Director Otto Bell got way showbiz lucky when he reached out to Morgan Spurlock– director of the famed “Super Size Me”– for his Sony Picture Classics passion project, “The Eagle Huntress.” The extraordinary documentary follows a 13 year old Mongolian girl named Aisholpan, who trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter. She bucks the tradition of the father handing it down to his son.
Otto told me at the recent LA premiere that without Spurlock, none of the accolades he’s getting for his film — it has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes — would be happening. He explains, “I made this film and used all my life savings and borrowed from the bank. I got two-thirds all the way through. But before she became a full eagle hunter, which involved winter shooting, I knew was it going to be difficult. So I got in touch with Morgan. I was totally out of money, I put together the first ten minutes, sent it to him, and he called me that day and told me he never saw anything like it and how could he help me. I owe him an incredible amount. I plugged into the Morgan machine, which included CAA. They connected me with Daisy Ridley. She saw it and wanted to narrate it. Her narration is like hand holding for the audience and lifts the film in every way.”
You, too, will be lifted by “Huntress.” This endearing film is heroic, gorgeous to look at, poignant and inspirational. “Huntress” is nominated for the Best First Documentary Feature in the upcoming Critics Choice Documentary Awards taking today on Thursday November 10th at the BRIC in Brooklyn. Morgan Spurlock won’t be going again his new pal Otto. Spurlock’s own new lauded documentary, “Rats,” is nominated for Best Documentary Feature and he is nominated for Best Director, both for TV/Streaming. Kudos to them both. “The Eagle Huntress” opens in limited release this week.