Return of the Grizzly

This powerful 37-minute documentary follows the path and challenges of the “explorer bear,” the pioneering young male grizzlies that come from small, isolated core populations. The grizzly bear needs to explore and pioneer new habitats to spread its gene pool, and its long journeys are increasingly driven–and hemmed in–by the ravages of climate change. Return of the Grizzly is premiering NOW at numerous theaters in the West, and after we’ve entered it into upcoming film festivals it’ll be FREE to experience.

Narrated by Jeff Bridges

Original score by Bill Payne

Tom Mangelsen • Yvon Chouinard • Thomas McGuane • Terry Tempest Williams • Doug Peacock • Michael Hausman • CMarie Furhman • James Holt

A film by Never Give Up Films
Directed and Produced by Maaike Middleton
Executive Producers Doug Peacock & Dan Sullivan
Edited by John Klein
Artwork by Parks Reece

Past Screenings

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Screening

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Center for the Arts
265 S. Cache St.

Doors 6:00 – Film 6:30

Guest Speakers: Tom Mangelsen (Nature and wildlife photographer and film participant) and Kristin Combs (Executive director of Wyoming Wildlife Advocates)

Helena, Montana

Screening

Monday, February 5, 2024

Myrna Loy Theater
15 N Ewing St

Doors 6:30 – Film 7:00

Guest speaker: Nick Gevock, Sierra Club Field Organizer, Northern Rockies Wildlands and Wildlife

Missoula, Montana

Screening

Thursday, February 1, 2024

The Wilma

Doors 6:00 – Film 7:00 – Music 8:30
Free & Open to the Public

A Celebration of the Grizzly Bear! Screening – Music – Bear Fair
Return of the Grizzly, Narrated by Jeff Bridges and scored by Bill Payne of Little Feat
Q&A with Film participants

Special guest speakers: Rick Bass (author and Save the Yellowstone Grizzly board member), James Holt (film participant and executive director of the Buffalo Field Campaign), Jamie Jonkel (film participant and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Bear Management Specialist)

Music: Flash Panda & the Montana Project, Blackfeet storyteller and flutist Teague Goodvoice

Beer: Return of the Grizzly pale ale provided by Imagine Nation Brewing

Projection Art: A Missoula Art Museum collaboration with eco-political artist Lauren Strohacker and environmental artist Kendra Sollars

T-shirt station: Patagonia will be creating Return of the Grizzly tshirts for a donation

Sponsored by: Patagonia, Sierra Club

Co-hosted by: Endangered Species Coalition, Flathead-Lolo-Bitterroot Task Force, Footloose Montana, Friends of the Clearwater, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Imagine Nation Brewing, International Wildlife Film Festival, Missoula Art Museum, Missoula for Bears, Montana Sierra Club, Wildlife Society, WildEarth Guardians, Wilderness Watch, Worden’s Market, Working Dogs for Conservation, and the Yaak Valley Forest Council.

Hamilton, Montana

Screening

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Rocky Mountain Grange #116
1436 South 1st St

Doors 6:00 – Film 7:00
Free & Open to the Public
QA with Film participants

Guest speakers: Michele Dieterich (Education Coordinator Bitterroot Bear Resource Committee speaking about bear awareness and securing attractants in the Bitterroot) and Maaike Middleton (director of Return of the Grizzly)

Music: Blackfeet storyteller and flutist Teague Goodvoice

Whitefish, Montana

Screening

Monday, January 29, 2024

O’Shaughnessy Cultural Arts Calendar
1 Central Ave

Doors 5:00 – 5:30

Guest speaker: Nick Gevock, Sierra Club Field Organizer, Northern Rockies Wildlands and Wildlife

Great Falls, Montana

Screening

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
4201 Giant Springs Rd

Doors 6:30 – Film 7:00

Guest speaker: Nick Gevock, Sierra Club Field Organizer, Northern Rockies Wildlands and Wildlife

Pocatello, Idaho

Screening

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

ISU Bengal Theater
14 East Humboldt Street
Pocatello, ID

Doors 5:30 – Film 6:00

Guest speakers include:

Guest speakers include: Sierra Club Field Organizer, Northern Rockies Wildlands and Wildlife, Nick Gevock; Julian Matthews Wildlife & Lands Program Coordinator, Idaho Sierra Club and Coordinator, Nimiipuu Protecting the Environment.

Boise, Idaho

Screening

Wednesday, November 13, 2023

Lost Grove Brewing
1026 South La Pointe Street
Boise, ID

Doors 6:30 – Film 7:00

Guest speakers include:

Sierra Club Field Organizer, Northern Rockies Wildlands and Wildlife, Nick Gevock; Julian Matthews Wildlife & Lands Program Coordinator, Idaho Sierra Club and Coordinator, Nimiipuu Protecting the Environment.

Bozeman, Montana

Screening

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Museum of the Rockies
600 W Kagy Blvd
Bozeman, MT

Doors 5:30 – Film 6:00

Guest speakers include:

Doug Peacock & Dr. Barrie Gilbert

Watch the Trailer

More About the Film

This powerful 37-minute documentary follows the path and challenges of the “explorer bear,” the pioneering young male grizzlies that come from small, isolated core populations. The grizzly bear needs to explore and pioneer new habitats to spread its gene pool, and its long journeys are increasingly driven–and hemmed in–by the ravages of climate change.

“The effect of climate change is creating explorer bears. Safe passage and tolerance for grizzly bears are the best bet for connectivity between Glacier and Yellowstone,” said Doug Peacock, award-winning author, filmmaker, grizzly bear expert and founder of Save the Yellowstone Grizzly. Safe wildlife corridors over/under busy highways are a win/win for public safety and griz survival.

Return of the Grizzly proves that, through coexistence and tolerance, humans and grizzlies can “learn” to live together, as Native Americans have proven for thousands of years. The film is narrated by one of America’s most beloved actors and storytellers, Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges, and is scored by legendary pianist Bill Payne of Little Feat.

The film, directed by Maaike Middleton, visits with grizzly bear biologists, road ecologists, filmmakers, Native Americans, bear coexistence activists, wildlife photographers, and business owners. Return of the Grizzly features archival, and never before seen, grizzly footage by Doug Peacock.

Return of the Grizzly was created and produced by Save the Yellowstone Grizzly and sponsored by Patagonia and the Sierra Club along with support from the Montana Film Office, the Natalie Orfalea Foundation, and Sound Color Studios. The executive producers are Doug Peacock and Dan Sullivan.

Return of the Grizzly offers proven, long-term solutions for human/bear conflict, a vision for the grizzly’s secure future in its native habitat, and ways for YOU to get productively involved in the preservation of this unique American species, one whose independence, strength, and determination mirrors our own.