The Twelfth Eagle: Exploring the Human-Wildlife Connection


LONG BEACH, CA – Veterinarian and filmmaker Meredith Kennedy DVM launches a Kickstarter project to help fund the completion of ‘The Twelfth Eagle,’ a film about the ancient Kazakh tradition of Horseback Eagle Falconry. She and Director of Photography Dr. Carl Palazzolo DVM have recently returned from the summer film shoot in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia, and are now sorting through thousands of digital files as the editing begins. They are hoping to raise funds to help with one more trip to Mongolia to film the annual Golden Eagle Festival, and help with equipment, editing, travel, field assistants and the soundtrack.

When Drs. Kennedy and Palazzolo first heard about Horseback Eagle Falconry they started investigating where to go and how to find the Falconers. “I’ve always been fascinated by wild animals and especially raptors, the great birds of prey,” comments Dr. Kennedy. “In the Altai Mountains of Mongolia, the ancient tradition of Horseback Eagle Falconry is being resurrected, one of the most fascinating partnerships between wildlife and human beings I’ve ever seen. So I started up this documentary film project with my friend and colleague, photographer and veterinarian Dr. Carl Palazzolo, in order to tell this story of  ancient culture and modern survival. The story of The Twelfth Eagle is told from the point of view of the eagle herself, her relationship to her Kazakh family and her time with them before she’s released back into the wild. It’s a rare opportunity and we’re very excited about bringing this story to the screen.”

Last September she went to Mongolia to attend the Golden Eagle Festival and was enchanted by the Golden Eagles and the Kazakh people. She stayed with two families of Horseback Eagle Falconers and learned about their culture, their lives and their eagles, and went out into the mountains on horseback to experience it for herself.  “I was captivated by the good humor and hospitality of the Kazakh people, and by their relationship with the Golden Eagles. I attended the Golden Eagle Festival, a World Heritage Event, which draws an audience from all over the world.”

Two film projects grew out of this scouting trip, a documentary about Horseback Eagle Falconry, The Eagle Hunter, and an art film exploring the nature of humans and wildlife, called The Twelfth Eagle. In addition, a short documentary and photography book about the making of the films (Golden Eagle Chronicles), are also underway.

“Dr. Carl Palazzolo and I returned to Mongolia in the middle of winter—in sub-zero temperatures—since this is when the eagles are being trained and flown. The eagles occasionally humored us by flying with a Go Pro on their backs.”

On their return trip in June 2016 for the summer filming, they brought seven cameras (including a quadcopter and the Go Pro) and a filming assistant, since the scope of the project  had grown, and a fourth trip is now in the works for September 2016. This is when the Eagle Falconers all get ready for the annual Festival, and Dr.Kennedy plans to ride along on horseback and document the three-day journey from the mountains to the town of Bayan-Ulgii to the Festival grounds. “This will be a fantastic opportunity to really explore Kazakh culture and the history of Golden Eagle Falconry,” explains Dr. Kennedy.

Editing is already underway in California, and the Kickstarter project can be seen here:

Release of The The Twelfth Eagle and Golden Eagle Chronicles (documentary and book) is scheduled for 2017. See for more information, including photo galleries from all three film shoots, the characters in the story, and the filmmaking crew.

For more information and scheduling interviews, please contact Dr. Meredith Kennedy at (562)313-0784, or

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Media Contact
Contact Person: Dr. Meredith Kennedy
Phone: (562)313-0784
City: Long Beach
State: California
Country: United States