WHIRLYBIRD Documentary


Following the film, NBC News Correspondent & MSNBC Anchor Katy Tur leads a conversation between filmmaker Matt Yoka and subject Marika Gerrard.

In the 1980s and ‘90s, Marika Gerrard and Zoey Tur (known then as Bob) flew high above sprawling Los Angeles in their news helicopter. As a married couple, they were on the forefront of LA’s breaking news, the first to capture epic stories like the slow speed freeway chase of O.J. Simpson’s white Bronco. Their ambition and drive shaped journalism as we know it today, but the adrenaline rushes took a toll on their family life.

A complex and honest portrait, WHIRLYBIRD explores the adventure of an unconventional family business and considers America’s captivation with violence. Reflecting on the toxicity and obsession of their work, Marika and Zoey take us on a journey of self-discovery that is both painful and freeing. –Sarah Harris

Director/producer Matt Yoka began his career making TV programs with Vice Media. He developed a distinct visual style directing music videos. His first feature film WHIRLYBIRD draws inspiration from his childhood in Los Angeles and his research at USC’s Annenberg School of Journalism, where he received a master’s degree.

Diane Becker
Fishbowl Films


Country: USA

Year: 2020

Director: Matt Yoka

Screenwriter: Matt Yoka

Producers: Diane Becker, Matt Yoka

Executive Producers: Molly Thompson, Elaine Frontain Bryant, Rob Sharenow, Josh Braun, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato

Director of Photography: Edward Herrera

Editors: Brian Palmer, Matt Yoka

Music: Ty Segall

Cast/Featuring: Zoey Tur, Marika Gerrard, Katy Tur, James Tur, Lawrence Welk III

Running Time (minutes): 103

Language: English