The Return of the Wildcat (2020) – Filmmaker

“The Return of the Wildcat” now availabe for streaming

Thank you so much for an amazing premiere! “The Return of the Wildcat” is still available for online streaming. You can purchase or borrow it via Vimeo on Demand, or The documentary is provided with english subtitles. We are planning to publish the film on DVD in the end of 2020. You would like to be notifed when “The Return of the Wildcat” will be available on Amazon Prime or on DVD? How about subscribing to our newsletter?

(For English subtitles click the cc button in the player)

Genres: web documentary/ reportage
Runtime: 41 minutes
Language: German with English subtitles
Country: Germany

Director & Filmmaker: David Cebulla
Music by: All Good Folks, Ed Carlson, Simon Folwar, Adi Goldstein, Matthias Harris, Brock Hewitt: Stories in Sound, Hemlock, Justin Lapoint, The Lakes, Dan Phillipson, Leon Riskin

Content summary

In this 41-minutes-documentary the ecologist and filmmaker David Cebulla is on a quest to find one of Germany‘s shyest and most endangered species: the European wildcat. During a scientific pre-study, by chance, he made the first record of a wildcat in an area near his hometown Jena.

Thereupon he dedicates a whole year to get the genetic evidence and a really splendid film recording of a free-living wildcat. For this reason he sets up trail cameras and lure sticks. To find out more about these animals he meets up with two interview partners in course of the film. The Thuringian wildcat expert Silvester Tamás answers questions regarding estimates on the stock of free-ranging wildcats and the protection of the species. Matthias Krüger is head-taxidermist at the Jena Phyletic Museum and explains what we can learn from wildcats which were found dead.

David has to face many ups and downs during his project. At first, all wildlife but the wildcat seems to react to the lure sticks. Can the ecologist get the genetic record of a wildcat? Will David’s wildcat return?

Filmauthor’s Statement

“This film is a visual appeal for the conservation of nature and species right outside our front door. It was my special interest to show great and stunning captures of nature. At the same time I evolved as a filmmaker. I am proud that I could film freeliving wildcats without resorting to game enclosures, and to film these extremely shy animals.” (David Cebulla)

David Cebulla (*1991) studied biology and ecology and recieved multiple awards as a fimmaker.

About the Project

“The Return of Wildcat” started as a scientific field study about the usage of camera traps in ecological studies. It evolved into a wildcat monitoring on which the film is based. This web documentary has a cinematic style. The gimbal, drone and slider – as well as static – footage has a warm colour grading. This is complemented by high quality fimmusic and sound design. The film was shot between April and September of 2019 in a total of 29 shooting days and another month in post production. In total the production budget amounted to a medium five-figure sum.

Return of the Wildcat

We thank our sponsors, who made the realisation of “The Return of the Wildcat” possible: the Thuringian State Chancellery and the Thuringian Ministery for the Environment, Energy and Nature Conservation. We also owe thanks to the nature conservation authority of Jena, which financially supported the scientific research in this project. The online premiere took place on April 17th 2020 at 7pm (CEST) and reached more than 1.300 screens in the first 24 hours. Currently, “The Return of the Wildcat” is still in consideration for several festivals. Here, you can find a list of all awards.

Laurel Cirgin Spring Cinefest Gold Award VSCReturn of the Wildcat documentaryOutstanding Excellence Cinematography - Docs Without Borders Film Festival - 2020Die Rückkehr der Wildkatze David Cebulla Laurel Open Vision