The Human Element

TITLE:  The Human Element
DIRECTOR: Matthew Testa
DURATION: 78 min.

We humans are a force of nature.  At the same time human activities alter the basic elements of life – earth, air, water, and fire – those elements change human life in turn.
In this riveting and visually rich drama, blending art and science, we follow renowned environmental photographer James Balog as he explores wildfires, hurricanes, sea level rise, a struggling coal mining community, and our changing air supply.  With rare compassion and heart, THE HUMAN ELEMENT highlights Americans who are on the frontlines of climate change, inspiring us to re-evaluate our relationship with the natural world.

Director Matthew Testa has been working in documentary film and television for two decades, often focusing on the environment, social justice issues and the interplay between people and nature. Prior to THE HUMAN ELEMENT, Testa wrote and directed VLOGUMENTARY, which tracks the unlikely rise to stardom of Youtube personalities who document their daily lives. The film premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired by Youtube Red.

Testa’s previous films and nonfiction series include FREEDOM! THE MOVIE for CMT Docs, SNAKE SALVATION (National Geographic), WHALE WARS (Animal Planet), STORM CHASERS (Discovery) and THE FIRST 48 (A&E). His first film was the ITVS-funded environmental documentary, THE BUFFALO WAR, which aired nationally on PBS, toured festivals and won 9 awards.
Testa holds an MFA in Directing from the American Film Institute Conservatory and lives in Los Angeles with his wife, daughter and a cattle dog named Thunder.