Screened as part of NZIFF 2016

The Eagle Huntress 2016

Directed by Otto Bell For All Ages

A 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian girl breaks a gender barrier to follow her father and train hunting eagles in this spectacular and entertaining documentary.

USA In English
87 minutes DCP



Stacey Reiss
Sharon Chang

Executive producers

Morgan Spurlock
Daisy Ridley
Jeremy Chilnick
Susan MacLaury
Barbara Dobkin
Dan Cogan
Regina K. Scully
Marc H. Simon


Simon Niblett


Pierre Takal




Aisholpan Nurgaiv
Nurgaiv Rys
Alma Dalaykhan


Sundance 2016

Recommended For Ages 12+

Thirteen-year-old falconry prodigy Aisholpan is ready to train her very own eagle to catch foxes in The Eagle Huntress – ending two millennia of Kazakh-Mongolian tradition that dictates this practice as the exclusive rite of men. Executive produced by documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock and Star Wars heroine Daisy Ridley, the film, set in the glorious remote Altai Mountains, follows Aisholpan as she bravely undertakes all aspects of ancient eagle hunting tradition. — NM

“Step aside, Katniss! Make room for Aisholpan, the 13-year-old eagle huntress from Mongolia. For 2,000 years, the Kazakh people of the Altai region in western Mongolia have practiced a tradition of hunting with golden eagles, whose wingspan can reach up to 7.5 feet wide. Though this practice has traditionally been the domain of men, Aisholpan decides that she wants to become an apprentice hunter after spending her childhood helping her father, a renowned eagle hunter, care for his birds. Under the tutelage and support of her father and her grandfather – and very few others – Aisholpan learns all aspects of falconry, from taming her very own eagle to training for an annual competition, where she will compete against 70 eagle hunters on her quest to gain acceptance.

Featuring breathtaking cinematography and intimate footage, this film not only explores the life of a young girl striving to pursue her passion and break down gender barriers in a very traditional culture but also provides an engaging glimpse into the lives of this remote community, as they balance their traditional lifestyle with the modern world.” — Sundance Film Festival