As a wildlife filmmaker, Chris Palmer has traveled the globe, swum with dolphins and whales, confronted sharks, come face-to-face with Kodiak bears, camped with wolf packs, and waded hip-deep through an Everglades swamp. He and his colleagues have won more than 100 awards, including two Emmys, two CINE Golden Eagles, and an Oscar nomination. His filmmaking career spans more than twenty years during which he has produced 300+ hours of original programming for prime time television and the large format film industry.
Palmer’s documentaries have focused on threatened species and habitats, exposed damaging commercial enterprises and practices, and celebrated environmental success stories. He has involved in his projects many of the best-known environmental advocates in film, including Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Jane Fonda, Ted Turner and Ted Danson. He pulls together this wealth of experience as the author of Shooting in the Wild: An Insider's Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom.
Palmer founded and is currently director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking (CEF) in the School of Communication at American University in Washington. He is President of the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, the largest and most successful producer and distributor of IMAX films in the world, and he also serves as Chief Executive Officer of VideoTakes, Inc. where he leads a division dedicated to the production of environmental films.
Earlier in his filmmaking career, Palmer founded the non-profit organization National Audubon Society Productions and served as President and CEO for 11 years. In 1994, he founded the non-profit National Wildlife Productions (part of the National Wildlife Federation) and directed its work in broadcast, cable, syndication, home video, new media, large format and international markets until 2003.
His films have been broadcast on the Disney Channel, TBS Superstation, Animal Planet, Home and Garden Television, The Travel Channel, The Outdoor Life Network, and PBS. Millions more have viewed his IMAX films, including Whales, Wolves, Dolphins, Bears, India: Kingdom of the Tiger and Coral Reef Adventure, in the global system of IMAX theaters.
Profiles of Palmer have appeared in the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, and he has been interviewed on the Today Show. In 1994, he was honored with the Frank G. Wells Award from the Environmental Media Association for "contributing to environmental protection year after year."
He serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations related to environmental filmmaking, including the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, Filmmakers For Conservation, the International Wildlife Media Center and Film Festival, the Large Format Cinema Association, and Green Planet Films.
Before becoming a producer of environmental films, Palmer was an energy analyst, chief energy advisor to a senior U.S. Senator, a political appointee in President Jimmy Carter's EPA, and an environmental lobbyist.
He has three degrees and was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard. His degrees include a B.S. with First Class Honors in Mechanical Engineering from University College London, an M.S. in Ocean Engineering and Naval Architecture also from University College London, and a second master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
He is a frequent and popular speaker at conferences and film festivals. His speeches focus on wildlife conservation and ecosystem stewardship, as well as on how to produce and sell wildlife films that are honest, ethically produced, and effective in communicating conservation messages. On top of all this, he is also a stand-up comedian.
Speaking video, testimonials, audio programs, books, and articles are available here. To explore engaging Chris Palmer as a speaker, contact him here. For the most up-to-date information about Chris, visit his website here.
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