The Falconer

No Longer Available

Film Info
Section:Valley of the Docs
Mind the Gap
Running Time:73 min.
Premiere Status:World
Director:Annie Kaempfer
Producer:William Stefan Smith
Screenwriter:Annie Kaempfer
Cinematographer:Annie Kaempfer
Colleen Kwok
Cast:Rodney Stotts
Print Source:Cargo Releasing
Note Writer:Shari Kizirian


Screening note: This digital screening is available to view between 12:01am PT on Friday, October 9, and 11:59pm PT on Sunday, October 18.


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Rodney Stotts started his young life running the mean streets of Washington, D.C. Today, he's a Master Falconer building a sanctuary for predatory birds in an old dairy barn in rural Maryland. Introduced to raptors through a conservation program that worked to clean up the Chesapeake Bay’s polluted estuaries in the 1990s, Stotts went all in, learning how to rescue and train these majestic birds, rescuing himself in the process. Now he uses the practice of falconry to show others a new path. Through cinema vérité style, director and cinematographer Annie Kaempfer gives Stotts the space to share his journey—at turns harrowing and uplifting—from friends who didn’t make it, to the joy that comes from forming lasting bonds with nature. What The Falconer quietly reveals is that it took much more than these birds, of course. It took family, faith, and Stotts’ own disciplined focus, sometimes a source of loneliness but no less the source of his strength.

Additional Information

Annie is a director, producer and cinematographer. She serves on the board of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital’s and has consulted for Ford Foundation JustFilms. Annie graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in Filmmaking, Spike Lee Fellowship, and Alan Landsburg Documentary Award. Annie was born in Washington, DC, and lived in London and Maine before settling in Brooklyn with a lawyer/musician and an unruly rescue Saint Bernard. She brings a collaborative spirit, devotion to aesthetics, and focus on real-world impact to all she does.