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Award Winner

Festival Season:

March 2024






Run Time:

Rhett Cutrell
Rhett Cutrell

Awarded for the following Category(s):

Awarded Category(s)

A zoologist couple travels to West Africa to document some of the worlds deadliest snakes. Their expedition reveals a surprising similarity between handling deadly snakes and living in a healthy relationship.

Submitter Statement

“Figures” was conceived with one goal in mind: bridge the gap between the extraordinary endeavors of these wildlife filmmakers and the familiar experiences we all encounter. To take this wild journey of discovery and draw connections that resonate with diverse audiences across the planet. A tale that is focused on snakes, and yet, tells a profoundly human story. 

Film is about perspective, and if all I brought to the table was a predictable plot with only surface level meanings, MY passion for seeing this project through would not exist. As directors, we have the responsibility to exceed the viewer’s expectations and tell stories in a way they don’t see coming. Traditionally, films of this genre would depict such expeditions as an exotic spectacle, full of over-the-top and ultimately unnecessary drama. My vision was different. Seeing eye to eye with me, Zuzana and Matej agreed that the additional work that would be required to keep this journey entertaining without contriving drama was worth it. Both out of respect for the viewers, but also out of respect for the snakes. 

They don’t like the negative energy associated with hyperactive giants making them do take after take in the hot jungle just as we don’t like doing that either. Handling green mambas is dangerous enough as it is, and we felt our story was compelling enough with the love elements that harping on danger constantly would have been a disservice. 

As far as working in uncontrolled jungly environments goes, I have plenty of experience in this area and enough knowledge to know that keeping things simple is a virtue. In order to tell these type of stories authentically, you need to be on your toes and be able to change gears on a moment’s notice. As the director, at all points during the day, you are running an impossible to solve algorithmic calculation in your head. What cut aways do I need for this scene? How will these shots tie into the message of the scene we shot 5 days ago? If we don’t find another snake for 4 hours, will there be enough batteries to get the coverage we need for the release? What if it starts raining... on and on and on with the “what if’s” so minimizing complexities is generally the best course of action. The more elements you can personally control, the better the outcome will be.

Rhett Cutrell is an award winning wildlife and outdoor adventure film producer, bringing Hollywood- grade productions to the most remote regions on the planet. His objective: expose wild stories that have true heart and capture their unique point of view in a way that does justice to their inherent power. After working on exhilarating productions for over 17 years, on six continents, and collaborating with industry giants like National Geographic, Destination British Columbia, and Discovery Channel, Rhett has gained the required knowledge to develop truly immersive experiences in the most difficult of production settings.

Key Cast

Matej Dolinay, Zuzana Dolinay

Other Credits

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