Power In Silence, with Ami Vitale

“There’s power in silence. There’s power in in taking the time to observe, and listen, and give the stage to others. In this landscape, I need to be a quiet subtle presence.”

For over a decade photographer Ami Vitale has been working in Northern Kenya, watching the story of coexistence unfold, of communities coming together to protect what's left. Her work led her to the Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, the first ever community-owned and run elephant sanctuary in all of Africa.

Power in Silence offers a behind the scenes glimpse into Ami’s inspiring approach to storytelling through her efforts with Reteti over the last five years.

This five minute film shares a powerful story of a community coming together to protect and save these magnificent creatures and the art of storytelling from one of the conservation communities cherished storytellers.

A film by Ami Vitale & Katy-Robin Garton.

  • Katy-Robin Garton
  • Ami Vitale
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  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 57 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 30, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    30,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
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Director Biography - Katy-Robin Garton, Ami Vitale

Ami Vitale:

Nikon Ambassador and National Geographic magazine photographer Ami Vitale has traveled to more than 100 countries, bearing witness not only to violence and conflict, but also to surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. Throughout the years, Ami has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit— keeping true to her belief in the importance of “living the story.” In 2009, after shooting a powerful story on the transport and release of one the world’s last white rhinos, Ami shifted her focus to today’s most compelling wildlife and environmental stories.

Her photographs have been commissioned by nearly every international publication and exhibited around the world in museums and galleries. She is a founding member of Ripple Effect Images, an organization of renowned female scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers working together to create powerful and persuasive stories that shed light on the hardships women in developing countries face and the programs that can help them. She is also on the Photojournalism Advisory Council for the Alexia Foundation.

Currently based in Montana, Ami Vitale is a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine and frequently gives workshops throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. She can be reached at ami@amivitale.com.

Katy-Robin Garton:

Katy-Robin Garton is a documentary filmmaker passionate about using visual storytelling as a tool to cultivate awareness and change. Katy received a Master’s in Fine Arts from Montana State University's Documentary Filmmaking Program in 2007 and founded the production studio Sprout Films soon after. Katy seeks stories that give voice to those impacting our world, whose stories transcend boundaries that divide us and unite us. Katy’s recent work gravitates toward highlighting conservation, culture, and global issues.

As a director, editor, and cinematographer, Katy’s work spans global partnerships with organizations such as Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Ripple Effect Images, Microsoft, BRAC, Salomon, The Conservation Fund, Women’s Voices for the Earth, and The Bhutan Foundation. While internationally engaged, Katy is equally rooted in her local community in Montana, partnering with organizations such as The Clark Fork Coalition, The Headwaters Foundation, YWCA, The Montana Governor’s Office, The Namchak Foundation, Youth Homes of Missoula, and The Thermal Biology Institute.

Please watch Katy’s work at www.sproutfilms.com

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Director Statement

Ami Vitale & Katy-Robin Garton first met in Missoula, Montana, where both filmmakers call home. Ami was in the editing phase of a film shedding light on the impacts of climate change on Bangladeshi people, and asked Katy to help bring their story to life. From that moment on, the relationship continued to evolve. Over the years, while both Ami and Katy pursued their own projects, their paths and passion for stories focused on conservation and human connection continued to align, working together whenever Ami had a story in post-production that she wanted to collaborate on with Katy. In 2019, the opportunity arose to tell Ami’s story, and Katy felt she could share an intimate glimpse of Ami’s approach to her work no one had yet seen. "Power of Silence" is the result of a decade long collaboration and friendship between two storytellers.