Thanks to strong ticket sales, ‘Turkey Town’ Screening/Panel Discussion September 20 moved to Coolidge Corner Theatre's largest viewing room
Michael P. O'Connor
LINCOLN, MA—Mass Audubon is collaborating with noted Brookline documentarian Aynsley Floyd to present her latest film, “Turkey Town,” Tuesday evening, September 20, at the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline. Strong advance ticket sales response to the quirky, engaging study of this feisty (and misunderstood?) fowl prompted the event to move the 7-9 p.m. screening/panel discussion to the theatre’s largest viewing room, the 432-seat Moviehouse 1.
“Turkey Town” features scenes of turkey/human confrontations in Brookline—where Floyd lives and produced the film.
It explores the varied ways in which our communities have incorporated Wild Turkeys through original footage captured by the filmmaker, crowd-sourced clips of footage donated to the project, interviews with ornithologists and biologists, and anecdotes from the public about their encounters with Wild Turkeys.
The documentary also traces the historic comeback of Meleagris gallopavo after having been eradicated in Massachusetts by the mid-1800s, and explores the social and environmental consequences, both positive and negative, of the turkey’s return.
The event will include a panel discussion after the screening. Panelists include:
- David O'Neill, President of Mass Audubon
- Scott Weidensaul, Ornithologist and author of A World on the Wing: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds
- Joan Walsh, Mass Audubon's Bertrand Chair of Field Ornithology
- Wayne Petersen, Mass Audubon's Director of Important Bird Areas
“When I set out to make the film, it was prompted by anecdotes about interactions with turkeys from neighbors and friends, and from the Brookline police blotter,” Floyd recalled. “My first inclination was that the divide was probably 50-50 between the lovers and the haters: those who liked them and those who despised them and wanted them gone.
“But as I recorded more interviews, I found that generally speaking, people have sympathy and empathy, even if they find turkeys scary and ugly,” she noted. “The feeling was, ‘We should just make some room for these creatures. Let’s give them a break. They deserve to be here, too.’”
Mass Audubon’s Petersen was one of those interviewees, who reached out to the filmmaker after Floyd, in a Boston Globe article, called for turkey-philes and turkey-phobes to contact her
“I believed this was a terrific idea for a documentary, and thought it was an opportunity to help dispel some myths about these birds and get the word out about co-existing with nature,” said Petersen, who is also a respected lecturer and international bird guide. “Plus the story about how turkeys were restored to Massachusetts in the 20th century—after much trial and error—is a fascinating one.”
Mass Audubon is the largest nature-based conservation organization in New England. Founded in 1896 by two women who fought for the protection of birds, Mass Audubon carries on their legacy by focusing on the greatest challenges facing the environment today: the loss of biodiversity, inequitable access to nature, and climate change. With the help of our 140,000 members and supporters, we protect wildlife, conserve and restore resilient land, advocate for impactful environmental policies, offer nationally recognized education programs for adults and children, and provide endless opportunities to experience the outdoors at our wildlife sanctuaries. Explore, find inspiration, and take action at www.massaudubon.org.