Chris Palmer, Executive Producer
Chris Palmer is an environmental and wildlife film producer who has swum with dolphins and whales, confronted sharks, come face-to-face with Kodiak bears, camped with wolf packs, and waded hip-deep through an Everglades swamp.
He was recently named recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for Media at the International Wildlife Film Festival. His book, Shooting in the Wild, was published in May by Sierra Club Books.
Chris has spent 25 years producing more than 300 hours of original programming for prime time television and the giant screen (IMAX) film industry. His films have been broadcast on the Disney Channel, TBS Superstation, Animal Planet, Home and Garden Television, The Travel Channel, The Outdoor Life Network, the Public Broadcasting System, and in the global system of IMAX theaters. His IMAX films include Whales, Wolves, Dolphins, Bears, India: Kingdom of the Tiger, Coral Reef Adventure, and Grand Canyon Adventure.
He joined the full-time faculty at American University in August 2004 as Distinguished Film Producer in Residence and founded the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at the School of Communication, which he now directs. Chris continues to produce films, give speeches, and conduct workshops across the country. He is currently writing a book about a different kind of wild life—his three daughters and how to be an effective father.
Chris is also president of the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, which produces and funds IMAX films as well as companion educational outreach materials and programs. MacGillivray Freeman Films is the world’s largest and most successful producer and distributor of IMAX films. The foundation launched a program last year to help disadvantaged and underserved students in different parts of the country.
Chris also serves as chief executive officer of VideoTakes, Inc., a film production company in Arlington, Va, where he produces environmental films, videos, DVDs, and new media. At VideoTakes, students (through AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking) can make major contributions to films and videos as interns or employees. Recent films have focused on rain forests, coral reefs, the impact of war on the environment, environmental education, peace parks, water conservation, the Chesapeake Bay, and prairie restoration.
In 1983, Chris founded the nonprofit National Audubon Society Productions, serving as president and CEO for 11 years. In 1994, he founded the nonprofit National Wildlife Productions (part of the National Wildlife Federation, the largest conservation organization in the United States) which he managed as president and CEO for 10 years, directing NWF’s launch into broadcast, cable, syndication, home video, new media, IMAX, and international markets.
Chris and his colleagues have won numerous awards, including two Emmys and an Oscar nomination. His movies, music videos, documentaries and computer software all focus on documenting threatened species and habitats and exposing damaging commercial enterprises and practices while celebrating environmental success stories. In 1994, Chris was honored with the Frank G. Wells Award from the Environmental Media Association for “contributing to environmental protection year after year.”