The new documentary “The Hope of a New Flight” premiered September 5th in Coyhaique, Chile at the Augusto Grosse MOP Hall. The documentary chronicles the story of three young Andean condors, which were rescued as chicks, rehabilitated, and released to their native home in Patagonia Park. With the dramatic landscape of Patagonia Park as the backdrop, the film successfully portrays the magnificent presence of Patagonia’s most emblematic bird.
In the presence of more than one hundred people, the documentary recounted in detail the story of the return and release of three condors, and included interviews with many of the people involved in this process. After falling out of their nests, the chicks were rescued and brought to the UNORCH (Union of Chilean Ornithologists) bird rehabilitation center in Talagante. In collaboration with SAG (Chile’s wildlife authority), UNORCH, and Conservacion Patagonica, the birds started on a two month journey that would eventually take them home to their native skies in Aysen, Chile.
The climax of the film takes place at Patagonia Park during the official rerelease of the birds. This past January, the Andean Condor rerelease brought hundreds of visitors to Patagonia Park to watch Andino, Con Con and Rey (names given to birds from the children at Hernan Merino School in Cochrane) spread their wings in flight for the first time. After months of study and acclimation, the wildlife team removed the enclosure that surrounded the bird’s cage. In the morning, school children, scientists, politicians and visitors watched in awe as the three birds slowly emerged from the cage, flapped their wings, and took flight for the first time.
After the screening, audience members were able to talk with some of the central participants in the project, including the director Diego Vargas Almeida and part of the wildlife team that led the initiative, including Andres Gomez (SAG) and Conservacion Patagonica’s Paula Herrera and Cristián Saucedo.
“The documentary makes people think about the threats facing condors as a species,” says Conservacion Patagonica Conservation Director Cristián Saucedo. “It shows that their recovery requires the active participation of many institutions and individuals.”
The movie is currently available on YouTube.com in English (for English subtitles, click on the CC button below the video screen) and in Spanish. To keep up with news about the movie, please visit the La Esperanza De Un Nuevo Vuelo Facebook page.