Professor Akira Miyawaki

Dr. Akira Miyawaki specializes in seeds and the study of natural forests, and is active worldwide as a specialist in the restoration of natural vegetation on degraded land. He has advocated the value of natural forests and the urgent need to restore them. He calculated only 0.06% of present Japanese forests are indigenous forests. Most are monoculture crop plantations designed to forestry principles. In his view, these are not resilient nor best suited for the geobioclimatic conditions in Japan, or best suited to address climate change.

Miyawaki developed, tested and refined the ‘Miyawaki method’ of planting to restore native forests from seeds of native trees on degraded soils, deforested without humus. He quickly and successfully has restored, over large areas, protective forests (disaster-prevention, environment-conservation and water-source-protection forests) at over 1,300 sites in Japan and various tropical countries, in particular in Pacific area in the form of shelterbelts, woodlands and woodlots, including urban, port and industrial areas. He has shown that rapid restoration of forest cover, restoration of soil is possible by using pioneer and secondary indigenous species, densely planted and mycorrhized. Miyawaki uses local species that have key and complementary roles in the normal tree community accompanied by a variety of accompanying species (40 to 60 types of plants or more in the tropics) for forest floor “support”.

Professor Katsuhiko Matsunaga

Professor Katsuhiko Matsunaga is a marine chemist, now retired from Hokkaido University in Japan. His important scientific work has proven the essential tie of life giving nutrients from forests to our oceans. He and fellow researchers solved the mystery of collapsed marine ecosystems along the Japanese coast. His research is a lesson for all of us no matter where we live.

For decades it seemed that scientific specialists were not interested in the connection between forests to oceans, lakes and rivers. But with declining fish stocks and the collapse of vast areas of coastal marine habitats, this one Marine chemist and his research team dedicated themselves to solving the mystery of disappearing fish and damaged marine ecosystems. Professor Katsuhiko Matsunaga, determined that a decline in upstream broad-leaf forests due to clear cutting, had led to a loss of fulvic acid. Fulvic acid is essential for marine plants to be able to absorb iron enabling the growth of foundation marine foods like phytoplankton. This essential fulvic acid is created in the humus of the forest floor through the composting process of tree leaves. The fulvic acid is then delivered to rivers lakes and oceans by way of rain and streams.

The Call of the Forest production team would like to extend our sincere thanks for the kind generosity and hospitality shown to us by Professor Matsunaga and his family during our filming with them in Ise Bay.

Jessica Hutchinson

Jessica Hutchinson specializes in ecological restoration, riparian areas management and landscape level planning. She has worked in the environmental field for 14 years conducting wildlife habitat assessments, terrestrial ecosystem inventories, fisheries habitat assessments, and watershed level restoration plans. She is currently the Executive Director for Central Westcoast Forest Society and Ecologist/Owner of Coastal Rainforest Services and President of Strawberry Isle Marine Research.

Andrew St. Ledger

Andrew St. Ledger is a Dublin born artist, wood sculptor, furniture maker and activist and since 2002 he is committed to restoring Ireland’s native forests. With Ted Cooke and Brendan Kelly, Andrew is co-founder of ‘The Irish Woodland League’, an NGO dedicated to restoring the relationship between people and their native woodlands in Ireland. He is a biodiversity officer with CELT (Centre for Environmental Living and Training) who works in partnership with the Woodland League on forest projects.

Andrew is actively restoring native forest on his own land in Ireland since 2007 and he drafted the first restoration proposal for the Great Forest of Aughty, a surrounding uphill area, which is now being implemented. He continues to run workshops, give talks, visit schools, promoting native forest restoration while also working on his wood sculptures used for forest education purposes.

Sophia Rabliauskas

Sophia Rabliauskas is a respected member of the Poplar River First Nation in the boreal region of Manitoba who has worked with her community to secure interim protection of their two million acres of undisturbed forest. In 2004, Rabliauskas along with several other community members led Poplar River in the development of a comprehensive land protection and management plan for their territory – a precedent-setting accomplishment among First Nations in the boreal. Rabliauskas’s and Poplar River’s current efforts are focused on securing permanent protection of their land from the Manitoba government. With that victory, they sought a UNESCO World Heritage listing for a larger region of First Nations boreal forest called Pimachiowin Aki.

