Michael J. Sanderson
Cinema & TV
2010-2020 – Director/Producer/Director of Photography/Editor – From Orphans to Freedom, Ateles Films
This production is the original idea of Michael J. Sanderson who has been filming for it since 2003 in Guatemala. It follows the lives of various animals that are rescued from the illegal pet trade, for example parrots, monkeys, otters, crocodiles and big cats. This production has generated over 200 hours of content in 4K which shows the progress of each animal on their return to the wild as well as the daily routines of the staff and volunteers in the rescue centre who make it happen.
In post-production. Release Date: 2020
2014-2020 – Producer – From Orphans to Freedom, Ateles Films
In post-production. Release Date: 2020
2016-2019 – Producer/Cinematographer – A Wild Fox Life , Ateles Films
This blue chip natural history film follows a family of red foxes that lives in a beautiful place surrounded by herds of wild animals. More details here. Premiere Date: July 2019 (Japan & France)
2017 – Director of Photography – 「モロッコに和風ザル!? オスの子守大作戦」, NHK Channel 1
A 28min film following the Barbary Macaques in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. Premiere Date: 27 August 2017 (Japan)
2017 – Cinematographer – Die Zeit der großen Katzen – Herrschaft, Ateles Films for Ammonite Films for Terra Mater
More details here. Premiere Date: 26 September 2018 (Austria)
2016 – Director of Photography – Mosquito, Discovery Channel
Premiere Date: 06 July 2017 (Worldwide)
2014-2016 – Cameraman/Aerial cinematographer/himself – Planet Earth II: Jungles* & Planet Earth II: Diaries, Brazil & Guatemala, BBC Natural History Unit
Michael J. Sanderson filmed sequences for BBC’s new landmark series Planet Earth II for Jungles episode. Using Ateles Films 4K Coptercam and handheld gimbal, Michael J. Sanderson filmed spider monkeys and river dolphins in Guatemala and Brazil. Premiere Date: 2016/2017 (Worldwide)
2003-2016 – Author & Owner – Archive Library in Guatemala, Ateles Films
Michael J. Sanderson owns over 200 hours of original content in 4K that includes spider monkeys & other exotic wildlife, aerials, rescue center, interviews, etc. in Guatemala. Contact us for more details.
2010-2016 – Director/Producer/Director of Photography/Editor/Writer/Author – Return of the Spider Monkeys*, Ateles Films
This production is the original idea of Michael J. Sanderson who has been filming for it since 2003 in Guatemala. Michael J. Sanderson shot, directed, produced, wrote and edited this production single-handedly. Michael J. Sanderson is also the author of the title and story of “Infinity”.
This story follows the life of Infinity, a female spider monkey, and her group that are rescued from the illegal pet trade. This production shows all the steps that she goes through during her life at the rescue centre, the moment of her release and her life back in the jungle. This is a real story of what happens after release back into the wild without any human intervention. Michael Sanderson witnessed this in person. Premiere Date: 14 December 2016 (France/Germany/Worldwide)
2015 – Cameraman – Wie Elefanten denken/Mind of a Giant*, Vulcan Productions,Inc. & Off the Fence, ZDF Terra X
More details here. More details about what we shot here. Premiere Date: 10 January 2016 (Germany)
2014-2015 – Cameraman – Holland – Natuur in de Delta, EMS Films (for Cinema)
There is a Dutch proverb: ‘God created the world, the Dutch created Holland.’ Since millions of years, nature is the dominant force shaping the delta of Rhine and Meuse. A thousand years ago, humans began to play a role in the delta. They started building barriers and digging trenches. Through the centuries they imposed more and more structure. In past centuries, the Dutch culture was shaped by the struggle against water. In recent time, nature is no longer considered an enemy. At more and more places, space is created for a fruitful collaboration with nature. After centuries, the eagle is back. A wave of new life washes over the delta. This film is the second installment in a trilogy of nature documentaries aimed at the rediscovery of the Netherlands. See more details here. Premiere Date: 24 September 2015 (Netherlands)
2015 – Cameraman – Natural World: Jungle Animal Hospital, BBC Natural History Unit & PBS
Michael J. Sanderson conceived the original story for this production on which he has been working since 2003, resulting in over 200 hours of original content owned by Ateles Films. In this production, Michael J. Sanderson contributed as a cameraman using a 4K Coptercam, Red Epic and Handheld gimbals. The Ateles Films team, provided the natural history images and high end pretties. Premiere Date: 14 April 2016, BBC 2 (United Kingdom)
2014-2015 – Producer/Director of Photography/Editor – Barbary Macaques: Childcaring is the man’s job*, NHK Japan
A 59min film following the life cycle of the Barbary Macaques in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains. This film was filmed, produced and edited by Ateles Films. Japanese and international are available. Premiere Date: 2nd March 2015 (Japan)
2014 – Himself – The Making of “De Nieuwe Wildernis”, EMS Films, VARA
Premiere Date: 25th December 2014 (Netherlands)
2013-2017 – Wildlife Filmer (Aerials & Ground) – Natuurbeelden, Beeld & Geluid
Natuurbeelden is an audiovisual projects of The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. The institute manages over 70 percent of the Dutch audiovisual heritage. The collection contains more than a million hours of television, radio, music and film from the beginning in 1898 until today. The institute has one of the largest audiovisual archives in Europe and is a cultural-historical organization of national interest that contribute for the development and dissemination of knowledge in the area of audiovisual archiving, digitization and media history. More info here.
