Saturday, September 25th

12:00pm - Documentary Short Film Block

Hickory Community Theatre

Directed by Richard Reens

A genocide survivor transcends overwhelming odds to become a master chimpanzee linguist

As the world’s chimpanzee population dwindles in the wild, one-man risks everything to care for a group of mistreated animals rescued by Jane Goodall’s Chimp Eden Sanctuary in South Africa. Stany Nyandwi, a survivor of the Burundi genocide, overcomes insurmountable odds to become one of the only humans to master the complicated ‘pant hoot’ chimp language. Recognizing that it’s not just a chimpanzee/human struggle, he’s taken it upon himself to reconnect with our closest relatives on this planet.

Love knows no man-made boundaries in this universal story about understanding.

Richard Reens is an award-winning commercial director/dp and photographer whose innovative style and intimate approach lends the most beneficial, paramount experience to both clients and actors. His debut documentary short film, Pant Hoot, focuses on Stany Nyandwi, an African man who survived the Burundi genocide and overcame insurmountable odds to become a master chimp linguist.

Richard’s commercial directing experience includes jaw-dropping campaigns for Mercedes Benz, Hummer, Sony, and 7UP. His instinctual ability to appeal to a target audience is evident in his highly regarded season spots for Fox Television series “The OC” and his reputation also has an international reach. His campaigns in Eastern Europe have impacted the advertising culture so strongly that they are now the focus of lectures in advertising conferences and have had significant impact on the advertising landscape in some areas.

At an early age, Richard chose to follow in the footsteps of his father who was a highly acclaimed photographer. At the age of 10, Richard was already shooting and developing his own pictures. Richard’s excellence in still photography captured the attention of Neiman Marcus and Estée Lauder, which launched his career at age 18. Through experimentation with unconventional photographic techniques, and adopting unusual visual and conceptual approaches to his subjects, he quickly moved from tabletop to fine art to fashion photography. Instinct to seek out fresh new faces, led Richard to discover and photograph models who became household names, including Supermodels Brigitte Hall and Chandra North, Angie Harmon, and Shannon Elizabeth. Richard’s photographs have been featured in international publications including Allure, Amica, Glamour and Marie Claire.

A consummate professional whose work is recognized worldwide and has received numerous awards and accolades, Richard was named one of the top 15 photographers in the world by Archive Magazine in 2001. His television commercials and still photographs have won hundreds of advertising awards including, Clio’s, CA Advertising, Design, and Photography Annuals, New York Art Directors Club, and more than a half-dozen coveted pencils in The One Show.

Richard is a native New Yorker, and a graduate of New York School of Art and Design. In addition to his continued pursuit of his lifelong passion for training, and riding horses, Richard is an underwater cinematographer and enjoys skiing, scuba diving, and skydiving.

Richard lives in Dallas, TX is an FAA licensed remote pilot (drones), and a seasoned world traveler.