Capturing the Ghost

How would you feel if you came face to face with a snow leopard?

UNEP’s Vanishing Treasures programme takes you to the majestic Tian Shan mountains of Central Asia for a VR360 immersive experience like no other.

Become a part of the expedition team, embrace life up in the mountains, and track down the revered snow leopard.

Learn all about the myriad of threats that endanger this elusive cat. From climate change and the shifting use of wild lands, to overgrazing and an increased risk of negative human-wildlife interactions.

The seemingly immutable mountain ecosystems are in fact changing faster than most other areas in the world.

Narrated by UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Dia Mirza, this pioneering VR experience takes you deep into the wilds of Kyrgyzstan on a thrilling quest.

Watch your back, the ghost of the mountain has come to pay a visit.

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About Vanishing Treasures:

The Vanishing Treasures programme in Central Asia is conducted with a large set of partners, who are the experts in the field and the motor of the change that UNEP strives for: The Snow Leopard Trust, Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection program, Ilbirs Foundation, and the Association of Nature Conservation Organisations of Tajikistan. The programme draws on technical and scientific support from international institutions such as EURAC Research, Humboldt University in Berlin, GRID Arendal, and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna. It is funded by the Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The snow leopard footage was filmed with permission at the NABU Rehabilitation Center for Wild Animals in Kyrgyzstan.

UNEP Disclaimer:

As an international organization, the United Nations and its officials have been accorded privileges and immunities under the United Nations Charter and the 1946 Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations.

The participation of UNEP’s film in this film festival is without prejudice to the above-mentioned status and privileges and immunities of UNEP.

By submitting our film to the festival, we authorize a non-for-profit use of the film itself and any promotion materials linked to the festival, understanding that it will not be showcased with any corporate/commercial logos beyond those of the festival itself. Any potential assistance provided by UNEP in the promotion of the festival will be in line with its platform usage and editorial guide.

  • Michael Booth
    How to Catch a Tiger, On the Edge: Lewis Pugh
  • Michael Booth
    How to Catch a Tiger, On the Edge: Lewis Pugh
  • Dia Mirza
    Narrated by
  • Philippe Matteini
    VR Cinematography
  • Michael Booth
    VR Cinematography
  • Koustubh Sharma
    Aerial Cinematography
  • Michael Booth
  • Matthias Jurek
    Executive Producer
  • United Nations Environment Programme UNEP
    Rights Holder
  • Project Type:
    Virtual Reality
  • Genres:
    Natural History, Wildlife, Environment, Conservation, Climate Action
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 6 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 7, 2022
  • Country of Origin:
  • Language:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Michael Booth

A seasoned wildlife and environmental filmmaker, Michael Booth has produced films in over 60 countries over the past decade. His more memorable experiences include: going to war-torn Libya with a mission to save lions at the abandoned Tripoli Zoo; being first to film a previously undiscovered Emperor penguin colony in Antarctica's Marie Byrd Land; and flying over active volcanoes with endangered gorillas in North Kivu, DR Congo.

Michael Booth recently served as the United Nations Environment Programme's Head of Multimedia (2006-2019).

Michael's work has won awards in international film festivals. His movie about an endangered Amur tigress in Far East Russia was a finalist at Wildscreen Film Festival in Bristol, UK (2014). His work has been showcased by National Geographic, GoPro, Discovery, and CNN among others.

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Director Statement

Many will not have heard about the dramatic impacts that Climate Change has on mountain landscapes and the species that call it home.

Out of sight, out of mind... I believe one of the best ways for people to care and take action is to see and feel what it's like to be there. Working with UNEP's Vanishing Treasures Programme, we set off to produce a highly immersive VR360 film that could put you face to face with a snow leopard in its mountain ecosystem. Using pioneering camera technology, we set-up VR360 camera traps in remote locations in the Tian Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan and waited...