Messenger-icon-300xHere’s what people are saying about The Messenger





The New York Times Critics’ Pick 

The arguments are persuasive, the message from the birds powerful, and the film a rich and satisfying call to action that is presented with some novel ideas for how to restore the ecological balance.


The LA Times Review:  ‘The Messenger’ ponders vanishing Songbirds  

Their findings unequivocally caution on the necessity of averting the birds’ extinction because they are an integral part of the ecological system… The slow-motion close-ups alone should convince you these magnificent creatures are well worth the effort. – Martin TsaiLos Angeles Times


The Messenger: Its worthy ecocentric message can’t hold a candle to the film’s beauty 
The cinematography goes way beyond mere ornithological documentation. It’s as if we are seeing these birds for the first time, and in a sense, we are.  – Peter Rainer, Film Critic


The Village Voice: “Persuasive and terrifying”

We harness modernity as much for its triumph over darkness and silence as for its convenience, but our insistence that it dominate our lives is killing some of Earth’s most fragile creatures. So what to do? The filmmakers, like the songbirds they advocate for, are only messengers, but their message is persuasive and terrifying.


Hollywood Reporter Review – Awe and hard science share center stage in The Messenger 

Superb nature footage and straightforward reportage make for a solid advocacy doc. – Sheri Linden


Variety Review: The Messenger ‘Cinematic Survey Roams the Planet’

The status of songbirds worldwide provides another barometer for measuring unsettling ecological changes… – Dennis Harvey


LA Weekly – Critics Choice Review of The Messenger  

We harness modernity as much for its triumph over darkness and silence as for its convenience, but our insistence that it dominate our lives is killing some of Earth’s most fragile creatures. – Amy Bradyla_weekly

Morning North– CBC Radio program with host Markus Schwabe interviews  Joanne Jackson, Producer of The Messenger about the Northern Ontario mini-tour of the film.   September  26, 2016


The Sudbury Star Arts Briefs   October 1, 2016

The award-winning documentary film The Messenger, comes to select movie theatres in Sudbury, North Bay and New Liskeard this fall, as part of  special mini-tour of Northern Ontario that kicks off at Sudbury’s Downtown Movie Lounge… sudburystar-oct-1-largerprintImage result for Sudbury Star logo


The Temiskaming Speaker featured Joanne Jackson , Producer of The Messenger in the ’20 Questions with’ column on  September 28, 2016. The reporter is Sue Nielsen. 20questions-joannej-temiskamingspeaker Image result for Temiskaming Speaker logo


CJTT-FM Temiskaming Radio host Jack Morin’s morning chat on Sept. 30, 2016 is with Joanne  Jackson, Producer of The Messenger.

CTV News Northern Ontario 

CTV News reporter Linda Holmes  covered the North Bay Film Festival screening of the Messenger in the October 2nd, news broadcast.  Joanne Jackson says ‘birds have something to tell us;.

This is the  link to view  the story, which mentions the film in opening in Sudbury and New Liskeard too.


The Messenger Spreads its Wings,  Playback Online  September 22,  2016

Having secured a U.S. Netflix deal and multiple international sales in Europe and Asia, the songbird documentary is now embarking on a Canadian campus tour.

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NOW Magazine gives The Messenger 4 Stars!

“The loving passion of these activists makes a huge impression, and the birds themselves are spectacular.” – Susan G. Cole

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The Messenger: Review – Toronto Star

You’ll never look at Toronto’s brightly lit downtown skyline after dark the same way after Canadian director Su Rynard’s doc about songbirds in peril. – Linda Barnard

Toronto-StarThe Messenger Review: 3 out of 4 stars. “A globetrotting look at the short, sweet lives of songbirds” – National Post

Best of all, [The Messenger] suggests that there is still time to study birds with the aim of preserving them. The canary in the coalmine is still singing, at least for now. – Chris Knight


The Huffington Post: Birds of a Feather   

The Messenger paints a disturbing picture of how man-made climate change is impacting various species of birds while draining migrating populations of their numbers.  – George Heymont


The Messenger: Death of songbirds is environmental warning – interview with Su Rynard CBC The Current with Anna Maria Tremcbc-the-current-logo


‘The Messenger’ paints a bleak picture for future of songbirds – TV eh? – 05.30.16

Throughout history, man has viewed birds both as mythical beings and as harbingers of changing weather and seasons. Now, their diminishing song is hinting at something catastrophic. – Greg David


‘The Messenger’ tracks troubling trends in songbird populations – Wicked Local Provincetown – 05.08.16

“The film describes in elegant terms, with all kinds of spectacular video effects, problems birds face worldwide,” says Wayne Petersen, Mass. Audubon’s director of Massachusetts Important Bird Areas. – Lee Roscoe




Radio interview on R. Gollyard’s ‘Airwaves’ –  KWMR Radio – 05.03.16

Interview with producer Joanne Jackson and subject Çağan Şekercioğlu. Listen to the full interview here.


