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Poster for The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003) 4K Restoration
Watch trailer for The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003) 4K Restoration Watch trailer

The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003) 4K Restoration

Opens on May 3

Director: Judy Irving Run Time: 83 min. Rating: G Release Year: 2003

Starring: Mark Bittner

Country: United States
Language: English

About the film:

A homeless musician’s life is transformed after he discovers a flock of wild South American parrots living in San Francisco. How they got there is a mystery, but Mark Bittner forms a bond with the exotic birds through his music and his patient, attentive care. Over time he comes to appreciate their individual identities and makes a case for humans to reevaluate their relationship to animals. When he is forced to leave them, he despairs over the birds’ fate.

“Quite simply a beautiful film, in both form and content.”

—Anne Hornaday, Washington Post

About the filmmaker:

Judy Irving is a Sundance and Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and the executive director of Pelican Media, a nonprofit organization whose primary aim is the production of films with environmental themes. Irving graduated from Connecticut College with a degree in psychology and worked as a freelance journalist in Montreal before hitchhiking across the continent and living on a handmade raft-house in British Columbia. Later, she received her master’s in film and broadcasting from Stanford University, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in Film. Her documentary film career has taken her to Alaska, Japan, Russia, Nepal, and Zimbabwe, with peace and the environment as her main areas of interest. 

Her theatrical credits include The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003), a feature documentary about the relationship between a homeless street musician and a flock of wild parrots in San Francisco; Pelican Dreams (2014), about California brown pelicans and the people who know them best; and Dark Circle (1983), a personal film about the links between nuclear power and weapons.  In 2015, Judy was invited to become a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill (2003) was a “Top Ten Film of the Year” (National Film Critics’ Poll), was the highest-rated program on the 2007 national PBS series “Independent Lens,” and is now in international distribution.

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National Endowment for the Arts
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