2012-2013 – Director of Photography – All the wild horses, 3rd-i Films, Guerilla Docs, Martilo Pictures, Ateles Films, Mongolia
All The Wild Horses documents the Mongol Derby horse race, the longest and toughest horse race on earth over 1000kms of Mongolian wilderness, and easily the most epic and dangerous, as it leads through 650 miles of Mongolian steppe, desert and mountain ranges. Premiere Date: June 2017 (United Kingdom)
2011-2013 – Director of Photography/Cameraman – De Nieuwe Wildernis*, EMS Films and VARA (for Cinema)
The biggest wildlife film ever shot on Dutch soil, about the surprisingly rich nature reserve Oostvaardersplassen, 20kms from Amsterdam. It is home to 1000 wild horses in one of the largest wild herds in the world; 4000 red deer; the white-tailed sea eagle has returned to nest here after 150 years; and foxes thrive on the millions of geese that breed in the marshes, creating a wilderness in the heart of the most crowded country in Europe.
Cinema Release Date: September 2013. Also a 3-part series on the VARA channel in the Netherlands. Also Germany in April 2015.
2012-2013 – Director of Photography – Living on the edge*, VARA/Vroege Vogels
2-Part series about bird migration from the Netherlands to the Sahel in West Africa, where birds come into conflict with man and must survive crossing the Sahara. Though local projects help people protect the birds from extinction and make sure that African/Dutch birds can safely cross borders. Produced by New Earth Films. Premiere Date: June 2013 (Netherlands)
2011 – Director of Photography – National Geographic in Oost Groningen, NGC Benelux
A partnership between the district Oost Groningen and National Geographic set up 12 National Geographic Logos in the landscape. For this production, Michael J. Sanderson, shoot two short commercials to be aired on the channel. The shoot started in March on the island of Terschelling, where the massive logos had been standing for 2 years. The films followed the logos from the island to the their new homes on the mainland. Produced by New Earth Films.
2010 – Director of Photography – National Geographic/Jack Klijn, Bolivia
In November & December 2010, Michael J. Sanderosn shot a commercial for Jack Klijn, about their new peanut the OER PINDA. They shot for a week in every location, from the rainforest to salt plains and to cities, to show the diversity of Bolivia where the peanut has its origin. This film was aired on National Geographic and in the cinema in the Netherlands. Produced by New Earth Films. See the Blog and Video here. See the oerpinda here.
2010 – Cameraman – National Geographic, NGC Benelux, Egypt
During October 2010, Michael J. Sanderson accompanied a press trip highlighting the new Egypt series to be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel. The trip took them to the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx, and the tomb of the Silver Pharoah north of Cairo near Tanis.
2010 – Director of Photography – Eddy Zoey Commercials – National Geographic & Vogelbescherming
Completed filming of tv commercials for National Geographic and Vogelbescherming featuring Eddy Zoey, which was aired from March 2010, produced by New Earth Films.
2009 – Producer/Director of Photography – Chernobyl’s Radioactive Wolves – BBC & ORF & NDR & PBS
Michael J. Sanderson, completed over 40 days of filming in March 2009, July 2009 and October 2009 for Chernobyl’s Radioactive Wolves. This production is a concept that Michael J. Sanderson developed in 2007 alongside Stefan Huck, where they radio collar and monitor the increasing wolf population around the Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor and its surrounding exclusion zone.
