Bayou City

Houston is the “Bayou City”. It's home to 22 bayou systems, totaling over 2,500 miles of waterways throughout Harris County. However, Houston has a long and tumultuous relationship with its bayous. Since the 1930s, many of Houston’s bayous have been steadily stripped, straightened, and lined with concrete in the name of flood control. Surrounding floodplains and prairie wetlands have been filled in and paved over. Growth and development throughout the city have further degraded one of Houston’s most stunning and valuable ecosystems, and many of the ecosystem services and wildlife habitat that they once provided are now gone. Luckily, dedicated and passionate individuals within Houston’s conservation community are working to change the relationship between Houston and its bayous. Bayou City, directed and produced by Olivia Haun (Schmidt), sheds light on these issues and the work being done to solve them.

  • Olivia Haun (Schmidt)
    Director, Producer, & Editor
    Life of Pine
  • Megan O'Connell
    Associate Producer + Editor
    Moving Lines; Biovida Panama: La Rana Dorada
  • Charlie Garcia
    Audio Post-Production
    Around the Block; Caretakers
  • Multiple Sources
    Archival Footage
    Texas Archive of the Moving Image; Houston Public Library Digital Archives
  • Assorted Artists
    “Farewell” by David Szesztay; “Empty Pockets” by Sean Lyons; “The Untethering” by Heartland Nights; “Fishing” by David Szesztay; “The Hangover” by David Szesztay; “Above Us” by David Szesztay; “Opening Lines” by David Szesztay; “The Great Burn” by Dave Depper; “Never Forget” by Ketsa; “The True Path” by Chelsea McGough
  • Cast of Characters
    Mark Kramer – Armand Bayou Nature Center; Susan Chadwick – Save Buffalo Bayou; Tom Helm – Save Buffalo Bayou; Suzanne Simpson – Bayou Land Conservancy; Kelli Ondracek – Houston Parks & Recreation; Diana Foss – Texas Parks and Wildlife Urban Wildlife Program
  • Multiple Sources
    Sponsored by
    Fin & Fur Films; Explore Ranches; Wild Texas Film Tour; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Nature, Environment, Urban Wildlife
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 14 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 1, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • 2020 Wild Texas Film Tour
  • 2021 Environmental Film Festival in Our Nations Capital
  • 2021 Jackson Wild Film Festival and Summit
Director Biography

Olivia Haun (Schmidt) is an ecologist and conservation filmmaker from Austin, Texas. After spending 10 years in academia and earning her Masters in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, she transitioned into conservation filmmaking and digital storytelling. Currently the Outreach Specialist for the Wildlife Diversity Program with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Olivia is committed to helping others see the beauty in their own backyards.

Dedicated to our overlooked and abused urban ecosystems, many of her pieces revolve around habitat destruction, restoration, and ecological resilience, as well as on the native plants and animals of Texas and those who work to help to conserve and protect them. Olivia is a former National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow, a former International Wildlife Film Festival Filmmaker Labs Fellow, and a recipient of the 2018 Wild Texas Film Tour Filmmaker Grant. She is also a devoted dog mom, urban farmer, yogi, and musician.

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Director Statement

"I want to show people the beauty of the world, to help them understand it, love it, and help protect it."