Short Film: Îinha, 13min., UK

Directed by Jessie Knierim
For Jason Reed, salmon are synonymous with life. He has grown up on the banks of California’s Klamath River where the Karuk Tribe have depended on these salmon since time immemorial. But in recent years, nearly all the salmon have stopped returning to the river to spawn. To save the salmon and his cultural identity, Jason is turning to natural inspiration – the beaver. Historically, the pools created by beaver dams have provided lifesaving refuge to salmon before they venture out to the ocean. But beavers have been wiped out by hunting and due to California law, the Karuk people are forbidden from reintroducing beavers to their land. So Jason and his colleagues are working on a plan to save the salmon and attract beaver back to the area – they’re building dams themselves. If he succeeds, Jason will not only save the fate of the salmon, but the fate of his tribe.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

Director Biography – Jessie Knierim

With a background in wildlife conservation, Jessie Knierim was driven to a career in wildlife filmmaking after witnessing the power that incredible stories can have on inspiring people to protect our natural world. While living in New York City, she earned an MA in Animal Behaviour and Conservation where she studied the illegal trade of ring-tailed lemurs. Jessie also spent five years in Development and Communications at Wildlife Alliance, raising awareness for conservation initiatives in Southeast Asia. She moved to Bristol to pursue a career in Natural History Television because she wanted to garner a passion for conservation in a global audience. She has since earned an MA in Wildlife Filmmaking from the University of the West of England and is currently working as a Development Researcher for Freeborne Media.

Through Îinha the director wanted to tell a story that shows the immense impact that the loss of a single species can have. By helping Jason Reed tell his story, Jessie hopes to shine a light on the real people most affected by biodiversity loss and their sheer determination to fix what is broken.

By documentaryfestival

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