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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

National Geographic filmmaker shares his passions with Chico State

Filipe DeAndrade spoke about his passion for wildlife and videography Wednesday night in Laxson for the National Geographic Live event. He engaged the audience with pictures of breathtaking wildlife and a preview of his upcoming documentary. Photo credit: Olyvia Simpson

Ever taken a swim with hundreds of sharks in the dead of night? Or come face-to-face with a hunting jaguar?

Filipe DeAndrade conquered both of these feats and survived to tell the tale during his National Geographic Live show at Laxson Auditorium on Wednesday evening. In this multi-media show, he brought the audience through a snippet of his world as a nature photographer and filmmaker.

Filipe DeAndrade shares a picture of a capuchin monkey, “Herbert” who he found roaming around his wile backyard in Costa Rica. DeAndrade said me moved to Costa Rica so he could be closer to the wildlife. Photo credit: Olyvia Simpson

DeAndrade won National Geographic’s “Wild to Inspire” film competition in 2014 which jump-started his dream career, but the road to that moment was not easily achieved.

Born in Brazil, his family was abandoned by his abusive father when he brought them to the United States. DeAndrade describes his upbringing as feeling voiceless, which drew him to animals because they are also voiceless.

Although living with poverty and his legal status worked against him, DeAndrade was able to study biological sciences at the University of Florida. Surrounded by an ecological goldmine, he found his passion for telling the stories of wildlife: from ferocious marshland alligators to hundred pound snapping turtles.

With the opportunity given by National Geographic to travel the globe, DeAndrade was able to discover the wonders of animals from all the different continents. During his National Geographic Live presentation, he showed the audience which animals fascinated him the most and how they’ve influenced his life and professional work.

DeAndrade is dedicated to the conservation of animals and their ecosystems. One of his favorite animals, sharks, are particularly endangered by fishing tactics used worldwide. He explained during his presentation that sharks have been on the Earth for 400 million years and are essential for any life on the planet.

“The perpetuation that they’re mindless maneaters couldn’t be farther from the truth and that misunderstanding of sharks has led to the slaughter of over a 100 million sharks a year,” said DeAndrade while flipping through photos of him diving with the apex predators. “That’s why my job as a National Geographic photographer and filmmaker is to share my passion and to share the truth about sharks.”

DeAndrade is aware that he’s not able to conserve and document wildlife by himself and would have never mastered his profession without education. He is now bringing his skills and passion to his National Geographic Youtube series “Untamed With Filipe DeAndrade,” to educate viewers about animals and conservation efforts.

He was also recently given a grant from National Geographic to fund environmental education to kids in Costa Rica, where DeAndrade now lives. His use of this grant has been experimental so far, but at the end of his presentation, he invited Chico State students and teachers to contact him if they had collaboration ideas for teaching curriculums.

DeAndrade’s “Untamed” series can be viewed on National Geographic WILD’s YouTube channel and his personal work can be seen on his Instagram.

Rayanne Painter can be reached at [email protected] or @rayphenomenon on Twitter.

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