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National Geographic Live: Nature Roars Back

Bob Poole, Wildlife Filmmaker

Mar 4 , 2021 McGlohon Theater

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Experience an epic African wildlife park through the eyes of an Emmy Award-winning natural history cinematographer.  


A childhood in East Africa gave Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Bob Poole a 
fierce curiosity about the natural world as well as an adventurous spirit. For a six-part PBS/Nat Geo International series, Bob drew on that experience to document the rebirth of a lost Eden: Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park, a jewel of Africa’s parks system until civil war almost destroyed it. There, he joined forces with rangers and scientists (including his sister, renowned elephant researcher Joyce Poole), on perhaps the biggest conservation project on the planet. He’ll share secrets of filming lions, crocs, elephants, and spectacular scenery, and tell how he cracked the “Gorongosa code”—learning to read the landscape and find prime locations for filming the park’s spectacular wildlife.   


Join the acclaimed cinematographer and filmmaker for unforgettable images and stories of Gorongosa’s majestic animals—and learn how the wild places we’ve broken can be put back together. 




Bob Poole grew up in East Africa, where his father was the director of the Peace Corps, and later the director of the African Wildlife Foundation. His family spent much of their time with the abundant wildlife that thrived there during the 1960s and 1970s. Poole’s unique upbringing gave him an appreciation and curiosity of the natural world, a highly adventurous spirit, and a strong sense of self-reliance. 


Bob’s relationship with National Geographic began when he was a teenager working with a crew who had come to Kenya to film elephants. After completing a university degree in science, Bob traveled the world as a camera assistant before landing his first assignment as a cinematographer for National Geographic. The film, Coming of Age with Elephants, was about his sister, Dr. Joyce Poole, the renowned elephant zoologist.  


Now an Emmy Award-winning director of photography, Bob films both people and wildlife and has made a career in front of the camera as well.  His extensive credit list includes documentaries for PBS, NATURE and NOVA, BBC, over 30 films for Discovery Networks, and an additional 35 plus films for National Geographic Television. 


Bob works around the world and his passion for wildlife conservation has taken him to some of Africa’s most remote locations. Whether tracking elephants in extreme desert environments of Mali, following wildebeest across the Serengeti, or traveling road-less regions of war-torn Sudan, Poole’s lifetime experience and unfailing tenacity help him to capture remarkable moments. For this he won an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Cinematography while working on the series Great Migrations for National Geographic. 


Working on the other side of the camera, Bob is the main character in a National Geographic film, War Elephants, which premiered in March of 2012. The film was nominated for an Emmy: Best Nature Program 2013, was a Finalist at Jackson Hole for Best People and Nature Program, and won Best Documentary at the Sun Valley Film Festival. 


Bob spent two and a half years working on Gorongosa Park: Rebirth of Paradise, a six-hour primetime series for PBS and National Geographic International, which premiered September 22, 2015. He is the presenter, narrator and wildlife cameraman for the series. 


In 2015 he spent three months following and filming a family group of elephants for a National Geographic film called Little Giant and worked as a "Cameraman in Vision" on a new BBC One series. 


Bob sits on the board of the Gorongosa Restoration Project, is a Fellow with the Explorers Club, and is a member of National Geographic Speaker's Bureau. 

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