Return of the spider monkeys by Ateles Films

IMDb | Behind the scenes | Download Press Kit (Dutch)

Years of Production

Delivery Format

Narrated by
Hayley Atwell (for National Geographic) 

Premiere Dates
14 December 2016 – Arte (France & Germany)
7 May 2017 – NatGeo Wild (Worldwide)

Broadcast in the channels


Film Festival Nominations

  • Finalist “Best Documentary Film of Species Award”: China International Green Film Week 2018 (China)
  • Official Selection: International Nature Film Festival Gödöllő 2018 (Hungary)
  • Official Selection:Vaasa Wildlife Festival 2018 (Finland)
  • Official Selection: Roundglass Samsara Film Festival 2017 (India)
  • Best “Fascinated by nature”: Ekotopfilm International Festival of Sustainable development Films 2017 (Czech Republic)
  • Finalist: 33è Festival International du Film Ornithologique de Menigoute 2017 (France)
  • Official Selection: Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam 2017 (The Netherlands)
  • Finalist “Best Newcomer Award”: International Wildlife Film Festival – Green Screen Naturfilmfestival 2017 (Germany)
  • Semi-Finalist: G2 Green Earth Film Festival 2017 (USA)
  • Finalist: 16th Baikal International Festival of Documentary and Popular-Science Films “People and Environment” 2017 (Russia)
  • Official Selection: AM Egypt Film Festival 2017 (Egypt)
  • Semi-Finalist “International Feature Narrative Film”: Caribbean Film Festival & Market 2017 (Bahamas)
  • Best Nature and Natural Science: IFF Ekotopfilm – Envirofilm 2017 (Slovakia)
  • Best Documentary: Kolkata International Wildlife & Environment Film Festival 2016 (India)
  • Best Nature Film: International Green Culture Festival “Green Fest” 2016 (Serbia)

Film Festival Awards


A spider monkey named Infinity was stolen from the forest as a baby. Now it is time for her to take the jungle back. After an 7-year rehabilitation, she is ready to return to the wild. But this time she is not alone. She joins a makeshift group of orphaned monkeys and her newborn baby. Climb into the canopy life of these spider monkeys from a perspective never seen before. Filmmaker Michael Sanderson gained unprecedented access to rehabilitated spider monkeys to follow their intimate struggles and jungle acrobatics. Will mother and child survive their newfound freedom?

About the filmmaker

Michael Sanderson is the author of  “Return of the Spider Monkeys” which he has been developing since 2003. A unique and real story that he witnessed in first person. Michael shot, directed, produced, wrote and edited the film single-handedly. He especially learned how to climb trees to find Infinity deep in the Mayan jungle. It is time to reveal what really happened to Infinity after she was released back into the jungle.

Michael Sanderson is a strong advocate against exotic pets and the cuteness curse. His passion and determination for conservation makes him want to show the world what happens to stolen wildlife, destined to become a pet, even when saved. In this film, Michael delves deep into the problems of rehabilitating animals to return to the wild, showing where animals really belong, especially as babies. Do not expect to “want a monkey” after this film.


Michael Sanderson

Assistant Producer/Production Manager/Camera Assistant/Sound Recordist
Ana Luisa Santos

Aerial Cinematography/Stock Footage

Hayley Atwell (for National Geographic)
Susanne Grawe (for Arte German-ZDF)

NatGeo Wild – United Kingdom

NatGeo Wild – Australia

NatGeo Wild – South Africa

NatGeo Wild – Poland

NatGeo Wild Russia – Возвращение паукообразных обезъян

NatGeo Wild Spain – El Regreso de la Mona Araña

NatGeo Wild France – Mission Critical : Le Singe-Araignée

NatGeo Wild Germany – Rückkehr der Klammeraffen

Natgeo Wild Hungary – Pókmajmok: vissza a vadonba


Arte France – L’école des singes: Retour dans la jungle du Guatémala
Arte Germany – Die Schule der Affen: Überleben im Dschungel Guatemalas
Broadcast Dates: 14 & 15 & 27 December 2016

rtve Spain: – Grandes documentales – El retorno de los monos araña
Broadcast Date: 10 may 2018

Una mona araña llamada Infinity fue robada del bosque cuando era bebé. Ahora es el momento de volver a la vida salvaje. Después de 7 años de rehabilitación, está lista para regresar a la naturaleza. Pero esta vez ella no está sola. Se une a un grupo de monos huérfanos y su bebé recién nacido.

Alternative Titles
Brazil (alternative title) O rescate do macaco aranha
Czech Republic (alternative title) Návrat chápánu
Denmark (alternative title) En edderkopabe vender tilbage
France (TV title) L’école des singes: Retour dans la jungle du Guatémala
Germany (TV title) Die Schule der Affen: Überleben im Dschungel Guatemalas
Germany (alternative title) Rückkehr der Klammeraffen
Hungary (alternative title) Pókmajmok: vissza a vadonba
Poland (alternative title) Czepiaki: Podniebni Akrobaci
Romania (alternative title) Intoarcerea maimutelor paianjen
Russia (festival title) Za Shans Spasenia Mirra
Serbia (alternative title) Povratak pauk majmuna
Slovenia (alternative title) Vrnitev brezpalcark
Spain (alternative title) El regreso de la mona araña
Sweden (alternative title) Spindelapans återkomst
Turkey (Turkish title) (alternative title) Örümcek Maymunlarının Dönüşü

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Grading by Filmmore | Distributed by Off the Fence | Copyright Ateles Films


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