Pimachiowin Aki

Pimachiowin Aki (Ojibwe for the ‘Land that gives life’) is a large proposed UNESCO biosphere reserve and World Heritage Site located in the Boreal Forest that covers parts of Manitoba and Ontario. The proposed area includes over 43,000 square kilometres (17,000 sq mi) is in similar size to the area of Denmark and means that Pimachiowin Aki would be larger than 100 other countries in the world. It is also supported by five First Nations reserves including Poplar River First Nation, Little Grand Rapids First Nation, Pauingassi First Nation, Pikangikum First Nation, and Bloodvein First Nation. The area also includes the Manitoba Provincial Wilderness Park of Atikaki Provincial Park and the Ontario Woodland Caribou Provincial Park. The proposed World Heritage Site all started with the signing of the Protected Areas and First Nation Resource Stewardship in 2002 by the First Nations of Little Grand Rapids, Pauingassi, Poplar River and Pikangikum.

Dr. Silke Lanniger
Black Forest Germany

It would not have been possible for us to have filmed in Germany if not for Silke. She offered us tremendous hospitality by way of accommodation at her home in Germany’s Black Forest, she fed us and served as a contact liason and locations person for us while there. Silke longtime love has been the forest. She is presently the forest district manager at the Office of Forestry in Wolfach, Germany.

Dr. Bill Libby

Dr. Bill Libby is Professor Emeritus of Forest Genetics, having taught forestry at the College of Natural Resources in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management between 1962 and 1994. His pioneering work in the field of forest tree genetics is internationally recognized and respected. Dr. Libby has practiced forestry on several continents and is well known for his work with California’s coast redwood and Monterey pine trees. He currently sits on the Board of the Save the Redwoods League with a focus on promoting research on redwood forest disturbance effects and the impacts of climate change on California’s coast redwood and giant sequoia forests. Dr. Libby’s observations on state and national forest policy are reflective of his insight and intellectual curiosity. His dedication in service to the forests of California and elsewhere is inspirational.

Meinrad Joos

Meinrad Joos has been the president of the forest agency Regierungspräsidium in Freiburg, Germany since 2005 and launched the Organisation of the Forest Education for Pupils in Urban Agglomerations. In July 2009, Joos was appointed CEO of ForstBW and head of the branch office of Fribourg. For many years Joos has been a leader in German forest management, an advocate for intelligent sustainable forestry and has initiated important decisions for a renewable energy supply.

Production Team

Merit Jensen Carr
Executive Producer, Merit Motion Pictures

Merit Motion Pictures is one of Canada’s leading producers of documentaries. Passionate about creating films that enlighten, inform and inspire, Merit has won dozens of international awards including a prestigious Humanitas Award for films of humanitarian significance. Most notably, she produced the 4x1hr One Ocean series and interactive website with CBC’s The Nature of Things, National Geographic International and Discovery Channel. One Ocean tells the story of the world’s ocean from its early beginnings to dire predictions for its future. The series and its ambitious interactive website have won numerous international awards and screened at festivals around the world.

Jeff McKay
Director/ Camera/ Editor and co-producer: Edgeland Films Inc.

My first ‘encounter’ with Diana Beresford-Kroeger was a radio interview I happened upon while running errands one morning. I had never heard anyone talk about trees the way she did. She shone a light on each value of a tree. And as it turned out – for more than three years, I worked to create the film, ‘Call Of The Forest – The Forgotten Wisdom Of Trees’. After making many films since 1985, the experience of working with Diana on this film has been a truly gratifying one and that I’ve really cherished. I wish to personally thank everyone who participated in the making of Call Of The Forest and to my production partner Merit Jensen-Carr who has been steadfast in her support. Our production has been so fortunate to find like-minded creative collaborators and broadcasters – Filmmaking can be an exhausting and often very challenging process and we hope you may have an opportunity to experience the film, from all of us who have given so much of ourselves to its creation.

Dodie Graham McKay
Production Manager

Through three years of day in day out production and post-production, Dodie worked as COTF’s production manager coordinating all aspects of filming, including the coordination of international locations and scheduling travel. She has maintained Diana’s blog posts since they began. Dodie is the director of several documentary films and is the Canadian correspondent for the US pagan blog, ‘The Wild Hunt’. With her constant companion, Oban the wonder dog, Dodie can be seen in her spare time wandering through many of Winnipeg’s wild spaces.

