This film follows the fate of a handful of contributors as they prepare for, and compete at, the World Taxidermy Championships 2005 in Illinois, USA.
The Championships are held over five days with 1000 entries from 49 US States and 29 countries around the world. Competition is serious business with taxidermists spending months preparing their pieces in an attempt to artistically resuscitate the dead and win taxidermy’s highest awards.
‘Taxidermy God’ Ken from Canada, is trying to mount a life-sized prehistoric Great Elk for the Championships, but he faces a tough challenge because the giant animals have been extinct for at least 5000 years. Meanwhile, Roy from Texas has always dreamed of killing a leopard to mount for the competition, and he travels to South Africa in search of the perfect specimen.
Nine-year-old Victoria is the youngest taxidermist in the championships. She is known as ‘killer’ by those close to her due to her deadly aim. Victoria will be mounting a deer she shot herself for the ‘stuffing Olympics’. Taxidermist Jeanette is focussed on conquering the male dominated industry and she is determined to be judged on her mounts and not on her looks.
British taxidermist Jack has teamed up with Peter from Denmark in a bid for championship glory. The competitive pair are hoping their mounted bird will beat the Americans in the prize stakes. One of their European counterparts, Matthias, has become disillusioned with the Taxidermy world after failing to make his fortune and he searches for fulfilment elsewhere.
A Century Films production for BBC2
1 x 90 minutesMusicSam HooperAssociate ProducerZac BeattieCo-producerElodie GornallEditorBen ChananExecutive ProducersBrian HillRichard KleinFilmed and Directed byMorgan Matthews
"If there’s a better documentary this year than Stuff The World...I shall be very surprised...it is a gorgeous piece of filmmaking"The Times
"Morgan Matthews’ fabulous documentary … was beautifully articulated so that it began as a genial study of eccentricity and darkened into something far more melancholy and disturbing"The Idependent
"The warmth and fascination of Matthews’ film lies not so much in its insights into the eccentric world of taxidermy as in the emotional snapshots that it offers of his subjects"The Times
"An eye-boggling piece of filmmaking"Time Out
"A riveting documentary"The Observer