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The Last Song of the Nightingale

Katie Stacey | 2020 | UK | 57

The Last Song of the Nightingale tells the tale of one of Europe’s most well known birds; its natural history, its role in literature, art and music, as well as its cultural importance and its future. Using a unique storytelling blend of animation, natural history, documentary style filmmaking and archive footage.

Director of Photography: Luke Massey
Design, Animation & Illustration: Will Rose
Sound Design & Field Recording: Nicholas Allan
Narrator: Samuel West
Additional Photography: Austin Ferguson, Ben Andrew, Daniel Trim, Mick Jenner, Russell Savory, Craig Reed, RSPB, British Pathé

Director Biography

‘The Last Song of the Nightingale’ is the debut feature length documentary by Katie Stacey (Director) and Luke Massey (DOP). The wildlife filming pair wanted to raise awareness of the threats against migratory birds and their habitats, but appeal to a much wider audience. With its cross-sector influence the Nightingale was the perfect poster bird to represent the plight of all migrating birds. 

Katie is co-owner of the production company Sunbittern Media, whose short film ‘Singing With Nightingales’ was shortlisted for the 2018 Research in Film Awards – Inspiration Award. Katie’s episode of ‘Undercover Tourist – Thailand’s Tiger Selfie Trade’, a self-shot conservation series produced for BBC3, won the Ron Tuckman Youth Award at The Flagstaff Film Festival 2018. Katie worked as a researcher and camera-assistant on the 2019 ‘BBC Natural World: Super Fast Falcon’.

Director Statement

‘The Last Song of the Nightingale’ was about creating a documentary that appealed to more than just the natural history lovers. By incorporating history, literature, art, music, animation as well as the science and conservation of the nightingale, myself and Luke Massey hoped to appeal to a broader audience. After crowdfunding the money to make the documentary, we put together a crew who are passionate about birds, and in turn our aim was to create a film that inspired that passion in others. As the great Sir David Attenborough said, “No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced”.

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Photos from LIDF