Laurel Hogan
Director of Fundraising and Community Outreach

Laurel has a deep appreciation for the Canadian wilderness. She grew up in a beautiful wooded valley in South Western Manitoba where she explored the aspen parkland forest surrounding her family home. Laurel has worked in fundraising for many years. She has extensive experience working with non-profit organizations from hospitals and medical fitness facilities such as Seven Oaks Hospital Foundation and the Reh-Fit Centre to arts organizations like Artbeat Studio in Winnipeg. She spends much of her summer in the Canadian Shield surrounded by majestic white pines, poplar and oak. Laurel’s combined experience of living immersed in the Canadian Wilderness and her background in the philanthropic sector provide her with a unique perspective when it comes to building partnerships and facilitating community outreach on behalf of the Call of the Forest.

Alexa Rosentreter
Business Affairs

Alexa brings a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University, a MBA from Rollins College/ Crummer Graduate School of Business, and she spent six years managing the film and tax credit programs at the provincial funding agency, Manitoba Film & Sound (MF&S). Since arriving at Merit Motion Pictures, Alexa has been the head of business affairs. In 2010 she was the co-producer (with Tactica Interactive), of the multiple award winning, ‘One Ocean Interactive’, the digital media component of One Ocean. A 4×60 minute series co-produced with CBC, Nature of Things and Merit Motion Pictures.

Steve Takaki
Creative Support

Steve hails from Chicago, Illinois, USA. From out of nowhere Steve appeared. Like an angel on a cellphone with cinema on the brain – through the mist came Steve’s voice – sometimes a voice of reason and sometimes a voice of challenge! COTF director/editor Jeff McKay, thanks Steve for his words of support and encouragement throughout the editing of ‘Call Of The Forest’.

Japan - Production Coordinators

When Jeff McKay, Diana Beresford-Kroeger and Norman Dugas traveled to Japan to film with Prof. Katsuhiko Matsunaga and Prof. Akira Miyawaki, we were fortunate to have the service of three different production coordinators who made our travel and filming while in Japan completely hassle free and a pleasure. We are indebted to Miyuki, Tomomi and Masayo for their hospitality and the support they offered us during our time in Japan.
Miyuki Tokoi

Miyuki was our coordinator while in Ise Bay, Kyoto and also for a period while we were in Tokyo. She was excellent at her job in both translating during interviews and in production coordinating. Miyuki is a news correspondent for NHK Japan, a documentary news director and she is an extremely talented fixer. She has told me that she has recently given up tap dancing for judo.

Masayo Okaysu

Masayo worked as a professional actress in the U.K. After her return to Japan, she joined Amatelas, Inc. in 2013. Since then, she has been involved in a TV programme series about people and their lives affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. She is currently a production member of a new debate show, “Global Agenda” on NHK World.

Sound Production and Post

Norman Dugas
Location Sound Recordist

Norman has been passionate about music and sound since he was a wee tyke. Projects on which he has collaborated have won and been nominated for numerous awards, including Gémeaux (francophone Gemini), Juno, Peabody, Canada and Western Canadian Music Awards. Norman started out as a musician, and continues to ply his craft in the roles of sound design, location and studio recording, mixing and music production. He is very grateful to have been a part of the crew for “Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees”, and for the incredible life experience it provided.

Alan Geldart
Sound Editor

Alan Geldart is the best type of sound designer – one who can source and record and mix his own field material. With thirty years experience in sound design and post production, Geldart is one of the veteran players in Canada’s film industry. His own recorded library of award-winning sound effects and ambiences rivals commercial collections. A heavy-weight sound editor in a wide array of formats and subjects, Geldart has a proven track record in audio post. Visit for more info.

Howard Rissin
Sound Mixer

Howard is Frank Digital’s chief audio engineer, sound designer and mixer. With more than 35 years experience in the music and post-production industries, his skills and knowledge have brought him accolades in both; including his most recent industry nod—the 2014 Canadian Screen Award for Best Sound in a Documentary. Having been a part of both the Vancouver and Winnipeg production communities, Howard has put his creative touch on hundreds of projects, including award winning albums, TV shows and films.

