ABOUT THE FILM

Drawn in by the haunting specter of the Florida panther, a wildlife photographer, veterinarians, ranchers, conservationists, and indigenous people find themselves on the front lines of an accelerating battle between forces of renewal and destruction that have pushed the Everglades to the brink of ecological collapse.

In a struggle resonating across the globe, the panther’s habitat has become an island. Its lush territory transformed into subdivisions. A paradise vanishing into thin air.

Perched on the edge of extinction, the panther is an emblem of our once connected world. A vision of what could be again. Or else, a harbinger, of what could befall our planet, if the ‘Path of the Panther’ becomes a dead end.

Featuring

CARLTON WARD JR. is a National Geographic Explorer and photographer focused on Florida’s hidden wild.

BETTY OSCEOLA is a Miccosukee Everglades educator, airboat captain, conservationist and clean water advocate.  

ELTON LANGFORD is a full-time cattle rancher in Arcadia, Florida and the chairman of the DeSoto Board of County Commissioners.  

DR. LARA CUSACK  is a panther veterinarian with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.  

BRIAN KELLY  is a panther researcher with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

DR. JEN KORN  is a panther biologist. She is also the Education Chair of the Wildlife Society of Florida and adjunct professor at South Florida State College.   

DR. LAUREN SMITH  is a lead veterinarian at ZooTampa.  

DR. DAVE ONARATO is a panther biologist with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

Behind the Scenes

Camera Trapping

Camera trapping provides a window into a world that was previously only accessible to researchers or individuals with intimate knowledge of a species or habitat. To capture the never before seen footage in the Path of the Panther film, we created custom forest studios comprised of professional cameras, lights, and an infrared trip wire that allow passing animals to take their own pictures. Through this technology, we’re able to aid wildlife research and conservation and raise awareness of the habitat needed to save Florida wildlife.

Learn More

Filmmakers

Eric Bendick

Director, Producer, Writer

Eric is an Emmy-winning Storyteller, Director and Producer for Montana-based GRIZZLY CREEK FILMS. His work is motivated by an exploration of connectivity, conflict, intersection, and balance among the human and natural world. He’s led film expeditions to the Florida Everglades, the Grand Canyon, the Great Bear Rainforest, the Alaska Range, and to the farthest point from any road in Yellowstone National Park. His accolades include a Webby, a Wildscreen Panda Award and the Best Broadcast Feature Award from the International Wildlife Film Festival.

Carlton Ward Jr

Cinematographer, Producer

Carlton is a National Geographic Explorer and photographer focused on Florida’s hidden wild. He founded the Florida Wildlife Corridor project in 2010 and has since trekked 2,000 miles during two National Geographic supported expeditions to advocate for the corridor’s protection. An eighth-generation Floridian, Ward has developed strong connections with conservation organizations, researchers, and landowners. He is now working as an ambassador for the recovery of the Florida panther, a plan that calls for conservation of hundreds of thousands of acres of ranchlands and forests and across Florida.

Thomas Winston

Cinematographer, Producer

Tom is the founder and CEO of GRIZZLY CREEK FILMS, an independent production company that has created original series and documentary films for The National Geographic Channel, The Smithsonian Channel, History Channel and PBS. He lives in Montana with his family and proudly serves on the board of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition — an organization committed to healthy lands, water and wildlife in the 20 million acres surrounding the “World’s First National Park”.

Tori Linder

Impact Producer, Producer

Tori has made it her mission to bring attention to the protection of our world’s last wild places. Working with the private, public and non profit sectors, she has built a career as a campaign strategist and award winning storyteller, scaling unique conservation and sustainable development initiatives in North America and sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, she serves as Managing Director of the Path of the Panther project.

SIGRID TIEDTKE  Executive Producer

TED HADDOCK  Executive Producer

HOWARD G. BUFFETT  Executive Producer

ERIC BENDICK  Director, Producer, Writer, Editor

CARLTON WARD JR.  Cinematographer, Producer

THOMAS WINSTON  Cinematographer, Producer

TORI LINDER  Producer, Impact Producer

JEFF REED  Cinematographer, Editor, Graphics

DANNY SCHMIDT  Cinematographer, Consulting Producer

DAWSON DUNNING  Cinematographer

RICK SMITH  Cinematographer

KATIE BRYDEN  Cinematographer

SARA MATASICK  Additional Cinematographer

NEIL LOSIN  Additional Cinematographer

ANDREW HARRISON BROWN  Editor

SCOTT STERLING  Online Editor, Colorist

ASHLEY SIANA  Assistant Editor, Associate Producer

ERIKA SHARE  Assistant Editor

PATRICK TORMEY  Assistant Editor

KEVIN MATLEY  Original music

BRIAN EIMER  Sound Editor

MALIA BYRTUS  Field Producer, Camera Trap Technician

ALEX FREEZE  Field Producer, Camera Trap Technician

LAUREN YOHO  Associate Producer, Camera Trap Technician

GEORGE MCKENZIE JR.  Camera Trap Technician

SHASTA GRENIER WINSTON  Consulting Producer

AVELA GRENIER  Consulting Producer

LISA BAYLOR  Business Manager

SAVENNA HANLEY  Business Manager

Acknowledgements

The Edward Haddock Family Foundation
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation
The Tiedtke Family
The Dimmitt Family Foundation
The National Geographic Society
The Redford Center
Cho Family Foundation
Ferman Community Advancement Fund
fStop Foundation
Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission
Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge

Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Big Cypress National Preserve
Miccosukee Tribe of Florida
Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park
White Oak Conservation Center
Zoo Tampa
Archbold Biological Station
Buck Island Ranch
Babcock Ranch Preserve
The Nature Conservancy

Fiscal Agent

International League of Conservation Photographers

In loving memory of Lawrence Hundley Dimmitt IV  

Grizzly Creek specializes in filmmaking that marries compelling storytelling, dynamic characters, and unparalleled imagery. From our home base in Montana to the far corners of the globe, we deliver productions defined by authentic emotion, heart pounding action, and breathtaking natural wonders.  

Wildpath Media is a team of storytellers, explorers, and conservationists on a mission to inspire the appreciation and protection of wild Florida through impactful stories that raise awareness of conservation issues in our state and inspire policy makers, businesses, communities, and citizens to take action.  

Amid confusions of a fractured and divided world, Common Pictures curates stories that help us to see and enjoy our shared humanity.