Student documentary secures place at International Wildlife Film Festival

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

‘Capuchin Culture’ is a wildlife documentary which follows an intimate portrait of a family of capuchin monkeys living in the harsh, semi-arid forest of north-eastern Brazil.


Directed by University of Salford, MA Wildlife Film Documentary Production student, Luca Antonio Marino, the film is now a finalist at the International Wildlife Film Festival.

The prestigious festival usually takes place at Roxy Theatre in Missoula, United States but due to the COVID-19 outbreak the festival will be taking place virtually, and films featured in the festival will be streamed online.

Luca’s film tells the story of mother and baby capuchins showing how they survive during the dry season. The film highlights the challenges that young monkeys must face and the skills they must gain to become independent: hunting, finding water, digging the ground to extract roots and eventually using stone as tools to crack open palm nuts, their favourite food.

Luca said: “In 2019, I decided to go to Brazil and make a film on the unique and fascinating behaviours of capuchin monkeys for the final film of my MA in Wildlife Documentary Production. I thought that the best way to show how capuchins learn and transmit their behaviours was to follow the journey of young monkeys to independence.”

Luca explains how although the film was “very low budget” production he still managed to succeed in getting the results he wanted. “I carried out all its phases, from the pre- to the post-production: I wrote the subject of the story and I did all the camera work, sound recording, editing and colour correction.”  

Fraser Durie, course leader for the MA Wildlife Film Production course said: “It’s a really great film. Luca achieved a fantastic mark; he came out of the course with a distinction. I know this is a film that he really wanted to do and it’s been a great success. Hopefully it will be entered into a few more awards.”  

Luca added: “I am very honoured and excited to see my film shortlisted and be part of such an amazing film selection. This is a really distinguished international competition and hope that this nomination will help to raise awareness of the invaluable culture of this population of capuchin monkeys and promote the conservation of their habitat which is threatened by the development of intensive agriculture and human impact. I also want to thank my tutors at the University of Salford for their support and for making this film possible.”

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