Music Production

Harold Budd

Harold Budd is an American avant-garde composer and poet. He has a dedicated following worldwide of both fellow musicians and music listeners. Harold’s long career, is filled with notable collaborators such as Brian Eno, Robin Guthrie, Daniel Lanois, Andy Partridge, Clive Wright, John Foxx, Eraldo Bernocchi and Bill Ellis to name a few. COTF is proud to have both previously released and original music scored by Harold for this film.

Cesar Requena Ramos

Cesar is a extremely talented composer of original music, who performs on keyboard, guitar, horn and wind instruments. Cesar is presently studying Chinese and Japanese. He lives in Mexico city. Treespeak Films is very happy to have worked with Cesar to create original music for ‘Call Of The Forest’.

Jorge Requena Ramos
Music Producer - Winnipeg

Jorge is a talented musician and composer. Jorge is the vocalist for the band, ‘Mariachi Ghost’, which recently played to critical acclaim at the 2016 SXSW music festival. Jorge is also a talented director of documentary film. With his production partner Orlando Braun, they operate the production co., ‘Prairie Boy Productions’.

Dino D’Ottavio
Music Recording Engineer - Winnipeg

Musician/ Producer/ Engineer
Dino has been writing and recording music for more than 30 years. He is presently the recording engineer and operations manager at Sonic Recording Studio. He also owns and operates Steamroll Studio Winnipeg.

Additional Support

Jason Doll

Jason is a Fine Arts graduate from the University of Manitoba with over twenty-five years of professional experience in Traditional Animation, directing and animating for film and television. His work has appeared on Sesame Street, Sesame Park, MTV, Nickelodeon, and productions for The National Film board of Canada. Currently through Animation Dog Studios, Jason is Producing/Directing and Animating Television commercials for a global clientele. He has also received national and international awards for his Children’s book Illustrations. His book titles include “Monster Truck Buck”, “Would Someone Please Answer The Parrot!”, and, “Freddie’s Problem”.

Matthew Onischuk
Media Management

Matt has been living in Winnipeg and working on various tv shows and documentaries for past 7 years. He loves to BBQ and thinks Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” was probably a waste of a really good book title.

Diedra Bayne
Media Management

Diedra originally is from Ottawa. She is now living and working in Winnipeg. Learning from her editor uncle, Diedra began working in film Post Production, and has worked on many different shows & films as a reliable and effective team member of post production. She has also worked in the production office, done accounting, on set data wrangling & visual research and so on. Side projects & passions include videography, photography, video / audio / photo editing, deejaying, dancing, painting, snowboarding, yoga & traveling. Diedra is a known animal lover who cares deeply about environmental issues & compassionate living. With her partner Sean, she hopes to instill some of these values in their son, Sullivan.

Takashi Iwasaki
Japanese Translation

An outstanding artist, originally from Hokkaido Japan, Takashi has made his home in Winnipeg Canada. His art has been exhibited in galleries around the world, from Paris France, NYNY, Bangalore India, to little ol’ Winnipeg. Takashi and his wife recently welcomed a wonderful daughter to their family.

Andrew Shire
Senior Online Editor / Colourist – Frank Digital

After growing up in the Yukon and Saskatchewan, Andrew moved to Winnipeg Manitoba and began his post production career in 1998.  Over the past 18 years the post production industry went from analog linear tape-to-tape standard definition to non-linear 4 & 6K super high definition and Andrew was at the forefront of it all editing, colouring and finishing.  Perfecting digital workflows became Andrew’s focus when he began working in high definition about 15 years ago.  Since then he has refined his skills editing, conforming, colouring, finishing and the delivering of feature length movies, documentaries, shorts, series’ and television commercials.  Andrew’s clients have included broadcasters nationally and internationally (CBC, NBC, CTV, HBO, ABC, Smithsonian, TSN, SuperChannel, ESPN, SportsNet, CNN, BBC, PBS and more) along with film studios, production and distribution companies around the world (20th Century FOX, Sony, DreamWorks SKG, Universal, TVF, Arte, Earth Touch and more).

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