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In 1958 Jesco von Puttkamer moved his family from Germany to Canada with the dream of building a resort and horse ranch in the wilds of British Columbia. He named it Paradise Valley.
Upon their arrival he began hiring local Squamish native people to work at the resort- which was a big boost to their local economy and to their spirit. His efforts lead to the creation of one of Canada's most treasured retreats, Paradise Valley along the banks of the Cheakamus River, near Squamish, BC-- instilling in his son Peter a respect and appreciation for First Nations people that has been the motivating force behind many of his greatest accomplishments in his career as a celebrated filmmaker.
Peter attended a progressive high school where he leaned how to use cameras, make 8 mm films and claymation projects and continued his film studies as a student at the University of BC. Soon thereafter, he began his professional career as a director and cinematographer.
His first jobs were working for the government making films about Canada's First Nations/aboriginal communities. He created nationwide initiatives and programs around their heath, well being and cultural revival.
In 1980 while he was working on a film about aboriginal suicide out on Vancouver Island he saw a group of native paddlers and started filming and taking photos. He used the images for a national campaign in Canada against drug and alcohol abuse. It was a huge success that led to the creation of the production company he has run with his wife and producing partner Sheera, ever since: the award winning Gryphon Productions.
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Peter Von Puttkamer's Gryphon Productions has produced hundreds of educational films, campaigns, documentary films and network specials and special series. Check out Peter's next network debut by clicking KILLING BIGFOOT; and watch some clips from past projects below:
From The Huffington Post...
McCann's 'Biggest And Baddest' Series Follows Rare And Threatened Wildlife
"There's something intrinsically fascinating about the animals that are either the largest or the most dangerous in the world," says Niall McCann.
Clear about his motivations, the British/Canadian biologist travels the globe in search of the world's largest and most dangerous animals. He is the star of "Biggest and Baddest" which premieres for the first time on U.S. television this week on the Velocity Channel.
"Peyote to LSD"…An intriguing look at scientist Richard Evan Schulte
"’Peyote to LSD…An intriguing look at scientist Richard Evan Schultes -- who roamed the Amazon investigating the plants and "magic mushrooms" used by local populations that became the hallucinogenic base for the 1960s. Explorer Wade Davis characterizes Schultes as a kind of mind-expanding Indiana Jones.”
- Brian Lowry, CHIEF TELEVISION CRITIC- VARIETY,
From Amazon regarding Sasquatch Odyssey: The Hunt for Bigfoot
I bought this when it was released on video tape and have watched it at least 10 times. This is an excellent documentary that places it's focus, not so much on bigfoot, but on the people who have made a name searching for it.
Click here for a complete bio of Peter Von Puttkamer
Peter von Puttkamer, co-founder of Gryphon Productions Ltd (along with his wife producer Sheera) has been producing international award-winning films worldwide over the last 30 years. His production company, Gryphon Productions Ltd. has created documentaries for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, History Channel, BBC, Discovery Channel Europe/International/HD, The Learning Channel (TLC), Can-West Global, C.B.C., CTV and various Canadian specialty channels. These programs, directed/ produced by Peter, have won more than 75 international awards. His fascination with indigenous peoples, anthropology, archaeology, mythology, music and wildlife has led to unique and imaginative projects around the world. Whether working on heart-felt personal stories, socio-political issues or broad adventure-based entertainment documentaries, filmmaking for von Puttkamer has always been a blend of mind, body and spirit. He has climbed through ancient caves used for human sacrifice in Mexico, filmed then eaten giant 12” tarantulas with Venezuelan blow-gun hunters, filmed sacred mask rituals and dances of North American natives, recorded soul music classics with legendary recording artists, worked with AIDS survivors, searched for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Lost World in South America, chased Caribou herds on the Arctic Circle, joined a hunt for Bigfoot and featured scientific/medical break throughs. Gryphon programs have inspired the creation of Festivals and retrospectives in Italy and Brazil. Gryphon films/series have helped inspire whole TV genres. Programs for TLC/Discovery Channel/CTV such as “Sasquatch Odyssey” and “Monster Hunters” revealed the strange world of cryptozoology to a new TV audience in 1999. “Sasquatch Odyssey” won several awards and was selected for the prestigious 1999 IDA Doctober Festival screenings in Los Angeles- qualifying it for Academy Award nomination. “Monster Hunters” produced for TLC screened at the New York International Independent Film Festival in New York and LA and has won 2 Platinum Awards at the 2002 Worldfest Houston. In 2003-04, Gryphon created & wrote/directed/co-produced an 8 hour, 24 segment series “Beyond Invention” for Discovery Channel which aired worldwide and is currently running on Discovery’s Science Channel in the US. Winner of 3 American Indian Film Festival Awards, the von Puttkamers enjoys a special relationship with First Nations and indigenous people: these films have had a major social, cultural and political impact wherever they are shown.
Gryphon has created Feature Documentaries with major networks/studios such as Discovery Channel, History Channel and Sony Pictures. In 2006, Gryphon produced/directed a Television Special “Domus Mactabilis-Real Monster Houses” for the Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis/Sony Pictures Feature Film- “Monster House”. Gryphon’s two-hour special, “The Real Lost World” was a hit on Animal Planet & Discovery HD Theater; The CINE award-winning “Peyote to LSD: A Psychedelic Odyssey”- a 2 Hr. award-winning History Channel Special was shot in the Amazon and 5 countries, featuring National Geographic Explorer in Residence Wade Davis (author-“The Serpent and the Rainbow” on voodoo); the “Peyote to LSD” program is about the life of plant-explorer Richard Evans Schultes and how his discoveries of hallucinogens changed the western world. A one hour wildlife special— “UAKARI: Secrets of the English Monkey is airing on Animal Planet’s Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom, BBC Natural World and CBC Nature of Things. The program won a CINE Golden Eagle Award and features Red Uakari monkeys (filmed here for the first time in the wild) and conservation work being done for the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo). Gryphon produced the big-screen HD exhibit film: “Where Rivers, Mts. and People Meet” for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics and Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Ctr. at Whistler, B.C. Recently, Gryphon produced nationally US broadcast: PBS (WNET- Secrets of the Dead) SPECIAL: “Lost in the Amazon”- about Col. Percy Fawcett’s search for the lost city of Z- in the Brazilian Amazon. In 2011-12, they produced Biggest and Baddest - a wildlife-travel-adventure series featuring biologist-adventurer Niall McCann for Animal Planet and Discovery International. Season Two is now underway for 2013-14. New Documentary Series Pilot Killing Bigfoot- completed for Destination America (Discovery) and OLN CANADA (Rogers Broadcasting)- 2013-2014.