Documentaries directed, produced or filmed by Kathy Kasic. Scroll down for selected documentaries.
Loose Horses is a feature length documentary about horses that are caught up in human politics and cultural preferences. Every year in the US about 160,000 domestic horses are sold for meat in European and other foreign markets. Set in Billings, Montana, horse #1052 is dropped off at the biggest loose horse auction in the United States. He has two paths: to be purchased as a saddle horse or to be bought by a meat buyer. Amongst the stark, dusty pens we come to know horse 1052 and a gruff Montana cowboy named Buzz. Loose Horses explores the purgatory of the auction through an observational style, capturing the genuine grit of the livestock market subculture and the complicated human-equine connection in the real American West.
Director, Cinematographer and Editor
TRT: 1 hour (view trailer by clicking on thumbnail)
Completed: July 2015
Produced for BBC, by Kathy Kasic, this film received over 8 million viewers on BBC, and traveled to numerous film festivals. Quirky sound recordist and Montana local, Mike Kasic, has an unmatched obsession for the underwater wilderness of the Yellowstone River. He swims the Yellowstone like a human-fish through swift river canyons and scenic mountain views, watching trout in fast currents filled with frothing water tornadoes, stopping only to body surf river waves. His message is simple: a river is more than its water; what lies beneath is a wilderness that is often overlooked, but critical for the Yellowstone ecosystem to thrive.
Credit: Producer; also was Director, Cinematographer and Editor
TRT: 10 minutes
Human-Wildlife Interaction Merit Award, International Wildlife Film Festival, 2010
Best Short Film Nomination, Wildscreen Wildlife Film Festival, 2010
Telluride Mountain Film Festival – Three screenings, one by popular demand, 2010
Wild and Scenic On Tour Selection, Wild & Scenic Film Festival, toured over 50 theaters, 2010-12
Festival Selection, Wild & Scenic Film Festival, 2011
Banff Mountain Film Festival Selection, two award nominations, 2009
Screened at over 50 festivals and broadcast on BBC to more than 6 million people
Read an article in the Billings Gazette about the film.
The Driftwood Feeling is a 30-minute portrait documentary of Henry Real Bird, Native American Absalooke poet and former Poet Laureate of Montana. Told from a beat-poet’s perspective in a poetic style, The Driftwood Feeling contemplates cultural identity in the 21st century. It is a glimpse of a man, who as a Native American cowboy poet has ridden one of the most unusual paths through life. Through Henry, we come to recognize the interdependence of cultures – how one culture affects another in succession. It is only through this recognition that we will turn toward each other, rather than turning away.
“We search for a maximum internal coherence
to get to the closest possible fit to nature,
for the new image of life in a healthy constellation.”
-Excerpt of “Road Wide”
TRT: 30 minutes
Completion 2016: in post-production
Director, Producer, Cinematographer and Editor
Click on the thumbnail for a teaser of the film.
A devastating natural disaster may be brewing beneath the calm blue Caribbean. A vast web of geologic faults could give way at any moment, unleashing catastrophic earthquakes, potent volcanic eruptions and tsunamis capable of inundating coastlines from Puerto Rico to New York. Wild Caribbean’s Deadly Underworld is an unprecedented attempt to take the pulse of these hidden threats. Renowned ocean explorer Robert Ballard will lead a team of scientists on a daring deep-sea expedition to the most active submarine faults and volcanoes along the perimeter of the Caribbean plate. A pair of remotely operated vehicles armed with a powerful suite of HD cameras and hi-tech tools will allow them to examine these potential hazards like never before. And they won’t just be looking for geological threats. These dangerous hot-spots also support some of the richest and most bizarre biological communities on our planet – alien-looking creatures that can survive in total darkness miles beneath the sea. From massive sharks and giant mussels to microscopic bacteria, Ballard and his team will be on the lookout for exotic extremophiles and ultimately, clues about the origins of life in the universe.
Credit: Director of Photography
TRT: 1 hr
Aired on NatGeo Wild
Four cowboys ride 16 Mustangs 3,000 miles through the wildest terrain in the American West to inspire conservation efforts and prove the worth of 50,000 wild horses and burros living in holding pens.
