Sticky – 2013

Exiled from the tropical paradise where they evolved, a tiny population of remarkable stick insects dodged extinction by hiding under a single windswept bush on the world’s tallest sea stack for 80 years. Thanks to a dedicated team of scientists they’re now living safely in captivity, but when can they go home?

Sticky is a short animated documentary telling the astonishing true story of the stick insects from Lord Howe island. Why these particular insects? Because their story is quite simply amazing. They evolved in the rainforests on Lord Howe, a tiny speck in the sea between Australia and New Zealand, and existed nowhere else. They were strikingly different to other stick insects – robust, fast, jet black and huge – islanders used to call them tree lobsters. In 1918 rats were accidentally introduced to the island and quickly munched their way through the entire stick insect population. Within a few years the insects were extinct. Or were they? There were some tantalising clues to suggest that they may, against all the odds, have colonised the most remote, inhospitable place you can imagine. . . Ball’s Pyramid is the tallest sea stack in the world, as high as a skyscraper, as thin as a blade, rising almost vertically from the sea 25km off Lord Howe Island. It looks exactly like a super-villain’s secret island. Seepage from rainwater supports just one patch of bushes on Ball’s Pyramid, and here in 2001 a team of scientists found a tiny population of LHI stick insects, the last of their kind. Nobody knows how they got there. Sticky tells a wonderfully positive Australian conservation success story, celebrating the persistence of life, the adventure and passion embedded in science, and the little creatures underfoot.

Cast and Credits:

Director: Jilli Rose
Producers: Katrina Mazurek and Jilli Rose
Sound design and music: Billy Tankard, Billiard Productions
Cello: Kristin Rule, performing “Clarity” from the album “The Knife That Cuts A Tear”
Narration: Nicholas Carlile

Patrick Honan. . . Himself
Rohan Cleave. . . Himself
Jo Middleton. . . Henry Lidgbird Ball
Nemo Fields. . . Midshipman / Settler
Bonnie Jephcott. . . Sailor
Tamsin Whaley. . . Settler
Toby Channing. . . Settler
Gryphon Whaley Channing. . . Settler
Tycho Whaley Channing. . . Settler
Tim Adam. . . David Priddel / Dean Hiscox
Karen Micallef. . . Margaret Humphrey
Darren Rose. . . Nicholas Carlile


SXSW Films for the Forest 2014: WINNER: Films Under 40 Minutes
St Kilda Film Festival 2014: WINNER: Best Documentary, NOMINATED: Best Film
San Francisco Green Film Festival 2014: WINNER: Best Short Film
Canberra Short Film Festival 2014: WINNER: Best Documentary
Antenna Documentary Festival 2014: HONOURABLE MENTION: Best Australian Short Film
ATOM Awards 2014: NOMINATED: Best Short Documentary
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital 2014: NOMINATED: Eric Moe Sustainablity Award
Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series 2014: FINALIST
Adapted for permanent display, Melbourne Zoo, Australia
Selected for permanent display, CSIRO Discovery Centre, Canberra, Australia


Projects & Collaborations


May 9, 2013 7:14 am