Humans and wolves have a legendary relationship.
Forever feared and respected – for good reason.
But at some point, we co-existed.
Dogs evolved from this union and have become some of our most beloved companions.
But some people still seek a wilder, more untamed partnership.
Produced by photographer/filmmaker Isabella Groc and co-director Mike McKinlay, the film follows three west coasters who have formed rare relationships with wolves.
It’s stunning to witness the close bonds people can form with wild animals, but as the film documented, they are not without consequences.
“As we continued to film our character stories, everything that could go wrong in these situations did go wrong. McKinlay told Create A Stir.
“That has been so special to our movie: we show the proof of what could happen in real-time.”
Despite the realities of what can happen, the film doesn’t set out with a specific message in mind.
It also shows the deep connections that can form between humans and these wild animals – giving a glimpse into a past existence that many people long to get in touch with.
“We all seek to develop a connection to nature, to the wild. It’s good for our mental health, and it brings us joy. So we’re really inviting people to consider all angles. What are the impacts of our connecting with the wild?” said Groc.
The film is filmed across the Island, featuring stunning shots of west coast Sea Wolves and highlighting specific stories.
You hear from characters like Gary Allan, a self-described “wolf educator” who keeps many wolves on his Nanaimo property while touring schools with his most docile pet, Tundra.
As well as less “expert” owners, who were so drawn to the creatures that they simply felt they needed one in their life – no matter the circumstances this has brought about for them.
Many other kinds of wolf lovers, like animal rights lawyers, scientists, and conservation officials, give much to consider about how we interact with “man’s original best friend” in the modern era.
As Grog said, the entire film begs the question.
“Are we going to seek them out and try to have these experiences and connections, or will we try to keep them wild?”Part of the Pack will air Tuesday, June 6, on British Columbia’s Knowledge Network. The film will also be available to stream across Canada at knowledge.ca