The Living Edens Madagascar-A World Apart Notes from the Field

Producer carrying camera
About the Producers
Andrew Young and Susan Todd are Academy Award nominated filmmakers and the founders of Archipelago Films, a New York-based production company. Together, the husband and wife team has produced, directed and photographed numerous award-winning documentaries on social and environmental issues. Most recently, they completed The Living Edens "Madagascar: A World Apart.”

Currently, Young and Todd are in production of two new film projects: a feature documentary about Latinos in America for HBO and Olmos Productions; and an HDTV theater production about the Congo rain forest for the Bronx Zoo’s new Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit, opening in the spring of 1999.

Young and Todd have established an impressive resume of awards for their films, including the 1993 Academy Award nominated documentary, "Children of Fate." This film revisits three generations of a family struggling to survive in a notorious Palermo slum. Filmed originally in 1961 by Andrew’s father, Robert Young, the film received the Sundance Film Festival’s Best Documentary and Excellence in Cinematography awards.

Producer recording soundOther awards the team has won include the 1997 Windy City Documentary Film Festival’s Best of Festival Award and the National Educational Film and Video Festival’s Golden Apple Award for the powerful documentary "It Ain't Love." Based on teenage dating violence, the film follows members of a young improv theater company as they create and perform abusive relationships. In 1996, the team won the Sundance Film Festival’s Filmmaker’s Trophy and Cinematography Awards for the documentary "Cutting Loose;" a feature-length film that follows lively characters through the New Orleans Mardi Gras. Todd has also won a New York Emmy Award in 1989 for the segments she produced on "The Eleventh Hour," a nightly news and cultural affairs program.

Producer filming in sunsetIn addition to being the cinematographer and sound recordist for the films they produce and direct, Young and Todd are often hired as a freelance production team. Their assignments have ranged from the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York to life in the spiny desert of Madagascar. In 1989 they filmed "Monkeys on the Edge," a portrait of Brazil’s endangered Atlantic Forest, for the PBS series "Nature." In 1988-89 they worked as a camera/sound team for "The Trials of Life," David Attenborough’s 12-part series on animal behavior, which was a co-production by the BBC and TBS. Their dramatic sequences of mating wolves, fighting tortoises, spraying skunks and birthing bats helped earn the series a British Academy Award for Best Cinematography. Young’s camera work has appeared on numerous other award-winning nature series such as "Jacques Cousteau," "NOVA," "Smithsonian World" and "World of Audubon." He is currently shooting sequences for "Animal Minds," a three-part series co-produced by the BBC and PBS.

Todd and Young both graduated from Harvard College in 1983. Todd also holds a Master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University. Young has a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Yale University.

For more information on Susan and Andrew's work, visit the Archipelago Films Web site.


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