Stories that Make a Difference

This exhibit carries us across several nations where Vitale witnessed, with her attentive eye, the close relationship that forms between human beings and animals. This is an in-depth analysis that highlights great global challenges as well as local issues, all within the shots of a photographer who has worked tirelessly toward the conservation of species and who has tried to raise awareness among the public and offer solutions. In fact, she has promoted numerous initiatives for advocacy and fundraising efforts.

These are four incredible reportages that bring us into China, Kenya and the United States. In China, Ami is attempting to help save the country’s most important ambassador: the panda. She has worked for years on the secret lives of these animals, having unprecedented access to the incredible journey being made to release these animals back into their natural habitat. In Kenya, Ami has documented the efforts of organizations and local communities that are taking a stand for elephants and rhinos. In Montana, Ami’s home state in the USA, she has spent time with a group of ranchers who work to integrate ecological practices into livestock management.

This powerful exhibit concludes the Festival, leaving its final image as a reminder for us all.

Ami Vitale’s journeys as a photographer, writer and filmmaker have taken her to over 100 countries where she has witnessed civil unrest and violence, but also surreal beauty and the enduring power of the human spirit. She has lived in mud huts and war zones, contracted malaria, and donned a panda suit—all in keeping with her philosophy of “living the story.”

Ami is an Ambassador for Nikon and a contract photographer with National Geographic magazine. She has documented wildlife and poaching in Africa, covered human-wildlife conflict, and concentrated on efforts to save the northern white rhino and reintroduce pandas to the wild.  She has been named Magazine photographer of the year in the International Photographer of the Year prize, received the Daniel Pearl Award for Outstanding Reporting and named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographer’s Association, among others. She is a six-time recipient of World Press Photos, including 1st Prize for her 2017 National Geographic magazine story about elephants and 1st Prize for her work with giant pandas. She recently published a best-selling book, Panda Love, on the secret lives of pandas. Vitale was the subject of the Mission Cover Shot series on the National Geographic Channel as well as another documentary series featuring Madagascar (Over the Islands of Africa).She lectures for the National Geographic LIVE series, and she frequently gives workshops throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Her first book, Panda Love: The Secret Lives of Pandas, was just published in 2018. She was recently named by Instyle magazine as one of fifty women changing the world, along with Jane Goodall, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, among others.

She is a founding member of Ripple Effect Images, a collective of scientists, writers, photographers and filmmakers with a mission of creating powerful stories illustrating how women in developing countries are impacted by climate change. She is also a member of the Executive Advisory Committee of the Alexia Foundation’s Photojournalism Advisory Board. Now based in Montana, she continues to make films and stories of the planet’s most pressing issues and frequently gives lectures and workshops throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia.

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