Review –The Messenger shows how humans affect bird populations.  The Daily Nebraskan,  4.22.16 

The visual aspect of the birds in flight is thrilling, as you can see each individual feather sweep through the air on screen.  Cait Scotter

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Review – ‘The Messenger’ Documents Threats To Songbird Population – KPBS San Diego – 04.22.16

A contemplative investigation into the troubling depletion of songbirds worldwide… – Beth Accomando

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Review-   Eco-documentary ‘The Messenger’ sounds warning about silencing of songbirds, Lincoln Journal Star, 4.21.16 

Amid the warnings, “The Messenger” also conveys some amazing information, for example, showing via digital imagery the flight path of a purple martin that had been banded with a tiny digital signal chip as it makes its way from Pennsylvania to the middle of South America, covering hundreds of miles in a day.    – L. Kent Wlogamott


The Messenger: a plea from our songbirds Lincoln Journal Star – 04.15.16

…Cutting edge videography and compelling content about imperiled songbirds across North America and worldwide. – Dave Titterington

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The Messenger: Documentary explores decline in songbirds Breakfast Television Montreal – 04.11.16

A TV interview featuring producer Joanne Jackson & bird expert Andrew Coughlan (Quebec Program Manager, Bird Studies Canada).  Click here to watch the full video.

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Birds deliver warning in ‘The Messenger’: interview with Su Rynard Detroit Free Press, 03.29.16

‘The Messenger’ delivers a powerful sense of immediacy by suggesting a larger undercurrent.  – Glenn McDonald

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‘The Messenger’ documentary delivers warning from songbirds, director says Pittsburgh Tribune Review – 03.18.16

In ‘The Messenger’ we share the music, the beauty and the wonder,” says Su Rynard, who directed the documentary. “We connect with how amazing these creatures are. We explore our complex human relationship to the natural world. The result is a deeply nuanced film. It is a film that will make you laugh and cry. It is a film that may change you.” – Debbie Black

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The Messenger: Film Warns of Songbirds’ Decline Ottawa Citizen – 03.17.16

At once elegiac and a hopeful call to action, the award-winning film is an unsettling look at the plight of the world’s songbirds, a vast and diverse range of creatures – warblers, orioles, thrushes and tanagers among them – whose population has shrunk in half since the 1960s. – Patrick Langston


Spring migration beginning to heat upOttawa Citizen – 03.11.16

On the heels of a successful American theatrical launch, The Messenger — a visually thrilling eco-documentary that unravels the mystery behind the world’s vanishing songbird population and questions what this may mean for our own future, opens March 18 at the Bytowne Cinema. – Bruce Di Labio.


A World Without Songbirds – The Record (Waterloo, ON) – 03.04.16

For many people, birds are a pretty little novelty, something cute and colourful to feed at a backyard feeder. “The Messenger” sets to re-establish birds’ importance to human existence. – Valerie Hill

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The Messenger: the songbird crisis (VIDEO)Breakfast Television Calgary – 03.07.16

Interview with Andrew Hunt, president of Nature Calgary

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A sampling of CBC radio interviews: 

The Messenger: interview with Su RynardCBC Ottawa Morning (Radio) – 03.03.16

Songbirds are vanishing: interview with Su RynardCBC Edmonton AM (Radio) – 03.03.16

Su Rynard on her new film The Messenger CBC Calgary Eyeopener (Radio) – 03.02.16

“Documentary about songbirds could serve as wake-up call” CBC Radio Ottawa’s In Town and Out – 2.20.16

The Messenger’s Su Rynard speaks to Anthony Germain on CBC Radio’s THE CURRENT – 5.1.15



The Messenger issues an ecological warning in Calgary660 News – 03.01.16

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The Messenger’s Reverse MigrationPlayback – 02.26.16

Playback speaks to producer Joanne Jackson of SongbirdSOS Productions about the distribution strategy for The Messenger. – Jordan Pinto.

Picture-1The Messenger  Daytime, Rogers Durham – 02.25.16

Producer Joanne Jackson and Michael  Mesure, founder of the Fatal Light Awareness Program spoke with Denise Marek of Daytime, Durham. Watch the segment here. 


Hollywood North Mag reviews The Messenger – 02.04.16

Tonight, try turning off as many lights as possible to cut down on confusion for the birds outside. It’s one small thing you can do to help them. Click here to see their announcement of our Canadian theatrical release.


