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Filmmaker David Hambridge Produces Award-Winning ‘Kifaru’ Documentary

A videographer and an animal caretaker stand next to a rhino Play Video

What can you do with an NC State degree in arts studies? Ask filmmaker David Hambridge.

Hambridge (Art Studies-Film ’09) is the director and cinematographer of Kifaru, a documentary about the world’s last male northern white rhinoceros and the caretakers tasked with keeping the animal alive. Hambridge and the film’s producer and editor, Andrew Harrison Brown, spent four years working on the project, traveling back and forth between the United States and Kenya.

Released in 2019, Kifaru has earned a handful of awards, including the Audience Award for Best Feature at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. 

“It was watching a megafauna of an animal … go extinct in real time,” Hambridge says. “It felt like we were witnessing history.”

In addition to his documentary work, Hambridge also serves as a director of photography for music videos and commercial and nonprofit projects.

“I would say my experience at NC State really taught me how to be somebody who champions stories that can be told anywhere,” Hambridge says. “I think it’s given me some humility in how to feel grounded in myself and what my skill set is — and how I can be a bridge to connect with somebody on the other side of the world who’s in a very underserved community.”

“NC State and CHASS, especially, has taught me the importance of focusing in on what you care about and following your heart.”