IMDb > Project Nim (2011)
Project Nim
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Project Nim (2011) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 13 | slideshow) Videos (see all 7)
Project Nim -- A documentary on a 1970s experiment that aimed to show that a chimpanzee, if raised and nurtured like a human child, could learn to communicate with language.
Project Nim -- Clip: Nim Moves To Stephanie's
Project Nim -- Clip: Life With Stephanie
Project Nim -- Clip: Herb Leaves
Project Nim -- Clip: Play


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7.4/10   7,473 votes »
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Down 34% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
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Release Date:
12 August 2011 (Ireland) See more »
Tells the story of a chimpanzee taken from its mother at birth and raised like a human child by a family in a brownstone on the upper West Side in the 1970s. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 19 wins & 23 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A story of a remarkable ape and human folly See more (31 total) »


  (in credits order)
Nim Chimpsky ... Himself (archive footage)
Stephanie LaFarge ... Herself
Herbert Terrace ... Himself
Wer LaFarge ... Himself (archive footage)
Jenny Lee ... Herself
Laura-Ann Petitto ... Herself
Bill Tynan ... Himself
Joyce Butler ... Herself
Renne Falitz ... Herself
Bob Ingersoll ... Himself
Alyce Moore ... Herself
James Mahoney ... Himself (as Dr. James Mahoney)
Henry Herrmann ... Himself
Cleveland Amory ... Himself (archive footage)
Marion Probst ... Herself
Chris Byrne ... Himself

Bern Cohen ... Dr. William Lemmon: re-enactment unit)
Reagan Leonard ... Stephanie LaFarge: re-enactment unit
Anna May Marsh ... Signing Girl: re-enactment unit
Mike Lepera ... Wer LaFarge: re-enactment unit (as Michael LePera)
Sarah Sakaan ... Renee Falitz: re-enactment unit
Dennis Lauricella ... Beefy Guy: re-enactment unit
Robert Nesi ... Beefy Guy: re-enactment unit (as Robert J. Nesi)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Scarlett Bermingham ... Laura-Ann Petitto: re-enactment unit

Bob Angelini ... Lab Tech (uncredited)

Directed by
James Marsh 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Elizabeth Hess  book "Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human"

