Burning Memories

Burning Memories

Packing for Borneo to begin first filming of Karmele Llaño Sanchez for the film and today is Earth Day 2019 — a week before flying out, thinking a lot about how those two things are one.

rainforest burning for palm oil plantation Borneo

The last time I was in Borneo with Karmele the island was on fire — going up in flames. Literally the third largest island in the world was an inferno, a toxic witch’s brew of smoke and flames. Devastating fires, the result of a collision between political and corporate collusion, and El Niño had inflame a disaster long anticipated.

In the real world that meant us, and apes like us, were dying. In the three short months between late August and November of 2015, thousands of forest and peatland fires raged out of control, choking the entire region in a thick, toxic haze. When the haze cleared orangutan sanctuaries, like that in Ketapang, founded by Karmele and her husband Argitoe Ranting, were at crisis level with orphan victims, most were babies. When I arrived in September neither I nor they knew what to expect over the next month — definitely none of us expected the greatest man-made ecological disaster.

There is no El Niño in this April, but fires have already ignited in the peat forests on the neighboring island of Sumatra, inflaming worry in Borneo.

— Gerry Ellis

Gerry Ellis Chimpanzees in Africa with LUMIX at Pro Photo Supply

Gerry Ellis Chimpanzees in Africa with LUMIX at Pro Photo Supply

Join us for a captivating talk as award-winning wildlife photographer and filmmaker Gerry Ellis talks about his equipment while in the field; why and how he films based on subject, destination and need. He will discuss how he uses his content online and for social media to reach a wider audience, spreading the word about the survival of great apes. Hear interesting field stories and have an opportunity to ask him questions about his work in the field. You won’t want to miss this one!
This program will have two duplicate sessions: 10-11am or 1-2pm. After each session, Gerry will join Mark Toal with Lumix in-store with hands-on equipment demos.
Sponsored by Pro Photo Supply and Lumix.

Event Location:

Pro Photo Supply Event Center
1801 NW Northrup Ave, Portland, Oregon 97209

Meet Local Visionary, Gerry Ellis

Meet Local Visionary, Gerry Ellis


(The following is a two-minute trailer video interview with our Founder — thanks to Pro Photo Supply)

It’s been a while since our last video, but we’re back! A couple of months ago, I sat down with local documentary photographer Gerry Ellis to talk about his work and motivations. Gerry has spent more than two decades working as a photographer, filmmaker, and writer around the globe for numerous high-profile clients. He is also the founder of GLOBIO, a children’s education non-profit. From his Great Ape Diaries project to documenting the Gulf Coast cleanup, he has a wealth of photographic experience worth sharing.

Gerry Ellis


The the full interview is 40 minutes here, but the 2 minute preview below should give you a nice taste of what to expect.