IWFF Filmmaker LABS Mentors


2019 Filmmaker LABS Mentors

LABS Fellows will be part of several lectures, hands-on workshops and feedback sessions led by leaders in the wildlife filmmaking community. The IWFF LABS Program Leader facilitates the Mentors, curriculum, and experience. Mentors will provide instruction as well as cultivate long-term industry relationships with the Fellows. 

LABS Fellows will be part of several lectures, hands-on workshops and feedback sessions led by leaders in the wildlife filmmaking community. The IWFF LABS Program Leader facilitates the Mentors, curriculum, and experience. Mentors will provide instruction as well as cultivate long-term industry relationships with the Fellows. 

IWFF LABS Program Leader Colin Ruggiero

Colin Ruggiero is the IWFF LABS Program Leader, independent filmmaker and photographer based in Missoula, Montana whose passion is conveying the beauty and importance of the natural world. He received his M.F.A. in Documentary Filmmaking from the Discovery Network’s Science and Natural History Filmmaking Program in 2005 and since then has produced a variety of award-winning films and shorts for both broadcast and independent release including work for National Geographic, Discovery, the BBC, ESPN, PBS, The Nature Conservancy and the The National Wildlife Federation among many others.  His love of the ocean led to his award-winning 2014 art film, “Exuma,” about the Bahamas, as well as underwater cinematography work for clients such as the Bahamas National Trust, The Canadian Film Board, The Mexican Board of Tourism and National Geographic Wild. In addition to his other film and photo work, he creates an ongoing series of short videos about shooting timelapses called, “Chasing Light,” for the State of Montana and is a filmmaking instructor at the Rocky Mountain School of Photography where he teaches workshops for their Professional Intensive program. To find out more about Colin and his work, please visit:



Allison Argo

For nearly 30 years, Allison Argo has made award-winning documentaries about endangered and abused animals. Her films have won six national Emmys (11 nominations), five Genesis Awards (from HSUS) and over 80 awards internationally. Among the many films she’s produced, directed and written, are: The Urban Gorilla, Chimpanzees: an Unnatural History, The Urban Elephant, and Parrot Confidential. All were broadcast by PBS and National Geographic, reaching audiences worldwide. Argo’s latest film, The Last Pig, continues her mission to speak out for the silenced. Through this film, she hopes to inspire compassion for all living beings and to repair the disconnect between humans and what we consume. The Last Pig is a 2019 IWFF selection.


Sean Ender

Sean Ender is a filmmaker passionate about history, wildlife, and the conservation of wild things and wild places. He began his career as an editor at Northern Light Productions in Boston, working primarily on museum exhibit films. Since returning to his native Colorado and starting the company EnderPost Inc., Sean has worked as an editor, animator, cameraman and director on TV series and specials, short and feature documentaries, exhibits and web videos. His work includes editing “The Appraisers” (Discovery Velocity), cameraman for “The Travel Show” (BBC World News), motion graphics for “Birth of a Movement” (PBS: Independent Lens), and is part of the film crew for “RMEF: Team Elk” (Outdoor Network/Elk Network). Sean is excited to premiere “Colorado’s Moose,” his first feature film and a 2019 IWFF selection.


Ru Mahoney

Ru’s most recent projects are “Sea of Shadows,” for National Geographic Doc Films and Terra Mater Factual Studios Field Producer which won an Audience Choice Award Sundance 2019 and “Humpback Whales: A Detective Story,” for BBC Natural World and PBS Nature. These films are both 2019 IWFF selections. Mahoney’s vast cross-industry experience drives meaningful collaborations that take a transdisciplinary approach to creating and assessing impact in all types of media A commonality across her vast experience is that she works to empower scientists, conservation groups, and thought-leaders to become stakeholders in the storytelling process, and to bring science and conservation narratives into better alignment with evidence-based best practices for science communication.


Shane Moore

Shane Moore has been involved in the wildlife film industry in one capacity or another for more than three decades. His projects have appeared on BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, DisneyNature and others. He recently returned from twelve months of filming snow leopards in Tibet. His main passions are the elusive art of telling compelling, watchable nature stories and cinematography. He bought his first 16mm film camera while attending the University of Montana in 1985 and began filming mountain goats in Glacier National Park. Shane is a 2019 IWFF Final Judge.


