Wings and Prayers

5 films in this block • 54 minutes

The Films

Birds of Paradise

  • Year 2023
  • Country United States
  • Runtime 9 min
  • Director Nick Loud

Filmmaker in Attendance, Subject in Attendance

Alison Világ counts migrating waterbirds at Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, near Paradise, Michigan. It’s key to getting a pulse on different populations. But counting birds is more than just science – it’s an escape for her. Despite the harsh, often windy and cold conditions at Whitefish Point, Alison is always sad when migration season is over because she never wants to leave this place. It’s her paradise.

A co-production between Points North podcast and The Boardman Review. For more stories from northern Michigan and around the Great Lakes, visit and

Call in the Crèche

  • Year 2023
  • Country United States
  • Runtime 11 min
  • Director Tim Guthrie

Family Friendly, Michigan Premiere, Filmmaker in Attendance

A mini-doc about a crèche in Paparoa, New Zealand, focused on saving an iconic species of kiwi, and how that relates to protecting the entire ecosystem.

Mates for Life | Whooping Crane

  • Year 2023
  • Country United States
  • Runtime 9 min
  • Director Tim Whalen

Filmmaker in Attendance, Michigan Premiere, Family Friendly

Mates for Life follows two cranes (portrayed by ballet dancers) as they discover each other and become closer, creating a lifetime bond. Their movement is inspired by the whooping crane, 1 of 15 species of crane in the world, and one that in the 1940’s, was nearly extinct. Set in a prairie in the Midwest U.S., we stumble upon the cranes and are able to observe them moving gracefully in their natural habitat. Inspired by nature documentaries and birding, patience pays off as the story unfolds and their movement becomes more and more jaw dropping. This film was created with the intent of inspiring audiences to take action and support conservation efforts of the International Crane Foundation as well as expose them to the art form of ballet.

Kukeri: Dancing Demons Away

  • Year 2023
  • Country Bulgaria
  • Runtime 10 min
  • Director Killian Lassabliere

Has Subtitles, Staff Pick

Once a year, the Bulgarian tradition of Kukeri unites a small village as residents wear intricate masks and costumes and dance at night.

Wings of the Oder

  • Year 2023
  • Country Poland / USA
  • Runtime 15 min
  • Director Graham Steele

Has Subtitles, Family Friendly, Staff Pick, Michigan Premiere, Representative in Attendance

As a child, Piotr Chara spent countless hours on the Oder River in Poland, fishing with his father and wondering at the wildlife; as he grew, Piotr noticed a decline in the river’s bird species and decided to take action. Now an award-winning photographer - and a father himself - Piotr runs an organization that builds floating nests for the birds and restores the rapidly receding wetlands.