Margot McMaster: Director
Margot started her career in television and film in the late 1980s. Over the years, she produced, directed and edited programs in diverse genres, from short films and feature-length documentaries to news magazine format programs. This past year she co-produced her first feature length dramatic film Root of the Problem. Industry recognition includes an Emmy Award from the National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences for her work with CBS at the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Recent recognition for her feature documentary The Caravan Film includes awards at the London and Houston International Film Festivals; Grand Prize of the Jury, Amsterdam International Film Festival, and Best of Festival at the Equus Film Festival in New York City, to name just a few. Margot brings a passion for filmmaking and an eye to objectivity and creativity to every production she works on. Her inner call to action is to create awareness for positive change with everything she does. Along with her film work, Margot is also an active volunteer in her community and a member of the local Search and Rescue Society.
Darrel Rowledge: Writer
Darrel Rowledge is an Alberta businessman and public policy analyst. He has spent over 30 years researching, writing, and speaking on a variety of public policy issues, from forests and wildlife to healthcare. Darrel is a passionate outdoorsman and conservationist, and is well known for his advocacy opposing the commercial domestication of wildlife. He is currently the President of the Alliance for Public Wildlife. The recipient of numerous awards, Darrel has been a special advisor to the Alberta Fish and Game Association, a director of the Alberta Wilderness Association, co-chair of the National Caucus on the Constitution and the Environment, and on the Steering Committee of University of Calgary's Wildlife Running Into the Future Conference.
No Accident is a theatrical-length documentary chronicling the emergence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), its impacts on wildlife, the economy and public health, from the late 1960s to today. The story of No Accident is told through Darrel Rowledge. Darrel has dedicated the last 30 years of his life to bring this story into public awareness.
No Accident will be filmed in Canada, USA, France, Norway, New Zealand the United Kingdom and Germany.
There is an undeniable interrelationship between the land and it’s people, and a wisdom in which traditional societies have adapted to and lived harmoniously in their environment. Learning’s are passed down through sacred stories and traditions. Shared through the centuries. Many, even validated by modern science.
But in our profit driven world we choose all to often to arrogantly ignore this wisdom, ignore the science, and in doing so, unleashing a destructive and devastating disease, CWD, onto our landscapes.
Respecting and learning from Nature, and understanding the consequences of our actions, underlie the story of
To tell the story behind CWD we need to bridge the gap from science to the street. Technical, scientific concepts must be translated to ‘every day’ language so people can understand the full story. To do this we will use interviews, re-creations, historical documents and archival footage.
Expert commentary from scientists, leading political figures past and present, conservation enforcement officers, hunters and heads of conservation federations guide the story. Landscapes and wildlife root us in the nature of the story, our metric of what is at stake.
Dramatic reenactments combined with expert testimony emphasize key points and issues in the film, such as government officials in full hazmat gear picking up a deer carcass after reassuring hunters they had nothing to worry about only days before.
Interviews at locations of historical significance to the emergence of the disease bridge time, but also are poignant reminders today. For example, the Hall property in Wisconsin was once an active farm, but now is so contaminated by disease it is double-fenced by the state government – not to keep animals in but to keep them out. Similar properties exist in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
The structure of the film and interwoven storylines seamlessly uncover historic connections between conservation sciences, the origins of disease, and the ongoing interrelationships of science, economics, law and public policy. This structure allows for all voices to be heard and legitimizes each viewpoint – like that of Chris McGeshick, retired conservation officer and Native American council leader, who says, “Through teachings and what the elders bring to us, the knowledge, these animals have a life they have a responsibility out there and we need to let them lead their lives. So with deer in fences, I disagree with it. I believe animals know what to do in the wild, and how to survive in the wild, and that’s part of their lifecycle. Learning, just as we do, what benefits us what helps us, what cures diseases, what makes us feel better if we have a stomachache… and deer know how to take care of themselves, but they have to be in the wild to do that.”