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Montana Film Office

Mar
18
2013
Montana filmmakers’ documentary shows on PBS

Award-winning, Missoula-based filmmaker, Rob Whitehair, is known for his films that examine the relationship between humans and wildlife. Missoulians may remember the huge crowd at the Wilma Theater for the Montana premiere of “True Wolf,” a film he directed about humanity’s relationship with the wolf. That film is still in theatrical release throughout North America.

Another canid film Whitehair made back in 2005, “Hollywood Fox,” has been broadcast all around the world over the past few years and will air on Montana PBS this Wednesday, March 20 at 7pm. In Missoula, it will air on KUFM. Check local listings.

“Hollywood Fox” is about the endangered San Joaquin Kit Fox and how it manages to survive with help from its human neighbors in Bakersfield, CA. Whitehair, who stands over 6’4″ often muses about the irony of such a tall person tasked with filming the world’s second smallest fox. “I spent a lot of time crouched down in the desert with my tripod on its lowest setting,” he says. The small desert foxes were only active in the early morning and late evening, choosing to spend the hottest part of the day underground in their cool burrows.

Whitehair’s producing partner and wife, Pam Voth, recorded sound and shot still photographs for the production. Bozeman-based award-winning filmmaker, Justin Lubke shot additional footage and worked alongside Whitehair in the field during the 6 months it took to film the story.

Parthenon Entertainment commissioned the film and licensed it to National Geographic International, NDR, Animal Planet and other broadcasters, with the most recent being American Public Television.

From the American Public Television website:

‘In the spirit of Meerkat Manor, HOLLYWOOD FOX follows the trials and tribulations of a clan of kit foxes who make their home on the outskirts of Hollywood. Siblings Fred and Ginger are at the center of the action as their family struggles to adapt to the changing environment and encroaching human population. After multiple tragedies and deaths strike their close-knit group, young Fred and Ginger must quickly learn from grandma the techniques they need to survive. Ultimately, Fred decides to leave the pack for country living while Ginger and grandma — drawn in by the bright city lights — settle down in the old Hollywood Studios in Bakersfield.”

Rob Whitehair is co-founder of the Missoula-based production company,  Tree & Sky Media Arts.

Photo courtesy of Pam Voth

“Hollywood Fox” a film by Rob Whitehair, tells the story of the endangered San Joaquin Kit Fox and how it is surviving amongst its human neighbors. The film will be broadcast Wed, Mar 20 at 7pm on Montana PBS.