakers from the BBC Natural History Unit and National Geographic Television in the prestigious Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.  

The announcement has left Soul in the Sea filmmaker and director, Amy Taylor, of Abyss Films, delighted and stunned. 

“Soul in the Sea was self-funded and made with a fraction of the budget that most documentaries have - I did everything from producing and directing to shooting and editing - so it's even more of a surprise that 
it's been selected as one of three finalists for the Best People and Nature category” says Ms Taylor.

This year’s entries included 540 films competing for just 23 special awards. More than 100 international judges screened an aggregated 2500+ hours of films in order to select the finalists. The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival coincides with an international film industry conference that attracts over 600 international experts within the science, conservation, broadcasting and film making industry.

“In the past week I've been able to see the impact that Moko's story has on the audience and that makes all the hard work worth it. Having spent much of the last three years making this film it means a lot to me that it's now going to be shared around the world.” says Ms Taylor.

Soul in the Sea is screening in Wellington on Tuesday then continuing on around the country as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival.

The winners will be selected by a distinguished panel of international judges and announced on the 26 September at the Grand Teton Awards Gala at Jackson Lake Lodge in Wyoming. For more information visit;

Amy Taylor completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Natural History Filmmaking at the University of Otago in association with Natural History New Zealand. Her student documentary about Hectors dolphins (Beyond the Kelp) was broadcast on Maori TV.  Amy has since worked on various documentaries, short films, commercials and music videos as a producer, director, cinematographer and editor.  For more information visit: 


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