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.
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 Tsai
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
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.
Superb nature footage and straightforward reportage make for a solid advocacy doc. – Sheri Linden
The status of songbirds worldwide provides another barometer for measuring unsettling ecological changes… – Dennis Harvey
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 Brady
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-largerprint
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
CJTT-FM Temiskaming Radio host Jack Morin’s morning chat on Sept. 30, 2016 is with Joanne Jackson, Producer of The Messenger.
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.
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
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
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 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 Trem
‘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
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
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
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.
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
‘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
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 up – Ottawa 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
The Messenger: the songbird crisis (VIDEO) – Breakfast Television Calgary – 03.07.16
Interview with Andrew Hunt, president of Nature Calgary
A sampling of CBC radio interviews:
The Messenger: interview with Su Rynard – CBC Ottawa Morning (Radio) – 03.03.16
Songbirds are vanishing: interview with Su Rynard – CBC 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 issues an ecological warning in Calgary – 660 News – 03.01.16
Playback speaks to producer Joanne Jackson of SongbirdSOS Productions about the distribution strategy for The Messenger. – Jordan Pinto.
The 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.
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 Matter – ReelWest
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
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.
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 Todd – WCAI – 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.
Mike Kaspar from Film School Radio Interviews The Messenger Director Su Rynard – 12.11.15
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
‘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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
UK – Eye for Film Review – 11.23.15
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
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
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
Songbird Documentary Inspired by the Bruce by Scott Dunn – Owen Sound Sun Times – 11.15.15
Click here to read the Toronto Star article.
POV Magazine – Su Rynard on making THE MESSENGER (April 2015 issue)
Songbirds Future – Bird Studies Canada and The Messenger echo an Environmental Warning – London Free Press – 5.28.15
L’Express – 04.21.15
The Epoch Times – 03.30.15
Kawartha Now – 03.26.15
TorontoIsAwesome.com – Reel Talk – 04.16.15
Northern Stars – 04.20.15
Northern Stars – 04.13.15
Playback Online – 03.17.15
Toronto Sun – 03.17.15
The Mike Nowak Show (SOUND FILE) – 04.04.15
Green Divas Radio Show Podcast (SOUND FILE) – 03.19.15
Canadian Film Centre: CFC-NFB FEATURE DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM-SUPPORTED DOC “THE MESSENGER” TO SCREEN AT HOT DOCS 2015 – 03.15.15
Hot Docs Premier Press Release (ZIP FILE) – 04.07.15
Saskatchewan researcher trying to find the cause behind declining songbird populations – CBCradio 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 Stutchbury – Sirius 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