E-Mail: pasttheirprimefilm@gmail.com



The Columbus Zoo staff welcomed Colo on December 22, 1956. She was a household name, appearing in local papers as well as national publications that all announced the first gorilla born into captivity. Since reclaiming the title of “oldest living gorilla in captivity,” Colo’s staff look forward to celebrating her 55th birthday complete with presents, decorations, and a gorilla-friendly birthday cake.

Past Their Prime takes a look at the world of geriatric zoo animal care at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, through Colo–the oldest living gorilla in captivity–on her 55th birthday celebration. Be it arthritis, heart disease, or decaying dental health, animals and humans have a lot in common when faced with mortality and aging.


Picture of Director Becca filming a polar bearBECCA FRIEDMAN

Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Friedman, a San Francisco Bay Area resident, discovered her love of media production assisting her dad on shoots. Though her original career goal was to be a veterinarian, she found a way to bring her love of studying animal and human life to others through media. She graduated with a master’s degree from UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism documentary program, and worked in production at Pixar Animation Studios. She’s currently working as a freelance producer/director in the SF Bay, and is in pre-production on a short film and development on her first feature.

In addition to directing, Becca produced, shot, and edited the film.



Dylan Glatthorn is an American composer and lyricist currently residing in New York City. Dylan is the recent recipient of the Alan Menken Award and Scholarship for New York University’s Film Scoring Program where he recently graduated, under the tutelage of Sonny Kompanek.


PTP_JackHanna-headshot_lores JACK HANNA

Jack is an American zookeeper who is the Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. He was Director of the zoo from 1978 to 1993, and is  viewed as largely responsible for elevating its quality and reputation. His media appearances have made him one of the most notable animal experts in  the United States.




Harry Peachey began his career with elephants at the Indianapolis zoo in 1974 and began working at the Columbus Zoo in 1976. In 1987, Harry was promoted to the Zoo’s Elephant Manager and Head keeper of Pachyderms.





Jack Hanna                …        As Himself

Harry Peachey           …        As Himself

Dana Hatcher            …        As Herself

Audra Meinelt           …        As Herself

Scott Shelley              …        As Himself

Jerry Sieja                   …        As Himself

Dusty Lombardi        …        As Herself

Debby Ames               …        As Herself


Original Music by

Dylan Glatthorn


Sound Editing by

James Lebrecht


Videography and Sound Recording

Hunter Holcombe

Major Tian

Christina Linda Lopez



Richard Berge

Bonni Cohen

Jon Else

Jon Shenk

Spencer Nakasako

Joan Bieder

Pam Dennis

Karen Everett

Kean Sakata


Special Thanks To

Debby Ames

Lisa D. Cuffy

Jack Hanna

Dana Hatcher

Dusty Lombardi

Audra Meinelt

Jerry Seija

Scott Shelley

Anita Scalf & the Zoo Docents

Dan and Irene Friedman

Dianna Frisch *& Cynda Simmons

Mark and Sandy Frye

Grahm Jones

Kate Oliphint

Patty Peters

Dale Schmidt

Kelly Vineyard


Archival Materials Provided By

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Cynda Simmons & Dianna Frisch

Sutton Entertainment

WCMH TV, Columbus, OH

Wildsight Productions


Made Possible in part by Grants From

Margaret and Will Hearst

Knight Program Travel Grant

UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism


In Memory of

Dianna Frisch

I’d also like to acknowledge my classmates in the documentary track at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. It is through the program’s rigor and support of the other 6 classmates (and of course, faculty) that this film was able to be brought to another level. The classmates are: Emily Bender, Bryan Gibel, Hunter Holcombe, Mallika Menon, Whitney Pennington, & Lauren Rosenfeld. You can check out their work by clicking on their names above (where possible).




Back to Top

Store is not currently active. While this notice is up, no purchases can be made.