2006-2008 – Cameraman – Smalltalk Diaires* – Ammonite Ltd for BBC
Between 2006 and 2007, Michael J. Sanderson contributed as a cameraman on the 10-part series Smalltalk Diaries produced by Ammonite ltd. The series is about insects that talk and won two panda’s at Wildscreen 2008 including “best series” as well as many other awards around the world. Premiere Date: 17 March 2008 (United Kingdom)
*This production is being distributed and broadcast worldwide.
Seminars & Festivals & Classes
- Preliminary Judge for “ Visualization Category”, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, September 2019, Jackson WY, United States of America
- Speaker at “Wildernis Café: Liefde en Macht“, Staatsbosbeheer, October 2017, Oostvaardersplassen, Netherlands
- Speaker at “Drone World Expo – Aerial Artistry: Exceptional Film and Television”, San Jose Convention Center, October 2017, San Jose, United States of America
- Guestlecture at “Guest lecture by: Michael Sanderson“, Stenden Media & Entertainment Management, Stenden University, April 2017, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands
- Guestlecture at “BA Cinematography”, Nederlandse Filmacademie Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, March 2017, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Official Selection for ‘Best Nature Film’, “Return of the Spiders Monkeys”, International Green Culture Festival “Green Fest”, 2016, Serbia
- Preliminary Judge for ” Visualization Award”, Science Media Award & Summit, 2016, Boston, United States of America
- Nomination Judge for “Cinematography – Small Crews”, Wildscreen Film Festival, 2016, Bristol, United Kingdom
- Nomination Judge for “Cinematography – Large Crews”, Wildscreen Film Festival, 2016, Bristol, United Kingdom
- Guestlecture at “Seminar – Open Class“, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Porto, October 2015, Porto, Portugal
- Speaker at “Inspiration Day – Leren met Natuurbeelden”, Institute Beeld & Geluid, November 2014, Hilversum, Netherlands
- Speaker at “Master Class De Nieuwe Wildernis“, CineMec, December 2013, Ede, Netherlands
- Preliminary Judge for “Best Wildlife Habitat Program”, Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, September 2013, Jackson WY, United States of America
- Finalist Film “Wolves of Lusatia”, Matsalu Nature Film Festival, 2006, Estonia
- Finalist Film “Wolves of Lusatia”, Ecovision Film Festival, 2005, Sicily, Italy
Scientific Publications & Books
- (2017) Pictures published in the book: De Kat in De Wilde Stad. Netherlands: EMS Films. ISBN: 9789047625094
- (2017): Book The Drone Camera Handbook, Aurum Press Lta, by . ISBN-10: 1781316066
- (2016) Pictures published in the article “Monkeys regulate metabolism to cope with environment and rigours of mating season“, Journal Biology Letters, 19th of April of 2016, University of Cambridge
- (2013) Pictures published in the book: De Nieuwe Wildernis | Grote natuur in een klein land. Netherlands: EMS Films. ISBN:9789082060249
2017 Special Mention Award – 16th Baikal International Festival of Documentary and Popular-Science Films (Russia) – Return of the Spider Monkeys aka Saving Infinity ZA SHANS SPASENIA MIRRRA (WORLD) – function: Director
2017 Finisterra VI Arrabida Fil Art & Tourism Festival – Best Cinematography (1st), Best Documentary (2nd), Best Wildlife & Nature tourism (3rd) – Return of the Spider Monkeys – function: Director, Producer, Writer, Editor, Cameraman
2016 International Elephant Film Festival – Science & Elephant – Minds of Giants – function: Cameraman
2014 Rembrandt Award – Best Film – De Nieuwe Wildernis – function: Director of Photography
2014 Gouden Kalf – Public Prize – De Nieuwe Wildernis – function: Director of Photography
2009 Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival – Best Short Film Award – Smalltalk Diaries – function: Cameraman
2009 Green Screen Naturfilmfestival: International Wildlife Film Festival – Children’s Audience Award – Smalltalk Diaries – function: Cameraman
2008 Wildscreen Panda – Best Series & Best Innovation – Smalltalk Diaries – function: Cameraman
2008 Chicago International Children’s Film Festival – Best Live Action Award – Smalltalk Diaries – function: Cameraman
2004 Ed Boyce Memorial Award – Southampton Institute (Solent University)