Jenny Nichols

Harnessing the power of visual media to tell stories, Jenny works to create films that will act as tipping points in conservation campaigns. Harnessing the power of visual media to tell stories, Jenny works to create films that will act as tipping points in conservation campaigns. She thrives on multidisciplinary projects and continues to collaborate with a dedicated community of photojournalists, filmmakers, writers, illustrators, scientists and conservation organizations. Jenny’s films have screened at HotDocs, Seattle International Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, Telluride Mountainfilm, Banff Mountainfilm Festival, DC Environmental Film Festival, Jackson Hole Science & Media Awards, Yale Environmental Film Festival, Wild & Scenic Film Festival, 5 Point Film Festival, The World Wilderness Congress, and many more! Her film, Colors of Change is a 2019 IWFF selection.

JR Headshot - BC Shoot

Jeremy Roberts

Filmmaker and photographer Jeremy Roberts owns and operates Conservation Media, a multi-media production company that helps conservation professionals tell their stories to the public, potential funders, and policy-makers. His teaching experience includes numerous workshops and seminars for biologists, as well as four years teaching video journalism at the University of Montana. Jeremy holds a degree in Wildlife Biology and an MFA in Science & Natural History Filmmaking. He currently serves as the President of Filmmakers for Conservation.

Erik Samsoe Headshot

Erik Samsoe

Erik Samsoe is a Data Wrangler with MPG Ranch and consultant for the design consulting group Organismic Partners. Fundamentally educated by curiosity and the Internet, Eriks’ formal education is in Architecture Project Management with an emphasis in three-dimensional computer graphics. Clients have included, XPRIZE, Raptor View Research Foundation, Watershed Consulting, and the Gonzo Gallery. Embracing nature and technology as curious partners, Erik is interested in the tapestry of narratives over time and how they are connected to place.


Stephanie Stone

Stephanie Stone is the co-founder and editorial director of bioGraphic, a digital magazine published by the California Academy of Sciences that features inspiring stories about science, nature, and sustainability from around the globe. Stone leverages her background in anthropology and nearly 20 years as a science communicator to shape bioGraphic’s highly visual approach to science journalism and storytelling. The magazine publishes a variety of feature types, including media-rich immersive articles, photo essays, and short-form documentary films. It digs deeply into complex scientific subject matter and challenging environmental issues, but always with a clear emphasis on creating beautiful, memorable stories that highlight both the scientific process and promising solutions to environmental problems. In addition to overseeing the magazine’s content and editorial strategy, Stone also leads the development of bioGraphic’s growing network of editorial and distribution partners, which now includes more than 60 separate news outlets. Stephanie is a 2019 IWFF Final Judge.


Oliver Goetzl

Oliver Goetzl studied biology, geology, paleontology and hydrobiology at the University of Hamburg from 1990 to 2000 before shifting to wildlife filmmaking. He founded Gulo Film Productions in 2004 with photographer Ivo Nörenberg which is particularly well known for the film, Wolverines – Hyenas of the North which won a Newcomer Award from Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival in 2007 and put him on the map as a premiere wildlife filmmaker. In 2012, Gulo Productions won the Animal Behavior Award at Wildscreen for JUNGLE BOOK BEAR. Since then Gulo Film Productions has garnered many international awards for various projects. Goetzl worked for NDR, BBC, DISNEYNATURE, SILVERBACK FILMS, WILD HORIZONS, DISCOVERY CHANNEL, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, ANIMAL PLANET, SMITHSONIAN CHANNEL, ARD, ORF, TERRA MATER, S4C, ARTE, SVT, WDR and ZDF and filmed in various countries: India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Canada, U.S.A., Africa (Equatorial Guinea, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Botswana), Finland, Sweden, Norway (+ Svalbard), Italy, Poland, Estonia and Germany. Oliver is the director of Lost Kings of Bioko, a 2019 IWFF selection.


Micah Dahl

Micah Dahl Anderson is an Emmy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist & composer who writes music for film, tv, & commercials. Since 2008, Micah has been composing across various fields and genres, writing custom music for clients such as Facebook, PBS, Adobe, and award-winning films, like Man From Reno, and Peace Officer.