Lucy Cooke


Development support


The world's frogs are in a major crisis. Since the 1990's they have been disappearing at an alarming rate, in many cases quite suddenly and mysteriously.

This film follows frog-loving filmmaker Lucy Cooke as she explores the reasons behind this, the biggest mass extinction crisis since the dinosaurs were wiped off the planet. Like the plot of a B movie she uncovers a deadly fungus derived from the use of toads as pregnancy tests that's wiping out up to eighty percent of all amphibians, pesticides that deform and turn male frogs into females, a German frog smuggling ring making millions off trading illegal endangered frogs to obsessive collectors and a fashion for cute celebrity animals that threatens to bias conservation.

Along the way she meets scientists on the frontline of frog conservation and visits a space age Amphibian Ark in Panama, a sterile vision of the future where some of the world's most exotic frogs exist on life support machines, unable to hop outside as the environment is now too hostile for their survival.

Amphibians are referred to as the canaries in the coalmine. Their unique biology - the fact they breathe through their skin - makes them especially vulnerable to changes in climate, pollution and disease. What affects them now will affect all animals, including us, if it continues unchecked.

This will be a humorous film about a serious subject that mashes together a passionate individual on a mission with a cleverly scripted comic insight into our relationship with our amphibian friends.