Home Films Stunning New Wildlife Movie Inspires Texans to Keep Texas Great

Stunning New Wildlife Movie Inspires Texans to Keep Texas Great

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Move over David Attenborough and Barack Obama, there’s a new wildlife storyteller at work, and he’s here to both celebrate and conserve what makes Texas unique. Narrated by none other than Matthew McConaughey and coming to Texas theaters on June 3, deep in the heart is a visually stunning celebration of diverse landscapes and remarkable wildlife behavior found nowhere else in the world.

Featuring cutting-edge cinematography, the film travels from the highest peaks of West Texas, through our aquifers, rivers and bays, and deep into the Gulf of Mexico. The story is told through the eyes of wildlife like the elusive mountain lion and showcases our ability to destroy, conserve and recover the wildlife and habitat we mutually depend on.

With a master’s degree in wildlife biology from Texas A&M University, the film’s director, Ben Masters, hopes the film will inspire audiences to conserve our remaining wild places, show the connectivity of water and wildlife, and recognize the importance of Texas conservation on a continental scale. Best known for directing the award-winning feature-length documentary The river and the wall, Masters also founded Fin and Fur Films, a production company specializing in short films about wildlife research, conservation and activism. We reached out to Masters for a few questions about his upcoming new movie.

CultureMap: what was the inspiration behind deep in the heart?
Ben Masters: Growing up, I was always fascinated by BBC and National Geographic wildlife shows in Africa or Antarctica. It wasn’t until I studied wildlife biology at Texas A&M that I realized that Texas also offers incredible wildlife spectacle and diversity. I started making films ten years ago with this film as a dream, and four years ago I decided to go for it. It was an amazing experience and a huge challenge to make Texas’ first wildlife film. Lots of pressure to make it as good as possible and really show our condition.

CM: Why tell the story through the eyes of wildlife?
BM: Many of the animals and behaviors are super fascinating and have never been filmed. Take ocelots for example: they are our most beautiful cat and there have never been any quality videos of them in the wild in Texas. Or the alligator gar and his fascinating life strategy of spawning during floods: Texans love Texas, and we have incredible wildlife that a lot of people care about – so it only made sense to produce a film like this- this.

CM: When did you start producing this story?
BM: We started filming in 2018 and finished editing in 2022. It took hundreds of days in the field and some footage, like the cougar, took almost a year to capture.

CM: What was the hardest thing about putting together a film like this?
BM: The hardest part was filming hard-to-find rare animals and getting quality footage of them. It was also incredibly satisfying when we pulled it off.

CM: What was the best memory of the process?
BM: A big standout memory was getting the short story that Matthew McConaughey would tell. He has such a unique voice that suits the film perfectly, which will definitely help get the conservation message out to the general public.

CM: The trailer presents the film as a call to action: what do you hope audiences will be inspired to do after seeing the film?
BM: You have to watch it to find out!!! We also have an action page on our website to get you involved with organizations that are doing great work across the state.

DEEP IN THE HEART | OFFICIAL TRAILER from Films for fins and furs on Vimeo.

deep in the heart arrives in Texas theaters on June 3. Head to the movie website for more information.