The Messenger Makes Bird MatterReelWest

The eco-documentary The Messenger is an international story that unravels the mystery behind the world’s vanishing songbird population. – Katja De Bock


Canadian documentary explores worrisome disappearance of songbirds – Canadian Geographic

The films takes viewers to three continents and seamlessly blends interviews with stunning slow-motion footage of songbirds in flight. – Alexandra Pope


Global TV News and the Global Morning Show 

Director Su Rynard and York University Biologist Bridget Stutchbury spoke with The Morning Show’s Carolyn Mackenzie, discussing how Toronto lies on a bird flyway (a super-highway for birds) and the perils that migratory birds face every year as they travel through Toronto and other cities. Watch the interview here. 

Global News’s Christina Stevens also interviewed Bridget for a piece about what we can do to stop the decline of songbird populations. Watch the report here. 


 “Call to Arms Doc ”  89.3 Public Radio KPCC’s film critics review THE MESSENGER  – 12.11.15

Southern California’s Public Radio host Larry Mantle and KPCC film critics Peter Rainer, Charles Solomon, and Amy Nicholson reviewed the week’s new movie releases LIVE on Dec. 11. You can hear the review of the Messenger by Amy Nicholson in this sound file.



The Point with host Mindy ToddWCAI  – NPR Radio Cape Islands 

Su Rynard joins NPR host Mindy Todd, along with Mark Flaherty, Science Coordinator at Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary; and Trevor Lloyd Evans, director of the Land Bird Conservation Program at Manomet.

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Mike Kaspar from Film School Radio Interviews The Messenger Director Su Rynard  – 12.11.15


Audubon: Birds Ring the Environmental Alarm—and Inspire Action—in New Documentary – 12.7.15

The Messenger is particularly effective at sounding the alarm because it makes the issue highly personal. With exclusive footage, and high-tech cinematography, the movie offers an intimate look at the plight of the songbird. Stunning flight sequences…are conveyed in slow motion, making the complexities of wing movement, control, and rhythm visible to the human eye. – Jennifer Huizen


As seen on 7 at 7 – 4 New York – 12.3.15      

‘Stunning visually and in its message.”   Director Su Rynard and Cornell Lab of Ornithology Scientist Andrew Farnsworth sit down with John Chandler to talk about The Messenger.

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All About Birds. 7 Things  You Can Do to Help Songbirds after seeing THE MESSENGER  – 11.25.15

The actions of the general public are also a vital component of change, and it’s through collective effort that we’ll make the biggest difference.


Constantly Explore Review of the Messenger by Todd Simmons  – 12.2.15 

The Messenger shows birds as the physical prophets of what we are doing to the environment, as messengers showing us our own future. It is not a film of maybe, could be, or might, but a story of strong words: have lost, are losing, will lose.   – Todd Simmons


Film Journal International: Film Review: The Messenger – 12.2.15 

Cinematographers Daniel Grant and Amar Arhab showcase individuals at rest, in super-macro shots, as well as in flight. The doc’s stunning slo-mo footage of midair locomotion emphasizes these messengers’ grace and mystery.   – Sheri Linden


Film-Forward: Star Reviews: The Messenger   – 12.3.15

The Messenger is a feast for the eyes, but it is also an urgent warning to take notice of what is happening in our own backyards.   – Cary Meltzer Frostick


 Cut Print Film: Reviews: The Messenger    – 12.4.15

It’s emotionally engrossing, pulling the viewer into the unparalleled beauty on display. ”Imagine a world without birdsong“ may seem like trivial statement before you watch The Messenger, but after it’s ended, such a statement will shock you. In a world such as this, with the way things are now, who could possible want less beauty? – Chris Evangelista


Spirituality & Practice: Film Review: The Messenger    – 12.3.15

A very positive message of this Canadian documentary directed by Su Rynard is that a large number of people are looking out for threatened songbirds – biologists and ecologists, ornithologists, and birdwatchers – and they are collecting the data needed to catalyst ways to protect them.


All About Birds from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology reviews THE MESSENGER  11.16.15

Prepare to be transfixed by the opening shot in The Messenger,  a new documentary about songbird declines. A Black-throated Blue Warbler, closer than you’ve  ever seen one, flies in slow motion against a black background. Slo-mo can make anything look graceful (even creatures as clumsy as Hollywood actors) so just imagine what it does for a warbler in full breeding glory. It’s the most beautiful footage of a bird in flight I’ve ever seen.  -Hugh Powell.


