Deranged Penguin

Cinema expanded.


We make movies that are grounded in cinema, but push artistic, social, and political boundaries.

We expand cinema to include new perspectives.

We privilege the theatrical experience while extending cinema to new scales, platforms, and communities.


“But why?”


Our Name Says It All

Deranged Penguin was founded by Christian Hammons and Eric Coombs Esmail in Boulder, Colorado, in 2018. We were - and still are - on the faculty of critical media practices at the University of Colorado Boulder. While we appreciate the importance of teaching and the space for experimentation that the academy affords, we also want to produce films that reach a broader audience and have a more immediate impact on society. Our movies are made with the knowledge that cinema can be transformational.

Our name, Deranged Penguin, was inspired by the scene in Werner Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World in which a solitary penguin heads in the “wrong” direction - away from all of the other penguins, away from the feeding grounds on the coast, toward the mountains and certain death. As the choral music swells, Herzog asks, “But why?”

We make films that ask big questions in unusual ways. Deranged Penguin is cinema expanded.