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Filmmaker seeking home video of bears

Documentary will explore wildlife researchers’ findings
“Bears of Durango,” a documentary, is seeking home video or photo sequences of bears interacting with humans or human development.

If you’ve captured a bear in action, sniffing around a garbage can, stealing a bird feeder or hanging out in the city, a documentarian is looking for your footage.

“Any video or photo sequence of a bear in or around Durango is of interest to us,” said Dusty Hulet, producer and director of the documentary “Bears of Durango.”

The film focuses on a team of wildlife researchers lead by biologist Heather Johnson, who studied the effects of human development on bear behavior and population trends around the town. The documentary will present the researchers’ findings.

Johnson and her team spent the past six years investigating what’s driving the increase in bear-human conflicts and the effects of expanding human development on bear populations.

Hulet documented the study for the two years and filmed the researchers visiting winter dens, trapping bears in the summer and other aspects of the study.

“With cellphone cameras in just about every person’s pocket, we’re hoping to enlist the help of Durango residents in obtaining clips that illustrate the rich bear habitat in which they live,” Hulet said in an email. “Bears in the backyard, crossing main street, having a swim in an ornamental pond ... we’re interested in any clip or photo sequence that illustrates the interactions that bears have with humans and human development.”

So far, Hulet has received about 20 clips the film team is excited about. He will accept submissions until the end of August.

The documentary will be submitted to about 30 film festivals, including the Durango Film Festival, he said.

The film raised $11,257 through a Kickstarter campaign. Hulet is working to raise additional funding to improve the quality and reach of the film, he said. A tax-deductible donation can be made through the nonprofit partner on the film, Bear Trust International. The film team is also looking for brand sponsors.

For more information and to provide films and photo sequences of bears, email bearsofdurango@gmail.com.


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