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Wildlife photographer Vincent Munier's film on the snow leopard is out in April

nw documentary the velvet queen focusing on the elusive snow leopard with vincent munier photographer
The elusive snow leopard featured in the film The Velvet Queen (Image credit: ©Munier / The Velvet Queen)

The Velvet Queen is a new documentary film directed by wildlife filmmaker Marie Amiguet and one of the world's leading fine art wildlife photographers, Vincent Munier. Following its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, The Velvet Queen will be released by Modern Films in the UK and available to view from 29 April 2022. 

Filmed in the heart of the frozen Tibetan highlands, this wondrous nature documentary follows Munier as he guides viewers on a quest to document the endangered and elusive snow leopard, accompanied by adventurer and writer Sylvain Tesson, learning the subtle art of blind spots, animal tracking and patience.  

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The music score for The Velvet Queen features original tracks by composer Warren Ellis and singer Nick Cave, having received awards and nominations such as winner of Best Documentary at the Lumière Awards 2022. The documentary will be released in French and Tibetan with English subtitles, running for 92 minutes with a 12A rating.

(Image credit: ©Munier / The Velvet Queen)
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French photographer Munier is a Nikon ambassador (opens in new tab) and spent much of his youth capturing wildlife images in the forests surrounding his home in the Vosges region of France, later continuing to photograph wildlife all over the world. His most notable works include photographs of white wolves in Canada as well as swans and cranes residing on the Hokkaido Island in Japan. Remarkably, he has won the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year prestigious Eric Hosking Portfolio Award three years in a row (2000, 2001 & 2002).

Sylvain Tesson is a trained geographer and author, having written multiple successful books with Dans les Forêts de Sibérie winning the Médicis nonfiction prize in 2011 and was later adapted for cinema viewing. He additionally works as a journalist and travel writer dividing his time between long distance expeditions and writing and directing various adventure documentaries.

(Image credit: ©Munier / The Velvet Queen)
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(Image credit: ©Munier / The Velvet Queen)
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(Image credit: ©Munier / The Velvet Queen)
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A documented encounter between a writer and photographer, through their journey high up on the Tibetan plateau, the two explorers contemplate humankind's existence situated among the magnificent wildlife creatures and Tibetan landscapes that they encounter, while surrounded by invisible presences, throughout their long quest to document the rare snow leopard. 

When originally released in France, The Velvet Queen received over 400,000 cinema admissions in its first month of release. These exciting figures and exceptional storytelling from Franco-Swiss director Marie Amiguet make for an intriguing premise to The Velvet Queen at the very least. For more information and to view the trailer, head to the Modern Films (opens in new tab) website.

(Image credit: ©Munier / The Velvet Queen)
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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.