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The Team

Part of the team during the latest shoot in Kenya

Karl Ammann

Author / Director, Camera, Executive Producer

Karl has lived in East Africa for 40 years is the author of a range of books, an award winning photographer and documentary film producer. His main objective with initiating and directing films like the Tiger Mafia is to take away the excuse: But I did not know – especially from policy makers. The challenge is not the filming but the finding of respective platforms for such productions. Selling feel good conservation tales’ is a lot easier than documentaries calling a spade a spade.

Laurin Merz

Producer, Director, Camera, Writer

Laurin is the proprietor and founder of production company HOOK Film, based in Zurich.  Since 2004 he is a freelance director, producer and lecturer for short films at Kultur Macht Schule and Stage-on-Air/Kanal K.
He was also previously editor for culture at Swiss television, editor at Swiss national radio DRS 1 and DRS 3 and a sound engineer.

Laurin has a diploma in video from the Lucerne  university of the arts and in film studies and publishing from the University of Zurich/Berne. 

Christoph Senn

Editor, Writer

Christoph is a freelance film editor born and raised in Switzerland where I also discovered my love for moving imagery. His editing career begun in 1996 and he's proud to have worked on many interesting film, TV and commercial projects for production companies throughout Europe. He also worked in the USA for several years and currently lives in Hamburg, Germany.  Christoph considers that moving imagery is both a process and a product. He moves images in order that they might move the viewer… to laugh, to cry, to buy, or to be inspired, but mostly he moves images to entertain… his clients, their audiences and himself. And he certainly considers himself lucky to have found the best job there is: film editor.

Jean Schablin


Jean grew up in Prenzlauer Berg, and has been working as a cameraman for over 10 years.  He learned camera work from scratch at Kobalt Productions, where he worked as a technical manager for 5 years.  In 2006, he founded the "2 Ravens" production company together with Johann-Odin Schmejkal.  His documentaries have received a range of awards. He now lives in Berlin Mitte with his with wife and children.

Sergey Vasilyev


Russian cameraman, IMDB participant. Sergey originally hails from the ancient Russian town Saratov. In 1991, he moved to the United States of America with his family. From 1991 to 1995, he worked in his specialty for the Action Video Production Company in Anchorage, Alaska. From 1995 to 1997, he worked as a cameraman on the KIMO 13 NEWS ABC Сhannel in Anchorage, Alaska. In 1997-1998, he worked as a photography director for the V-Cinema Company in Seattle, Washington.

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Stuart Smith


With more than 25 years of editing experience behind him cutting television series, music videos, award winning cinema commercials and documentaries, Stuart is passionate about working on unscripted documentaries using both picture and sound to craft stories that engage and entertain viewers.
He has worked for both South African and international production houses.

Steve Couri


After studying biochemistry at the University of New South Wales, Steve Couri completed his Australian Broadcasting Corporation internship in 1998. 

A desire to focus on animal welfare and protection of ecosystems inspired him to move to Televison Trust for the Environment, providing programs for BBC World and ITN. Tens years of directing and filming have taken him to around eighty countries. 

He now occasionally produces freelance documentaries and lives with his family while caretaking a small rainforest on the mid New South Wales coast.

Will Staples

Writer, Executive Producer

Will Staples is an American screenwriter who has worked on such projects as MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION and CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 3. Will met Karl while researching a movie about animal trafficking for actor/producer Leonardo DiCaprio. In addition to investigating trafficking with Karl in Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam, Will’s research also took him to Macau and Hong Kong, where he looked at distribution networks and money laundering. He also travelled to South Africa and Mozambique where he worked with local rangers and anti-poaching groups tracking poaching syndicates.

Nick Cockayne

Production Assistant

After managing a primate sanctuary in West Africa Nick returned to the UK to promote and communicate global conservation issues, firstly in the zoo world before moving on to broadcast media and finally worked for a nature NGO editing online educational wildlife videos. In 2012 Nick moved back to Africa and began assisting Karl with The Tiger Mafia project. He researches the documentary subject matter and believes passionately that everyone should face up to exactly how we are destroying the natural world.

Martine Beauchemin

Production Assistant

Passionate about wildlife, ecology and remote places, Martine started her career as a navigation officer in the Canadian Arctic.  She later became a project manager for various emergency, voice recognition and video services, then a camp manager at a chimpanzee rehabilitation center in Guinea and also involved in a reforestation project in South America.  In 2018, Martine relocated to Kenya to assist Karl with his various projects.

Natasha Mago


Natasha is an actress and TV presenter by profession and has worked for channels such as the BBC and Discovery. However, protecting wildlife and the planet is her all-consuming passion. With a family home beside India’s most iconic tiger reserve, she witnessed first hand the extreme challenges facing India’s wildlife and so began her journey into conservation. She filed a PIL in the Supreme Court of India highlighting critical issues for India’s wildlife and forests. She also spearheaded an undercover investigation into wildlife crime in India and is now developing a feature film based on this narrative. She continues to have a special interest in investigating the trafficking of wild animals and is also currently working as a conservation specialist for The Ark, a new platform looking to contribute to sustainable impact and more accountability in wildlife conservation.

Special Thank You

Adrian Winkler

Arianna Castoldi

Ava, Lila & Nadja

Christian Frei

Daniel Schnüriger

Dr. Cindy Harper

Four Paws

George Schaller

Katherine Ammann – for her patience

Kieran Harkin

Marianne Kägi

Nadia Morph

Ruxandra-Catalina Cracea

Sergey Yastrzhembsky

Suzanne Nodale

Terrence McCoy of the Washington Post

Thilo Thielke

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