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The Invisible Mammal Production Fund

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We've set out to make a nature film, science film and character-driven adventure all at once about an underdog species that often goes unnoticed. This film follows a team of women scientists conducting a pioneering study in conservation that can save a species and will fill your heart with hope.

All around us, roosting in trees or crevices, or silently migrating through our neighborhoods, bats go unseen. And now, at a time when bats have been blamed for causing a global pandemic, a new documentary about bat conservation will dispel myths about how pandemics are caused and spread, while also illustrating how bats’ super-immunity may hold a key to our own survival, but only if we can save them from a disease threatening their very existence.

The Invisible Mammal is a feature-length documentary film about bats, infectious disease, and women in science. In this intensely cinematic film, bats are rendered poetically visible: spectacularly streaming out of caves or bridges, or cradled in a gloved hand, wings extended. Wonder is the overriding emotion. Adventure is a key mood, along with mind-expanding discovery in the company of some of the most prominent human faces in bat conservation.

Against the backdrop of a global pandemic and the sixth mass extinction, a team of women biologists set out to save a North American bat species from a deadly fungal disease called White-nose Syndrome (WNS). As the disease reaches the far corners of the continent, a global pandemic attributed to a bat species in China interrupts their project, their jobs, and their commitment to protect bat species, no matter the odds.

This film highlights the need for solutions to our global extinction crisis. One million species around the globe are now at risk of extinction, including several species of North America’s bats, due to WNS. If we lose our bats, humans will also suffer, as bats save U.S. agriculture billions of dollars a year. This film offers up a pioneering solution called Operation Fat Bat, a project that, if successful, could rebuild healthy bat populations across North America.

Kristin filming Batnado at Bracken Cave, photo by Melyssa Mendoza

A bat lover since her days at film school, Director Kristin Tieche knew she had to tell this story. She started following the story of bats in 2009 after reading an article by science journalist Elizabeth Kolbert about how WNS threatened bats’ survival in North America.

Since 2006, WNS has decimated bat populations across the continent, killing approximately 7 million bats. Originally discovered in upstate New York, the fungal disease has spread across 37 states in the U.S., and 7 provinces in Canada, from New York to California, from Manitoba to Texas.

The Invisible Mammal intends to shine a bright light on pioneering conservation solutions, while helping humanity understand how infectious disease is caused and spread, and how we can better fit into the shared ecosystem, with bats leading us all to greater enlightenment. At once a nature film, a science film, and a character-driven adventure film, the film will immerse you in the world of bats and forever change the way you feel about these amazing little creatures.

We get that living on Planet Earth in 2022 can be anxiety inducing at times. Watching an environmental documentary sometimes adds to the stress of everyday choices we need to make. That’s why we wanted to tell a solutions-oriented story, with inspiring women role models front and center. Furthermore, we think you’ll walk away with a love and appreciation for bats that you never knew was in you. The Invisible Mammal will be a cinematic experience that transforms hearts and minds.

What the world needs now is a film about a misunderstood underdog, who actually possesses super-abilities such as flight, echolocation and superimmunity, a film that could change the way we understand, value and relate to nature. While directly addressing the value of protecting wildlife habitats in order to prevent future pandemics, and highlighting bats’ multibillion dollar importance for agriculture, The Invisible Mammal is a story of resilience, solutions and hope.

That’s why we need your help! We have come so far with production on a shoestring budget, and only have a few scenes left to film and about 6 months of editing ahead of us, and we need your financial support to get there.

We are wrapping principal photography in September 2022. Then, we’ll continue editing from October 2022 to June 2023, with the hopes of bringing this transformational film to audiences in late 2023 or early 2024. All funds raised will go toward post-production (editing, music composition, graphic design, sound design and color correction).

The Wild Lens Collective is a 501(c)3 organization and is the fiscal sponsor of The Invisible Mammal. Your donations are tax deductible. We will use the funds raised to pay for permits, travel, equipment and crew expenses while filming on location.

Be a bat superhero by making a donation today! 

We deeply appreciate your support and are grateful to be taking this journey with you.

For more information about the film, visit:


  • Kristin A Olnes
    • $100 
    • 6 d
  • Tim Bessie
    • $50 
    • 7 d
  • Anonymous
    • $125 
    • 9 d
  • Hailey Garcia
    • $5 
    • 11 d
  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 14 d

Organizer and beneficiary

Kristin Tieche
San Francisco, CA
Matthew Podolsky

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