Bat City, USA Trailer
Bat City USA is the story of how a giant colony of bats “invaded” an Austin bridge and were met with fear and hostility by residents. When the city threatened to exterminate the bats, a zealous conservationist named Merlin Tuttle stepped in and fought to save them.
Thousands of Mexican Free-tailed bats began moving into a downtown Austin bridge in the 1980s, after a bridge renovation left gaps between beams that created ideal roosting space. The “bat invasion” caused a media hoopla and the sensational headlines attracted the attention of Tuttle, a bat researcher in Milwaukee.
Tuttle moved to Austin, where he faced opposition from residents who wanted to exterminate the colony because of rabies concerns. Tuttle became an expert at photographing bats in a natural setting, without depicting them as bared-teeth aggressors. He used his photos to change the bats’ image — from disease-carriers to desirable creatures. Talking up bats to anyone who would listen, he tried to convince residents to save the colony from destruction.
Bat City USA is a 54-minute documentary. Look for it soon at a nearby festival.
Bat City, USA has been screened in the following film festivals: