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The Filmmakers and Storytellers

We are proud to present the 2023 Hornstrandir Film Festival filmmakers and storytellers. 

Chris Burkard

Trailer: Under the Arctic Sky
Trailer: Unnur

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Chris Burkard is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author. Traveling throughout the year to pursue the farthest expanses of Earth, Burkard works to capture stories that inspire humans to consider their relationship with nature, while promoting the preservation of wild places everywhere.

Layered by outdoor, travel, adventure, surf, and lifestyle subjects, Burkard is known for images that are punctuated by untamed, powerful landscapes. Through social media, Chris strives to share his vision of wild places with millions of people, and to inspire them to explore for themselves.

His visionary perspective has earned him opportunities to work on global, prominent campaigns with Fortune 500 clients, speak on the TED stage, design product lines, educate, and publish a growing collection of books. Along with his team, Burkard is based out of his production studio and art gallery in the Central Coast of California.

At the age of 36, Burkard has established himself as a global presence and influence. He is happiest with his wife Breanne raising their two sons Jeremiah and Forrest in his hometown of Pismo Beach, California


Donal Boyd &
Frank Nieuwenhuis

Donal Boyd (wildlife photographer/conservationist) and Frank Nieuwenhuis (cinematographer) have collaborated on several film projects relating to nature and wildlife advocacy. Like their first film, “Volcano for the People” and this documentary, their productions tend to focus on the connection between humans and significant natural events.


Donal Boyd is an American nature conservationist, wildlife portrait photographer, and filmmaker based in Iceland and Southern Africa with the mission to promote "Conservation of Nature Through Visual Advocacy”. 



Frank Nieuwenhuis is a Dutch cinematographer living in Iceland, who's focus is on human interest stories through documentary. He graduated in film editing at the RITCS school of arts in Brussels.


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Trailer: Wild Oman  (Will be available in June)

About Maisa Al Hooti the executive producer of TV series Wild Oman:

I would like to consider myself as an advocate of preserving my culture and customs but also welcome the changes the modern time bring us. My collection of photographs balances tradition and innovation. Even though I specialize in underwater photography, I aim to capture and preserve the full scope of the beauty of Oman and its people. It is because of my love for my country that I have started the Oman in Focus projects. With these projects, I aim to promote the Sultanate to the whole world.

Since 2014, I have been using the visual media of photography and video to show the world just how beautiful the Sultanate is. I have travelled all over Oman and I am always in awe of this treasure trove of ancient culture, hospitable people, sweeping landscapes and diverse wildlife. As I expand my travels beyond the borders of my home, I always take with me the messages and memories of Oman to share with anyone who might listen.
The heart of Oman in Focus is to do exactly what the name says: to move the focus of the world to Oman. I want the Sultanate to be in the spotlight so that everybody can see just what an incredible place this is and now extending that vision to the whole of Arabia.


Stefania is the owner and founding member of Obsessively Creative, a natural history, documentary production company that specializes in high-end natural history specials for the international market. Stef’s 30-year career as a wildlife filmmaker started when she travelled the world as an adventure and travel photo-journalist and a book author. Stef has won numerous awards for her photographic and documentary work.

Maisa Al Hooti 

Tyson Sadler

Tyson Sadler is an explorer, traveller and award-winning filmmaker. He has directed video content and documentaries for The New York Times, Associated Press, and The Huffington Post. His films have been screened at festivals around the world including Tribeca Film Festival, South by Southwest, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and the Toronto International Film Festival. An early pioneer in virtual reality documentary, he has worked tirelessly to use cutting edge technology to tell stories that build empathy around causes such as climate change, forced migration, and human rights. Sadler has worked with Sierra Club, Pencils Of Promise, World Vision, Save The Children, and Global Citizen. He is also the founder of Waterborn Expeditions, a responsible travel company committed to ethical ocean exploration.

Over the past 3 years, this film took us on a journey to 14 different countries where we interviewed dozens of leading travel experts, tour operators, academics, as well as travellers and service workers in host communities who are leveraging tourism to improve their quality of life. In the process, we amassed nearly 400 hours of footage that was edited into a 90 minute film that pulls back the curtain and shows us the true cost of travel – on the environment, wildlife, and host communities.

Despite the harsh impacts that travel can have on our planet, travel is also a force for good. It’s a universal language that connects people regardless of their age or their gender or their income or where they come from. And if we actually get out into the world and explore it, we uncover amazing things and make ourselves better people and hopefully have a positive impact too.


This filmmaking journey culminated during a global pandemic where international travel has been virtually halted. As the world slowly opens its borders again, we, as travellers, have the opportunity to be the driving force that paves a new way to travel. A more thoughtful way that protects both people and places, and secures a positive future for destinations and host communities for generations to come.



Rbecca Cappelli

Trailer: Slay

After a shift in consciousness, I decided to quit a successful career to work in a non-profit. I started the project Let us be Heroes to empower people to become a line of defense for their health, the planet and the animals. 

Things kind of escalated quickly from here, I have now become a sought after public speaker and award-winning filmmaker. My work aims to assist a collective consciousness awakening to alleviate human and non-human suffering.

I have been working on a feature documentary on the fashion industry and I did not expect to discover as much as I did. I can’t disclose much yet, but one fact: we kill at least 1.5 billion animals every single year for fashion.


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