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Patrick Rouxel '84
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Award winning documentary filmmaker and environmental conservationist


Born in France, Patrick grew up in KL and Singapore where he attended UWCSEA, and now spends his time between Indonesia and France as a documentary filmmaker and environmental conservationist. He has a BA in Humanities from the University of California at Berkeley and another in Comparative Literature from the Sorbonne.


For the first 10 years of his career in the film industry, Patrick Rouxel specialised in the production of CGI (computer generated imagery), becoming special effects supervisor for feature films. In 2003 however, after making a trip back to Asia and seeing the extent of the deforestation that had taken place in Sumatra since his last visit, Patrick changed his career direction and began to make documentary films aimed at raising awareness of environmental issues. The subjects of his films include the impact of the logging, pulp and paper, palm oil, soy and cattle industries on the African, Indonesian and South American rainforest. His films underline the plight of the wildlife when they lose their habitat and that of all animals exploited by mankind; they invite the viewer to make the link between consumerism and deforestation and to act accordingly.


His film Green, the powerful story of an orangutan who has lost her home, her child and her will to live, has won over 40 awards worldwide including ‘Best of Festival’ at the two most acclaimed wildlife film festivals, Jackson Hole in the USA and Wildscreen in the UK.


Patrick’s most recent film Life is One, is the story of a return to life in the wild for three sun bear cubs previously held in captivity in Indonesia. In 2016 it was nominated for a Wildscreen Panda Award in the Creative Innovation category and won the Best Wildlife Film Award at the New York Wild Film Festival. Patrick’s encounter and work with the three cubs has resulted in a change in focus for him. He has created an NGO called Sun Bear Outreach and instead of simply bringing awareness of the plight of animals to others through his films, he now raises funds to improve the welfare of sun bears he encounters, carefully releasing some back into the wild and constructing forest enclosures for others “so that the bears can at least enjoy a bit of their natural habitat, feel the earth under their paws, dig, run and climb trees.”


(Updated April 2017)


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