Dan O’Neill

Wildlife filmmaker, explorer and field biologist

Dan’s thirst for adventure and the natural world has taken him to some of the most remote places left on Earth from the Mayan temples of the Yucatan and ancient civilisations of Southeast Asia to the mountains of North Africa and the deepest parts of the Amazon rainforest.

His background as a field biologist has equipped him with an extensive knowledge of rainforest biodiversity and survival skills, particularly in the Neotropics. In 2019 he was part of a 7 person expedition to the headwaters of one of Guyana’s most remote rivers – the Rewa - in search of wild animals that had never seen people before. He made video diaries and presented the journey culminating with the filming of a wild rainforest jaguar on the expedition’s final day.

After reading an article about the last surviving Giant Yangtze Soft-shelled Turtles, Dan traveled extensively through Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand on a motorbike researching the illegal wildlife trade, specifically of freshwater turtles. He is returning to Vietnam this September in search of the critically endangered Cat Ba langur with unprecedented access to their last remaining refuge with anti-poachers fighting on the front lines. Visiting the fish markets of Southeast Asia, hawk and falcon markets in Morocco and shark finning stalls in South America, he has developed an international understanding of how the wildlife trade affects local people and conservation.

In 2017, Dan was accepted onto the Master's course in Wildlife Filmmaking at the University of the West of England in partnership with the BBC Natural History Unit. For his final project, he organised an expedition into the remote rainforests of Guyana, using his expertise to realise a woman’s life-long dream of seeing the formidable harpy eagle in the wild. The film, ‘To Find a Harpy”, has since been selected by 20 film festivals, screening to audiences all over the world.

With conservation dreams in mind Dan, along with co-founder Isaac Rice, created Wilderland Film Festival - the UK’s first ever touring wildlife film festival which will be in theatres nationwide in Autumn 2019. Dan narrated the award winning blue-chip short documentary, Flamboyant that has toured in front of 250,000 people in China and made a semi-finalist in this year’s International Wildlife Film Festival.