Private Project

Return of the White-tailed Eagle

As recently as 50 years ago, white-tailed eagles were on the verge of extinction. Specializing in nature topics, cinematographer Jouni Hiltunen leads the viewer on a unique journey to follow the lives of white-tailed eagles and their conservation in today’s Finland.
In the early 1970s, a group of young men decided to try to save the white-tailed eagle from extinction. A veteran white-tailed eagle conservationist and today’s white-tailed eagle ringers recount in the film how the white-tailed eagle population was recovered and helped to expand throughout most of Finland, including the capital city of Helsinki.
Filmed over several years, the film allows us to follow the lives of white-tailed eagles at close range in nests, on the springtime prowl and in winter. The film expands into a story about how white-tailed eagles today behave and fare in Finland. White-tailed eagles nesting in Helsinki was a special event even globally. In addition to following the nesting, the film leads the viewer on a unique journey to the outer archipelago, the Kvarken fish streams and the fells of Lapland.

  • Jouni Hiltunen
  • Jouni Hiltunen
  • Jouni Hiltunen
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Merikotkan paluu
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    48 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 1, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    HD / 4K
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Katharsis films Ltd.
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Jouni Hiltunen

Jouni Hiltunen is a Finnish documentary filmmaker. He has worked in the film industry since 1990 as a cameraman, editor, director and producer. He has directed more than 30 documentary and nature films, including an award winning documentary ”Blatnoi mir” (2001), a story about the life of three life sentenced prisoners in Pitak island, Vologda, Russia and a full length documentary ”BAM” (2007), a story about constructors and the history of Baikal-Amur railroad in Siberia. Last ten years he has concentrated in nature film making. His full length nature documentary "A Journey to the Sea" (2107), had a theatrical distribution in Finland. "A Young Crane`s Long Journey" (2021), "Return of the White-tailed Eagle" (2023).

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