Allison Argo’s films have won over 100 awards internationally, including six national Emmys (11 nominations), DuPont Columbia, Genesis, Jackson Hole, NY Festival, Cine, Banff, and dozens of awards from New Zealand to Japan. Argo is known for her emotionally-charged and deeply personal films. Her 1994 documentary, The Urban Elephant, captured the hearts of viewers around the world and garnered two Emmys (one for Argo’s directing and one for producing). More important, it helped bring a shift in the way we perceive and care for elephants in captivity.
Though Argo has been making films for the past 20 years, her experience in the film and entertainment industry stretches back to childhood. Raised in the theater, she performed Ibsen and Tennessee Williams on Broadway and starred in movies and series for television in Los Angeles.
While on location, Argo met a gorilla named Ivan living alone in shopping mall in Washington State. Their chance encounter propelled Argo to move behind the camera and produce/direct her first film. The Urban Gorilla called attention to the lives of captive gorillas and inspired a movement to rescue Ivan from his solitary life. The film, which was narrated by Glenn Close, won numerous awards, including two Emmy nominations, and kicked off Argo’s long association with National Geographic. Her familiarity with production through her early acting career gave Argo a foundation as a filmmaker and continues to give her a creative edge today.
For the past 20 years, Argo has gone on to produce, direct and write nearly two dozen award-winning films, providing “a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.” She has traveled the globe searching for chimpanzees in the mountains of Tanzania, combing the Amazon for endangered frogs and scouring the underbelly of Bangkok in search of displaced elephants. By teaming up with National Geographic and PBS, Argo’s films have reached audiences in every corner of the world.
The Story of Dao is Argo’s most recent project and the culmination of over two decades of filmmaking. While shooting in Bangkok 15 years ago, late one night she met an elephant named Pang Dao begging for food on the streets. At that moment the seed for The Story of Dao was planted. To find out more: www.ArgoFilms.com
Name: Allison Argo
Lives in: Brewster, Massachusetts
Occupation: Director, Editor, Producer, Screenwriter and Voice Artist