At Films are movies made by Adam & Noal Amir.
At Films span six continents and have featured in sixteen festivals across nine countries. We practice Folk Filmmaking: co-producing films with & for local communities to help give their stories the respect of cinema. We act as midwives for other's stories.
Our goal is humility. We try to use our production resources, skills, & tools to assist folks in sharing their knowledge through visual storytelling. We are fascinated by different ways of knowing, by what we don't know, & by all that we can learn, especially from the folks too often overlooked or ignored. With our filmmaking, we pursue epistemic justice, new narratives, and visual sovereignty, especially for communities usually under-represented, mis-interpreted, and marginalized by other media.
Our work often concerns the environment, particularly local relations with wild animals. Inspired and guided by studies of political ecology and feminist methodologies, we take careful, critical, & nuanced approaches to environmental issues.
Our filmmaking is closely informed by our studies, reading, and research. We reflect on our efforts and process through scholarship. In 2019, two journals featured our articles & images:
AA is currently the Communications Coordinator for the Tahltan First Nation's Central Government in Northern British Columbia. Previously, he worked as a field producer and second camera for a National Geographic production in the High Arctic. In 2017 and 2018, he was a Postdoctoral Associate at Florida State University, where he helped communicate science through filmmaking in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo.
AA holds a PhD in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado. His research is interdisciplinary and includes elements of feminist philosophy, visual anthropology, and political ecology. He orients his work through ethno-ecology, studying how various communities understand their nearby nature and how their cultural practices, knowledge, & beliefs help guide distinct relationships with the natural world. His dissertation concerned the Gorilla Folk Films From the Cross River Headwaters project. His academic work seeks to help address conflicts between international wildlife conservation and social justice. AA also holds Masters Degree in Science Communication, with a focus on Natural History filmmaking, from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. He was also a recipient of a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship and spent a year filming primates around the world.
He leads the shooting & cutting.
NA is the producer. She joined At Films to help guide the transition to Folk Filmmaking. Our work in West Africa inspired her to pursue graduate studies looking at relations between gender & conservation. She recently completed a Masters degree at the University of British Columbia's Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice. She spearheaded our Folk Film project in the & High Pamir & Tien Shan and her Masters research focused on gendered narratives of conservation in Central Asia we collected during the project.
She leads production.
Our first project together:
When not filming or studying, we enjoy wandering, foraging, and adventuring.
Interests include wild animals, wild edibles, & justice for all.
Please do not hesitate to contact At Films. Questions, collaborations, critiques, ideas, encouragement... all sorts of correspondence are most welcome.
Phillip Hermans is a composer, performer, programmer, writer, and educator currently based in Oakland, CA. He holds an MA in Digital Musics from Dartmouth College and a BS in Music: Science and Technology from Tulane University. (He is also AA's cousin.)
In 2015, he joined At Films. He scored our Folk Films from the High Pamir & Tien Shan by working from field sound recordings, local instruments, and obsessive Internet scouring. He's already proving indispensable. On future projects, we plan to bring him along to add a folk music production component to the Folk Filmmaking. We are currently planning a Folk Filmmaking project along the border.
JEAN ROUCH AWARD. 2015.
A Society of Visual Anthropology award recognizing extraordinary participatory filmmaking. Received at the annual SVA film festival during the American Anthropological Association’s annual conference.
LUSH CHARITY POT GRANT. 2015.
FAUNA & FLORA INTERNATIONAL FLAGSHIP SPECIES GRANT. 2014.
•Amir, Adam. 2019. Folk Filmmaking: A Participatory Method for Engaging Indigenous Ethics and Improving Understanding. Conservation & Society 17: 123-34.
•Amir, Adam. 2019. Who Knows What About Gorillas? Indigenous Knowledge, Global Justice, and Human-Gorilla Relations.IK: Other Ways of Knowing 5: 1-40.
•Amir, Adam, Noal Amir, & Ndimuh Bertrand Shancho. 2015. Gorilla Folk Filmmaking in the Cross River Headwaters. Gorilla Journal 51.
•Hermans, Adam Pérou. 2015. “If You Wander in Winter, They Will Eat You: Local Knowledge, Wolves, & Justice in Central Asia.” In: A Fairy Tale in Question: Historical Interactions Between Human and Wolves. Ed. by P. Masius & J. Spregner. White Horse Press.
• Benjamin Hale, Alexander Lee, and Adam Pérou Hermans. 2014. Clowning Around with Conservation: Adaptation, Reparation, and the New Substitution Problem. Environmental Values 23: 181-198.
• Hermans, Adam Pérou, Alexander Lee, Lydia Dixon, & Benjamin Hale. 2014. Wolf Reintroduction: Ecological Management and the Substitution Problem. Ecological Restoration 32(3). 221-228.
• Lee, Alexander, Benjamin Hale, and Adam Pérou Hermans. 2014. Restoration, Obligation, and the Baseline Problem. Environmental Ethics 36 (2): 171-186.
• Hale, Benjamin, Adam Pérou Hermans, and Alexander Lee. 2013. Adaptation, Reparation, and the Baseline Problem. In Toward Successful Adaptation: Linking Science and Practice in Managing Climate Change Impacts. Ed. Boykoff, M. T. and S. Moser. Routledge.
Hermans, Adam Pérou, Alexander Lee, and Benjamin Hale. Forthcoming. Wildness Without Naturalness. Ethics in the Anthropocene. Ed. by Light, A. & K. Shockley. MIT Press.