Otto Bell’s documentary The Eagle Huntress tells the extraordinary true story of Aisholpan Nurgaiv, a 13-year-old Mongolian girl determined to become a champion eagle hunter despite the celebrated activity traditionally being the domain of boys.
In the featurette found below, cinematographer Simon Niblett discusses some of the challenges of shooting the stunning film on a shoestring budget and in inhospitable conditions.
“Modern technology is largely responsible for this sort of filmmaking to be possible now,” he says. “I think some of the shots particularly with the drone were the most rewarding, purely on the basis that they were so damn hard to achieve. Nine times out of ten, we couldn’t fly, something would go wrong, something would pack up. But when it did happen, and we were in the air, that was a great moment. I look back on the film now and I see those shots and I think, ‘God, nobody realizes just how trick that was.'”