Allison Otto is an Emmy-nominated, award-winning documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, producer, visual journalist and licensed drone photographer. Her clients have included National Geographic, BBC America, NBC, the Sierra Club, the American Alpine Club, Outside Television and Lonely Planet.
In 2019 she was nominated for a Heartland Emmy for Outstanding Human Interest Special, and in 2018 she was a Telluride Mountainfilm Commitment grant recipient. That same year she was also a Roy W. Dean grant winner for her documentary, The Love Bugs. The film follows two of the world’s foremost, married entomologists who quietly amassed the world’s largest private collection of insects over the course of 60 years and then decided to give it away in 2017 to further science. Allison’s exclusive story of the discovery of a new invertebrate species was selected by National Geographic as one of their “Ten Best First-of-their-Kind” stories of 2016. That same year she also released "PROPERTY," an award-winning documentary short about a day in the life at the National Wildlife Property Repository. Her film was reviewed as one of the most “poignant, beautiful and emotionally moving” short films at the 2016 Port Townsend Film Festival.
In 2013, Allison released her first film, Keeper of the Mountains, which was awarded a Mountainfilm Commitment Grant, won 15 awards, screened at over 30 film festivals around the world and was named “One of the Best Adventure Films of 2013” by Outside magazine.
Allison graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a master’s degree in Sociology. She is FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Certified for drone operations. When she’s not filming, the Colorado native can mostly likely be found exploring the mountains with her three dogs.
Awards and honors
2016 National Geographic’s Ten Best First-Of-Their-Kind Videos for directing/filming exclusive digital documentary content of a new species
2016 Port Townsend International Film Festival Jury Award for Best Short, Short Documentary (PROPERTY)
2016 Woods Hole Film Festival Jury Award 1st Runner Up for Best Short Documentary (PROPERTY)
2015 No Man’s Land Film Festival Audience Choice Award (KEEPER OF THE MOUNTAINS)
2014 POV Hackathon 5 Selection
2014 Bansko Mountain Film Festival Special Jury Award (KEEPER OF THE MOUNTAINS)
2014 Sheffield Adventure Film Festival Special Mention (KEEPER OF THE MOUNTAINS)
2014 Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival Special Jury Commendation (KEEPER OF THE MOUNTAINS)
2013 Banff Mountain Film Festival Special Jury Mention (KEEPER OF THE MOUNTAINS)
2013 Outside Magazine’s Ten Best Adventure Films of 2013 (KEEPER OF THE MOUNTAINS)
2013 The Poprad, Slovakia International Mountain Film Festival Prize for Mountain History Filming (KEEPER OF THE MOUNTAINS)
2013 Port Townsend International Film Festival Special Jury Commendation (KEEPER OF THE MOUNTAINS)
2013 DocuWest Documentary Film Festival Best Short Film (KEEPER OF THE MOUNTAINS)
2013 Rocky Spirit Festival Sao Paolo Brazil, Best International Film (KEEPER OF THE MOUNTAINS)
2013 FilmStock Colorado Best of Fest, Best Director, Audience Choice awards (KEEPER OF THE MOUNTAINS)
2013 Lighthouse International Film Festival Audience Choice award for Best Short Film (KEEPER OF THE MOUNTAINS)
2011 Telluride Mountainfilm Commitment Grant Recipient
Panels, interviews, mentorship
2017 San Francisco Green Film Festival panelist: “How Do You Tell Your Story In 3 Minutes?”
2017 Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter Storytelling Mentor
2016 Bend Film Festival Film Fatales Panelist
2016 ScreenUp NYC visual journalism panelist
2016 Women in Film and Media Colorado Panelist: Producing the Documentary
2016 Career Girls Inc. Role Model Interviewee for her career in Cinematography/Directing
2015-2016 Frauenmuseum Hittisau, Austria Curated Exhibition “Ich, am Gipfel. Eine Frauenalpinegeschichte” (KEEPER OF THE MOUNTAINS)
2014-2015 Youth photography workshop leader in Bisbee, Arizona
2013 Crested Butte Film Festival Filmmaker Panelist
2013 Boulder International Film Festival Women in Film Panelist