The Eagle Huntress

A young girl breaks gender-barriers in a longstanding Mongolian tradition

2016 | Running Time: 87 minutes | Rating: G

Thirteen-year-old Aisholpan trains to become the first female eagle hunter. While there are many old Kazakh eagle hunters who vehemently reject the idea of any woman taking part in their ancient tradition, Aisholpan’s father believes that a girl can do anything a boy can do. Set against the backdrop of the breathtaking Mongolian steppe, together father and daughter train over many months before Aisholpan is ready to capture an eagle on her own. The young girl’s ultimate rite-of-passage, however, is taking part in the hunt. With her father, Aisholpan must ride deep into the frigid mountains and endure below zero temperatures before she can prove she is a true eagle huntress. THE EAGLE HUNTRESS premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Director: Otto Bell; Producers: Sharon Chang, Stacey Reiss; Executive Producer: Jeremy Chilnick, Dan Cogan, Barbara Dobkin, Susan Maclaury, Daisy Ridley, Regina K. Scully, Marc H. Simon, Morgan Spurlock


Otto Bell, Director

Otto Bell runs Courageous, a commercial studio based in New York. He has directed over 15 documentary films as far afield as Uganda, Japan, Egypt and Vietnam for brands such as IBM and Philips. He’s also created and produced award-winning world affairs programming such as HORIZONS on BBC World News and SHUNYA on Times Now of India.

Stacey Reiss, Producer

Stacey Reiss is an Emmy award-winning producer who writes, directs and produces documentaries and narrative films. Her documentaries include SUITED (2016), THE DIPLOMAT (2015), IT’S ME, HILARY (2015) and I KNEW IT WAS YOU (2009) — all of which were acquired by HBO. She produced the feature TOKYO PROJECT (2017) starring Elisabeth Moss.

Cinema Eye Honors Awards 2017: The Unforgettables, Outstanding Achievement in Production (nomination), Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography (nomination), Outstanding Achievement in Debut Feature Film (nomination)
Critics Choice Documentary Awards 2016: Best Song in a Documentary (nomination), Best First Documentary (Theatrical Feature)(nomination), Best Sports Documentary (nomination)
Directors Guild of America 2017: Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary (nomination)
Denver International Film Festival 2016: People’s Choice Award-Documentary Film
Hamptons International Film Festival 2016: Golden Starfish Award – Documentary Feature
Hawaii International Film Festival 2016: Best Documentary Feature
Middleburg Film Festival 2016: Audience Award – Documentary Feature
Mill Valley Film Festival 2016: Valley of the Docs
National Board of Review 2016: Top Five Documentaries
North Texas Film Critics Association 2017: Directors to Watch
TheWIFTS 2017: TheWIFTS ‘IT’ Award
BAFTA Awards 2017: Best Documentary (nomination)
Amsterdam International Film Festival 2016: IDFA Audience Award (nomination)
Aspen FilmFest 2016: Best Documentary (nomination)
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards 2016: Best documentary (nomination)
London Critics Circle Film Awards 2017: Documentary of the Year (nomination)
Melbourne Film Festival 2016: Most Popular Documentary (nomination)
Motion Picture Sound Editors 2017: Best Sound Editing – Documentary Feature Film (nomination)
North Texas Film Critics Association 2017: Best Documentary (nomination)
PGA Awards 2017: Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures (nomination)
Satellite Awards 2016: Best Motion Picture, Documentary (nomination)
St Louis Film Critics Association 2016: Best Documentary (nomination)
Women Film Critics Circle Awards 2016: Best Documentary By or About Women

“The Eagle Huntress is all at once an inspiring story for children of all ages to believe that they can do anything, a reflection of the unfairness of gender roles and a rare and unique look at a remote part of the world.”

NY Daily News