The Vervet Forest stars 5 adorable, intelligent, and resilient orphaned baby monkeys:
KYLE J. SALAZAR | DIRECTOR
Kyle was born and raised in Los Angeles California. In 2007, Kyle made his first visit to the Vervet Monkey Foundation and began articulating his ideas regarding human/animal subtle social interactions.
Later, Kyle and several friends from film school founded a production team known as HIGH5COLLECTIVE. They quickly established a strong online reputation for their unofficial music videos and worked with such artists as Frank Ocean, Aloe Blacc, Childish Gambino and The Neighborhood, as well as brands like Redbull and Myspace. HIGH5COLLECTIVE was known for its innovative marketing and branding strategies using anonymity and social media, and they were featured in online publications such as The Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, iD-Magazine, and countless music blogs. Several of their videos have reached beyond several million views.
From music video directing Kyle developed a unique style and voice, which focused primarily on a docujournalistic approach to film making, combining the story telling knowledge and visual style of Hollywood cinema, with the run and gun mindset of a traveler assimilating into foreign cultures. If he’s not making films, Kyle is typically indulging in his other passions which range from writing poetry to wood working. This will be Kyle’s first feature length documentary film.
JACKIE RUSSO | STILL PHOTOGRAPHER & DESIGNER
A Southern California native, Jackie moved to New York City in 2009 to pursue her BFA in Photography & Imaging at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. While completing her degree, she started working at the then startup-sized Maker Studios as a Creative Project Manager, doing graphic design, branding, photography and social media management for prominent YouTube personalities. Eventually she joined the freelance world, designing and photographing for such clients as Allure Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Museum of Modern Art, Josh + Vince Films, Sylvia Plachy, The Gregory Brothers and more.
With a rapidly developing interest in environmentalism, Jackie seized the opportunity to join Kyle in South Africa and be a part of The Vervet Forest. Armed with a small arsenal of cameras, she hopes to capture a compelling portrait of the vervet monkeys and provide a look into the landscape of Limpopo.
Check out more of her photos from South Africa on Instagram: @jackierus