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GRADES: 5-12

TABLE OF CONTENTS Instructor Resources A Letter to Educators Discussion Questions Interpretive Essay Prompts Additional Resources Standards About CFI

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Student Handouts About the Film Viewing Activities Extension Activity

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Dear Educators, Thank you for attending the California Film Institute’s DocLands screening of Panteras, Living Among Wild Cats. Our DocLands Education screenings focus on increasingly relevant issues of global empathy and active citizenship, and we believe this film will be a powerful and engaging text to use in your classroom. We know that this year is likely one of the most challenging of your professional career, and we hope that this film and study guide can support the incredible work you’re already doing. These curricular materials are designed to get students to engage deeply with film by the common-core aligned skills of developing an evidence-based interpretation of a text. The discussion questions on the following page offer a variety of options for fostering small-group or whole-class dialogue. If your students are already familiar with a process of writing evidence-based interpretive essays, consider using one of the suggested essay prompts for a short writing piece. Additionally, individual handouts for before, during, and after viewing are provided as stand-alone activities to be used individually or in sequence. Thank you so much for your tireless work! Sincerely, The CFI Education Team

Panteras, Living Among Wild Cats Curriculum Guide | CFI Education



What are the central issues addressed in this documentary? What has changed between the start and the end?


What are some surprising facts you learned from this film? How do these facts shape your understanding of the central issue of the film?


Does this documentary feel objective and/or balanced in its presentation of the issues? Why or why not?


What did you see in this film that reminds you of other stories from your life or other stories you know?


Were there any perspectives relevant to the central issues of the documentary that were not included? How would those voices have changed the film?


What are some background details you noticed in this film? How do these details provide information about the time or place in which this film was made?


Consider other films you’ve seen. What makes this film unique or important? What are some connections between this film and other films?


How did Unai grow or change over the course of this film? What do you think has changed about Unai’s relationship with his father?


What skills, abilities, or attitudes seem most important for successful wildlife photography?

10. Do you think Andoni was understanding of Unai’s needs as a teenager? Why or why not? 11. How do you think these experiences will shape or inform Unai’s future?


What do you think Unai gained by spending his teen years traveling with his father? What might he have missed by not having a traditional teen experience?


What evolutionary variations and adaptations have allowed wildcats to populate diverse ecosystems around the world?

Panteras, Living Among Wild Cats Curriculum Guide | CFI Education


ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Andoni Canela Official website of director/wildlife photographer Andoni Canela. Andoni Canela on Instagram Instagram account of director/wildlife photographer Andoni Canela. World Wildlife Fund Information on endangered and threatened species, including many of the wild cats in the film.

STANDARDS CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.9-10.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text. NGSS.MS-LS2-2 Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems. NGSS. MS-LS4-2 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships. NGSS. HS-LS4-4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity Construct an explanation based on evidence for how natural selection leads to adaptation of populations.

ABOUT CFI The nonprofit California Film Institute celebrates and promotes film as art and education through year-round programming at the independent Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center, presentation of the acclaimed Mill Valley Film Festival and DocLands Documentary Film Festival, as well as cultivation of the next generation of filmmakers and audiences through CFI Education programs. Follow the California Film Institute on social media @cafilm @californiafilminstitute @cafilminstitute californiafilminstitute Panteras, Living Among Wild Cats Curriculum Guide | CFI Education



ABOUT THE FILM Panteras, Living Among Wild Cats is the latest feature film by director and photographer Andoni Canela, produced by Wanda Natura with the participation of RTVE and the support of the World Wildlife Fund and CBD-Habitat. The film follows the four-year adventure of Canela and his son Unai as they travel the world in search of the last big cats. It is a documentary filmed in the wildest places on the planet. Father and son travel in search of the Mato Grosso jaguar, the Kalahari cheetah, the Rajasthan tiger, the Patagonian puma, the Ceylon leopard, the Sierra Morena Iberian lynx and the Masai Mara lion. The journey spans several years and culminates on the “roof of the world,” where Andoni and Unai try to find the legendary snow leopard that inhabits the mountains of Tibet and the Himalayas. Panteras, Living Among Wild Cats Curriculum Guide | CFI Education



PERSONAL REFLECTION FREEWRITE Directions: The film you are about to watch follows a teen on an extended outdoor expedition to photograph wild cats. Consider your own personal familiarity and connection these topics by responding to one of the following prompts in a short free-write.


What was the longest or most difficult outdoor excursion (such as a camping, hiking, or backpacking trip) that you’ve been on? What was the trip and what were some of the challenges involved?


What do you know about cats? What are some typical feline behaviors or traits? How do domestic house cats differ from wild cats? Why are some people so drawn to cats?

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What challenges did Unai and Andoni face when searching for this wild cat?


What were some unique behaviors or evolutionary variations/adaptations of this particular wild cat?

What did you notice about the climate, terrain, or biodiversity in this ecosystem?

Panteras, Living Among Wild Cats Curriculum Guide | CFI Education

What species of wild cat were they looking for in this location?

Directions: As you watch the film, fill in each cell with observations from each section of Unai and Andoni’s adventure.





Sri Lanka







Panteras, Living Among Wild Cats Curriculum Guide | CFI Education




RESPONSE QUESTIONS Directions: Respond to each question, referring to specific scenes, events, and dialogue from the film as evidence for your interpretation. 1. What were the biggest challenges that Unai and Andoni faced during their expeditions? What about their trip made it worth overcoming these challenges? ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 2. What impact do you think these trips will have on Unai’s life? Do you think he missed out on anything by not having a more “traditional” experience in his teen years? ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 3. What was the purpose of Unai’s journal? Compare and contrast how Unai’s journal, Andoni’s photographs, and the documentary film itself all capture different aspects of their journey. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 4. Pick one location and species that Unai and Andoni photographed. Explain how observable factors in the environment may have influenced a specific physiological variation or behavioral adaptation you observed in that species. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ 5. Pick one species and location and predict how climate change could affect the ecosystem and the wild cat species that lives there. Connect your prediction to specific observations you noticed in the film. ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________

Panteras, Living Among Wild Cats Curriculum Guide | CFI Education



Take inspiration from Andoni and Unai’s adventures in the film and start your own foray into wildlife photography. Though you might not be able to travel to the remote locations visited in the film, you can still celebrate the biodiversity of your own environment by documenting some of the local wildlife. Directions: 1.

Identify an animal species that lives in the wild near you - no pets allowed! Challenge yourself by picking something elusive, but also make sure you pick something that you can photograph safely.

2. Take a photograph of this animal in its natural habitat. You may want to research the animal’s sleep habits and habitat preferences to help you know where and when you can find it. 3. Create an illustrated journal page similar to Unai’s, with drawings, facts, observations and personal reflections of your adventure.

Tips for Taking Wildlife Photographs: •

If you are using a camera phone, shoot in landscape mode, with your phone horizontal. This framing is usually better for capturing animals as well as their surrounding landscape.

Use the zoom function so you can keep a safe distance from your subject and not startle them. Be careful not to zoom so much that the resolution becomes pixelated.

Take lots of photographs! You can always delete the weaker images and pick the best ones later.

Compose using “the rule of thirds.” This means imagining your frame is divided in thirds both horizontally and vertically, and placing the main subject of your film along those third lines.

If your camera has an adjustable shutter speed, use a fast shutter speed to reduce motion blur of your subject.

Panteras, Living Among Wild Cats Curriculum Guide | CFI Education