Reel Life With Jane: ‘The Messenger’ Doc Shows How Songbirds are Being Threatened and (Hopefully) Being Saved   – 11.29.15 

The documentary is so well-done that it’s beautiful, heartbreaking, and inspiring all at once. I’m not sure how they did it, but the cinematographers captured the flight of solo birds, who are presented in close-up and slow motion periodically throughout the film.  – Melanie Votow



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UK – Eye for Film Review11.23.15

Everything about this film is beautifully, evocatively shot, and effectively scored by the birds themselves. It’s not a film you’ll forget in a hurry.   – Jennie Kermode.



The Messenger – Miami Edge Media Network – 12.04.15

Songbirds now face new and deadly challenges that imperil their existence. The Messenger deftly portrays those threats and balances them with the work being done to save these tiny vertebrates. – Monique Rubens Krohn

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Avian Conservation & Ecology Review: Volume 10, No.2

This film is primarily an emotional appeal to educate us about the magnitude of the perils facing song birds everywhere and to motivate us to be more effective in our efforts to protect them; and in that regard, the film is a great success. – Keith A. Hobson and Ryan Norris

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Birdwatching Daily Review – 11.04.15

 The Messenger is an important and long-overdue documentary. Here’s hoping it does for songbirds what The Cove did for dolphins and what Blackfish did for killer whales. – Matt Mendenhall, Managing Editor

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Documentary ‘The Messenger’ Gets U.S. Release with Kino Lorber – 10.13.15

Read about it on Variety, Screen Daily, and Real Screen.

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The Messenger wins Best Conservation Film at Jackson Hole – 10.02.15

Songbird Documentary Inspired by the Bruce by Scott Dunn – Owen Sound Sun Times – 11.15.15

owen_sound_sun_timesThe Messenger ranks 3rd of 210 films – Audience Choice Award at Hot Docs – 5.4.15

Click here to read the Toronto Star article.

Toronto-StarPOV Magazine – Su Rynard on making THE MESSENGER  (April 2015 issue) 

The Messenger hums with the kind of restless energy that’s all too rare for an eco-doc… a testament to Rynard’s success at finding so many dynamic human subjects all striving to save songbirds.


Songbirds Future – Bird Studies Canada and The Messenger echo an Environmental Warning – London Free Press – 5.28.15

Wylie Writes – Movie Review of THE MESSENGER

Inside Toronto. Local filmmaker Su Rynard thrilled having THE MESSENGER at Hot Docs. 4.27.15

Toronto Sun – THE MESSENGER makes the ‘Should see’ list – 04.18.15

L’Express – 04.21.15

Frameline Radio interview – Su Rynard talks to Barbara Goslawski About THE MESSENGER  – 04.16.15

The Epoch Times  – 03.30.15

Kawartha Now  – 03.26.15

CP24 – Animal House Calls – Dr. Bridget Stutchbury talks to Ann Rohmer – Reel Talk  – 04.16.15

The After Pitch Story – The Messenger by Su Rynard

Northern Stars – 04.20.15

Northern Stars  – 04.13.15

Playback Online – 03.17.15

Toronto Sun – 03.17.15

Canadian Geographic, CG Compass Blog by Calvin Dao   – 04.20.15

The Mike Nowak Show (SOUND FILE)   – 04.04.15

Green Divas Radio Show Podcast (SOUND FILE)   – 03.19.15


Hot Docs Premier Press Release (ZIP FILE)   – 04.07.15


TBOT-tree-swallow-icon-300xPress for SongbirdSOS – a one-hour documentary on CBC Nature of Things

Saskatchewan researcher trying to find the cause behind declining songbird populationsCBCradio Saskatoon Morning (SOUND FILE) – 03.22.2015

“Are the Prairies getting quieter? Songbirds are declining in number.”CBCnews Saskatoon – 03.19.2015

Interview with Dr. Bridget StutchburySirius XM – The Arlene Bynon Show  (SOUND FILE) – 03.19.2015

Interview with Dr.Erin Bayne – Associate Professor U Of A & Scott Mckeen – Ward 6 Councillor – CHED AM630 The Ryan Jespersen Show (SOUND FILE) – 03.19.2015

“Preview: SongbirdSOS Examines Declining Numbers of Feathered Friends”TV, eh? – 03.19.2015

“On TV”Winnipeg Free Press – [Reposted to] The Carillon – 03.19.2015

“SongbirdSOS is Must-See TV”James Bawden – 03.18.2015

“U of S research takes flight in SongbirdSOS documentary”The Sheaf 03.18.2015

“The World Outdoors: Tundra swans’ return imminent”London Free Press 03.14.2015

“York prof featured in the film ‘SongbirdSOS’ tonight on CBC’s ‘The Nature of Things” yFile News – York University – 03.18.2015

SongbirdSOS Broadcast Premiere Press Release – 03.03.2015

SongbirdSOS Wins Best Feature Doc Pitch At Sunny Side Of The Doc – 07.10.2012