We went to the Kuril Island chain of far Eastern Russia to film an adventure story. But then a volcanic eruption changed everything. After losing his boat in the eruption, Russian biologist Dr. Vladimir Burkanov stowed away with our crew and recruited us to help fully realize his quest to understand and protect the magical and fragile Kuril ecosystem. 

Set in one of the most inaccessible volcanic island chains in the world, the film From Kurils With Love introduces us to this true warrior for the planet and takes audiences on an intimate journey of visual bliss, sea lion chaos, and ultimately a greater hope for the Earth. The film is produced in partnership with Tomorrow Unlocked and Kaspersky Labs.

“All my life I tried to bring attention to the Kuril Islands, it’s only people who can destroy it quickly, or they can protect it.” - Vladimir Burkanov

Since the film’s completion, we helped found the Kuril Islands Research and Conservation Initiative - an official 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. To learn more or to donate, please visit our ongoing campaign site.


Director and Producer - Taylor Rees

Co-Director and Director of Photography - Renan Ozturk

Producers - Povel Torudd and Eugene Kaspersky

Editor - Forrest Borie

Music Composer - Logan Nelson, Tim Fain. 

Other Science and Photography Support - Jeff Kerby, Rishi Sugla, Chris Burkard, Ted Hesser, Ryan Hill, and Sebastian Andrei.

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