The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill

Release date:February 9, 2005
(SF; NY Release: February 11; LA Release: March 4)

Studio:Shadow Distribution

Director:Judy Irving

MPAA Rating:N/A


Starring:Mark Bittner


Official website:

Plot Summary:

"The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" is the true story of a Bohemian St. Francis and his remarkable relationship with a flock of wild green-and-red parrots. Mark Bittner, a dharma bum, a homeless street musician in San Francisco, falls in with the flock as he searches for meaning in his life, unaware that the wild parrots will bring him everything he needs. Mark Bittner was born and raised in southwestern Washington State. His ambition as a teenager was to be a Great Novelist, but Mark was alarmed by the uniformly miserable fates of all the writers whom he loved. So he decided to pursue a career in music instead. After hitchhiking through Europe in search of experience, he moved to San Francisco determined to sink or swim as a poet-singer-songwriter. He sank. Completely bereft, he turned to spiritual seeking and ended up on the street where he spent the next 14 years. Ultimately his search led him to the wild parrot flock, which, in turn, led him back to writing, and his first book: The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill. The hardcover edition, published by Random House, was a best seller – the paperback edition will come out in early February 2005. Filmmaker Judy Irving is a Sundance-and-Emmy-Award-winning filmmaker whose previous credits include Dark Circle, a feature film about the nuclear industry, and Out of the Way Café, an hour-long drama. Ms. Irving received a Masters in Film from Stanford University and is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her recent six-film documentary series about the San Francisco Bay Area's wildlife and open space led to her interest in the wild parrot flock flying the city's north waterfront. Her films are distributed internationally to theatres, television, and home video.