Private Project


How can a tiny mosquito be such an enormous threat to humankind? And how is it that this once distant threat is now lurking in our own backyards? Filmed on four continents and featuring breathtaking macro photography, Mosquito paints an emotionally charged portrait of the people who are now living with mosquito borne diseases and others who fear their arrival. Try as we might to rid humanity of this problem, the mosquito inevitably outsmarts us, rendering us vulnerable and unprepared for the next epidemic. But are we the victim or perpetrator? Around the globe, human impacts are driving many creatures to edge of extinction, yet we humans have changed the planet for the betterment of the mosquito. 

  • Su Rynard
    The Messenger, As Soon As Weather Will Permit, Kardia
  • Mark Monroe
    The Cove, Before the Flood, Chasing Ice
  • Elizabeth Trojian, Elliott Halpern
    Deadly Currents, The Plague Monkeys, Building Star Trek, Blackwatch Snipers
  • Jeremy Renner
    Key Cast
    Arrival, The Hurt Locker, The Bourne Legacy, The Avengers
  • Alex Ranken
    Associate Producer
  • Mark Ellam
    White Sun, Venus, This Changes Everything
  • Tom Third
    Cheer Up, Death of a Child
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 10 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    July 6, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    Brazil, Canada, Kenya, Tanzania, United Republic of, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • AFI Docs
    Washington DC
    United States
    June 15, 2017
    AFI Docs
Distribution Information
  • Discovery Impact
    Country: United States
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Su Rynard

Director: Su Rynard
Rynard’s recent documentary THE MESSENGER (2015) received numerous awards, notably Best Conservation Documentary at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, a Top Ten Audience Choice Award at Hot Docs and the Buffon Prize from the Pariscience International Film Festival. Her fiction film KARDIA (2006) was awarded the prestigious Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize at the Hamptons Film Festival. Her films have screened in festivals around the world including the Toronto Intl Film Festival and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Inspired by science, ecology, and the human relationship to the natural world, Su Rynard is also known for her diverse range of media art works. MOSQUITO (2017) is her forth feature. Su Rynard

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Director Statement

Directors Statement – Su Rynard

Why is such a tiny insect, the mosquito, such an enormous threat to humankind? And how is it that this threat, once distant and elsewhere is now lurking in our own backyards?

Mosquito is multi-faceted story told across three continents. Moving from Long Island NY to Recife Brazil; from the heart of Africa to southern Florida, Mosquito paints an emotionally charged portrait of the people who are now living with mosquito borne disease, and we in North America who fear its arrival. With the anthropogenic forces of climate change, globalization, and urbanization we are living in a world in transition. We have enabled the mosquito to occupy new habitats. This story takes the shape of a biological game where every human attempt to solve the problem faces a counterpoint move by the mosquito as the insect quickly adapts, evolves or resists our advances.

Of the 3300 kinds of Mosquitoes, we focus on four of the most menacing -- each with their own story to tell. The challenges we humans face are geographically disparate and biologically complex. To tackle the complexity of the narrative, Mosquito utilizes participants with various experience whose unique stories combine to create a much bigger picture. In this way, multiple voices build a single story thread.

In Mosquito the filmic language utilizes a dynamic interchange between the macro world where we see how mosquitoes breed, live and die, and observational epic cinema where we journey with our characters into their world. Through the macro photography we experience the insect world in unimaginable detail. Alternately we inhabit the cinematic world visually and experientially, with all our senses. The images speak volumes, and an active soundscape and emotional original music will intensify the experience.

Mosquito is a cautionary tale for the North American audience. For those of us who have lived with the comforts and benefits provided by the post war western world, we now must face the fact that we have changed our world for the betterment of the mosquito. In doing so we have enabled the mosquito to occupy new habitats, and acquire new strengths and traits. We humans must now ask ourselves, are we the victims? The perpetrators? Or both?

Environmental/impact films are not easy films to make, and finding the right tone to connect with audiences is essential. It is important not to preach, oversimplify, overwhelm or make people feel helpless. The power of Mosquito lies in the fact that it is a deeply nuanced film. While the new future portrayed in the film may be frightening, there is another aspect to this story – mosquitoes are amazing creatures that command both our ire and respect. Nature is resilient, and humans when faced with adversity have the capacity to change.