The Pelican Island


Every year, it is the same spectacular ballet in a special location of the astonishing Russian steppe: the Pelican island. This is where hundreds of Great White Pelicans come to breed and grow their chicks. It is an iconic species, but little is known about its natural life. First-class wildlife photographers and passionate scientists behind the camera invite us to discover this unseen world with incredible closeness while giving the big picture of the birds’ condition at once. Through the steely blue eyes of a fervent ornithologist, the film tells the specific behaviour of these birds during their stay in this Eastern European region. How do they manage to adapt to extreme conditions due to the lack of water?


Written and directed by Nadya Dorofeeva, Annette Gourdon // Camera: Michail Rodionov, Oleg Kugaev, Sergej Zichanowitsch // Editor: Marc Schubert // Drone: Andrej Maksimov // Sound: Michail Welitschko // Organization Russia: LNF Film Studio // Music: Olivier Lafuma // Sound mix: Olivier Lafuma // Graphics: Nadya Dorofeeva // Specialist advice: Roman Anoschin // Grading: Jürgen Pertack // Production manager: Katja Sträter, Katharina Krohmann (ZDF) // Executive producers: Thomas Weidenbach, Sarah Zierul // Commissioning editor: Ann-Christin Hornberger// Produced by Längengrad Filmproduktion for ZDF in cooperation with Arte

  • YEAR 2023
  • LENGTH 43 / 52 minutes