Credit: Director of Photography, Nevada Unit
TRT: 90 minutes
Audience Award, HotDocs: Canadian International Documentary Festival, Toronto, 2015
Audience Award, Telluride Mountain Film Festival, 2015
At a time when the world is rethinking its drug policies large and small, one state rises to the forefront. Once a pioneer in legalizing medical marijuana, the state of Montana may now become the first to repeal its medical marijuana law. Set against the sweeping vistas of the Rockies, the steamy lamplight of marijuana grow houses, and the bustling halls of the State Capitol, CODE OF THE WEST follows the political process of marijuana policy reform – and the 2011 federal crackdown on medical marijuana growers across the country. This is the story of what happens when politics fail, emotions run high and communities pay the price.
Credit: Additional Camera Operator
TRT: 75 minutes
SXSW World Premiere, 2012
CINE Golden Eagle Award, 2013
Camden International Film Festival selection, 012
Doc NYC selection, 2012
Traverse City Film Festival, 2012
Independent Film Festival - Boston, 2012
Come Hell or High Water—the first feature-length film to be made about the sport of bodysurfing. A winner of Best Film and Best Cinematography awards on the festival circuit, Come Hell or High Water explores the history and development of bodysurfing alongside the purity of experience that is riding a wave, taking a unique look at the culture and beauty of the sport, while capturing the stories and locations of those who belong to its community. The film’s unanticipated popularity may well reflect the less-is-more, environmentally aware consciousness of our times; as the simplest of all ocean sports, bodysurfing requires little more than swim fins and some waves.
Credit: Additional Camera Operator
TRT: 41 minutes
A team of dedicated scientists take on the historic conservation project of rebuilding the great American plains. More than 200 years ago, the Great Plains were an American Serengeti. Since then, human encroachment has slowly deteriorated the land and its wildlife. To rebuild an ecosystem on more than 3 million acres, conservationists must track and reintroduce populations of iconic American species, some on the brink of extinction. These include the bison, the pallid sturgeon and prairie dog.
Credit: Additional Camera Operator (sturgeon sequence)
TRT: 1 hr
Merit Award for Cinematography, International Wildlife Film Festival, 2011
Best Made in Montana, International Wildlife Film Festival, 2011
Best TV Program Over $500,000 Budget, International Wildlife Film Festival, 2011
BBC's natural history portrait of a year in Yellowstone, following the fortunes of America's wildlife icons as they face the challenges of one of the most extraordinary wildernesses on Earth.
Credit: Assistant Producer of "Yellowstone" / Producer of "Yellowstone People"
Directed / Field-produced shoots for 3 years for all the of three one-hour programs: Winter, Summer, Autumn
Cinematography on the series (Summer / Autumn): osprey, underwater beaver sequence, trout spawning sequence
TRT: 3 x 1 hr mini-series
Nominated for Best Science and Natural History Film, Royal Television Society (RTS), 2010
Best Specialist Factual Nomination, British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), 2010
Winner Photography Factual, BAFTA, 2010
Cinematography Nomination, Emmy, 2009
Best Cinematography, International Wildlife Film Festival, 2009
Best Ecology, International Wildlife Film Festival, 2009
Best Wildlife Habitat Program, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, 2009
Best Series, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, 2009
Special Jury Award (Yellowstone Winter), Banff Mountain Film Festival, 2009
Winner, Best Environment, Festival de l’Oiseau, 2009
Broadcast on BBC2 to more than 6 million people, 2009
In the West, there's a saying that goes, "Whiskey's for drinking and water's for fighting". The competition for water in the arid West has long been a fact of life for ranchers and farmers. But as the population of the West has grown, it is no longer just irrigators competing between themselves for scarce water. Growing towns and cities, sustained drought, the quest for national energy independence, and climate change are all putting new pressures on dwindling water supplies. In the face of such water demand, fish and wildlife are often left out. And there is one simple fact: fish need water, every day.
"Against the Current" underscores the importance of healthy rivers and streams in the arid West. Told through the wisdom of four people: two ranchers, a biologist and an environmental lawyer, this film tells the story of a rancher who, after 70 years, restored water to the stream that feeds his ranch.
Director, Cinematographer, Editor
TRT: 26 minutes
SCREENINGS / AWARDS
Best of Festival, Great Falls Fly Fishing Festival, 2008
Finalist, Intelligent Use of Water Film Competition, 2009
Neuse River Film Festival Selection, 2008
Winston Rods Best Conservation Film, 2008
Schoolyard Films Selection, 2009
On Tour Selection, Wild and Scenic Film Festival, 2008
Silver Telly – Nature and Wildlife / Bronze Telly – Non-profit, 2008 Wild and Scenic Film Festival Selection, 2008
Best of Festival, American Conservation Film Festival, 2007