Produced by
Prudence Arndt .... archive producer
John Battsek .... executive producer
George Chignell .... co-producer
Simon Chinn .... producer
Nick Fraser .... executive producer
Hugo Grumbar .... executive producer
Jamie Laurenson .... executive producer
Rosemary Lombard .... line producer: re-enactment unit
Andrew Ruhemann .... executive producer
Maureen A. Ryan .... co-producer
Original Music by
Dickon Hinchliffe 
Cinematography by
Michael Simmonds (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jinx Godfrey 
Production Design by
Markus Kirschner 
Makeup Department
Vera Lee Stabell Stromsted .... hair stylist: re-enactment unit (as Vera Stromsted)
Vera Lee Stabell Stromsted .... makeup artist: re-enactment unit (as Vera Stromsted)
Production Management
Kate George .... post-production manager
Fiona Morham .... head of production: UK Film Council
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Scott Bowers .... second assistant director: re-enactment unit
Jamund Washington .... first assistant director: re-enactment unit
Art Department
Kinda Akash .... graphic designer
Thomas Carrera .... art department production assistant: re-enactment unit
Joe Chiofalo .... swing: re-enactment unit
Stephane Coedel .... additional graphic artist
Gonzalo Cordoba .... art director: re-enactment unit
Jeffery Dundas .... carpenter: re-enactment unit
Jack Falanga .... set decorator: re-enactment unit
Pauline Fowler .... sculptor: re-enactment uit
Mark Gebel .... leadman: re-enactment unit
Markus Kirschner .... production designer: re-enactment unit
Adam Merritt .... carpenter: re-enactment unit
Sarah Moessner .... art department production assistant: re-enactment unit
Sound Department
Nicholas Ashe .... foley editor
Nicholas Ashe .... sound re-recording assistant
Claire Ellis .... dialogue editor
George Foulgham .... re-recording mixer
George Foulgham .... sound supervisor
Lisa-Marie McStay .... sound effects editor (as Lisa McStay)
Peter Miler .... sound recordist: documentary unit
Steven Robinson .... sound recordist: documentary unit
James Shannon .... dolby sound consultant (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Gordon Arkenberg .... first assistant camera: re-enactment unit
Olivier Bernier .... grip: documentary unit
Dan Carling .... digital imaging technician: documentary unit
Patrick Cecilian .... additional digital imaging technician: re-enactment unit
Nicholas D'Agostino .... best boy electric: re-enactment unit
David Dilley .... still photographer: re-enactment unit
Alvah Holmes .... first assistant camera: re-enactment unit
Aric Jacobson .... dolly grip: re-enactment unit
Aric Jacobson .... key grip: re-enactment unit
Chan Jeon .... grip: documentary unit
Mark Koenig .... gaffer: documentary unit
Mark Koenig .... gaffer: re-enactment unit
Daniel Lam .... second assistant camera: re-enactment unit
Ryan Minelli .... best boy grip: re-enactment unit
Michael Mortel .... electrician: documentary unit
Robert Yutaka Omura .... second assistant camera: re-enactment unit
Matt Platts-Mills .... camera data supervisor: documentary unit
Darin Quan .... video playback: re-enactment unit
John Spicer .... best boy grip: re-enactment unit
Walter Strafford .... electrician: re-enactment unit
Chris Varga .... electrician: documentary unit
Casting Department
Adine Duron .... casting director: re-enactment unit
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Tamara Cepeda .... wardrobe assistant: re-enactment unit (as Tamara E. Cepeda)
Kim Madalinski .... wardrobe assistant: re-enactment unit
Kathryn Nixon .... costume designer: re-enactment unit
Editorial Department
Mike Andrews .... digital intermediate technician
Michelle Cort .... digital intermediate technician
Tim Drewett .... digital intermediate technician
Justin Eely .... digital intermediate editor
Matt James .... digital film supervisor
Francois Kamffer .... digital intermediate technician
Mark Keady .... assistant editor
Steve Knight .... digital intermediate technician
Anne Monnehay .... assistant editor
Jana Novosad .... digital intermediate technician
Tom Purdy .... on set editor
Andy Richards .... operations manager
Shrihari Sathe .... assistant editor
Gareth Spensley .... senior colorist
Jamie Welsh .... digital intermediate technician
Jateen Patel .... digital intermediate technician (uncredited)
Katelin Westwood .... data transfer (uncredited)
Location Management
Kurt Enger .... location scout: re-enactment unit
David Velasco .... location scout: re-enactment unit
Music Department
Philip Bagenal .... music mixer
Philip Bagenal .... music recordist: drums
Rupert Coulson .... music recordist: orchestra
Liz Gallacher .... music supervisor
Dickon Hinchliffe .... arranger
Dickon Hinchliffe .... music producer
Al Macaulay .... musician: drums
Lisa-Marie McStay .... music editor (as Lisa McStay)
Sam Navel .... music mixer assistant
Richard Sidwell .... music preparation
Steve Sidwell .... conductor
Lucy Wilkins .... orchestra contractor
Lucy Wilkins .... orchestra leader
Transportation Department
Joe Chiofalo .... driver: re-enactment unit
Other crew
Kinda Akash .... title designer: Superfad
Geraldine Atlee .... senior business affairs executive: UK Film Council
Sayuj Banerjee .... legal services: US, SDD Global Solutions
William Berloni .... animal trainer
Jonathan Blair .... legal services: Michel Simkins
Natasha Boyd .... insurance broker: Media Insurance Brokers
Josh Braun .... distribution advisor: North America, Submarine Entertainment
Jessica Brown .... insurance broker: Ventura Insurance (as Jessica Brown)
Jessica Spring Brown .... insurance broker: Ventura Insurance (as Jessica Brown)
Len Brown .... consultant
Zoe Brown .... legal and business affairs: BBC Films
James Buckler .... delivery coordinator: BBC Films
Anthony Buckner .... head of sales: Icon
Serena Catapano .... production assistant: London
Moyra Chestnutt .... additional archive researcher
Chris Collins .... senior production executive: UK Film Council
Victoria S. Cook .... legal services: US, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz
Tom Corcoran .... animal trainer: Comet, re-enactment unit
Laird Criner .... insurance broker: Film Emporium
Johnny Davenport .... production assistant: re-enactment unit
Anne Davin .... production accountant: 101 Film Production Accountants
David Dilley .... stills photography
Peter Elliott .... primate choreographer: re-enactment unit
Peter Elliott .... vocal and movment artist
Renne Falitz .... subtitles
Tina Foster .... pupperteer dresser: re-enactment unit
Nicholas Greene .... assistant to director: re-enactment unit
Andrew Hauser .... production intern: re-enactment unit
Jane Hawley .... production executive: BBC Films
Elizabeth Hess .... consultant
Vince Holden .... head of production finance: UK Film Council
Bob Ingersoll .... subtitles
Bassem Jabawi .... production assistant: re-enactment unit
Sarah Karas .... production assistant: re-enactment unit
Tom Kelly .... production assistant: re-enactment unit
Johanna Kovitz .... transcription services
Tobey List .... production assistant: re-enactment unit
Perry Mallas .... caterer: re-enactment unit
David Menkin .... archive voice-over
Omari Miller .... production assistant: re-enactment unit
Sara Neuffer .... key production assistant: re-enactment unit
Veronica Nickel .... craft services: re-enactment unit
Estelle Overs .... general counsel: Icon
Becky Phillips .... production assistant: re-enactment unit
Geoffrey Quan .... production coordinator: re-enactment unit
Sofia Santana .... production assistant: re-enactment unit
Adam J. Segal .... publicist
Tanya Seghatchian .... head of film fund: UK Film Council
Chloe Sizer .... head of development: Icon
Russell Smith .... legal services: US, Smith Dehn
Nicole Stott .... production executive: Passion Pictures
Jean-Marceau Sécheret .... production intern: re-enactment unit
Jodie Alexandra Taylor .... script supervisor: re-enactment unit
Jan Tomolin .... legal services: UK, Media Law Consultancy (as Jan Tomalin)
Debbie West .... animal trainer: Dusty, re-enactment unit
Nick Williams .... chief puppeteer: re-enactment unit
Will Yates .... researcher
Leonard Crooks .... head of new cinema fund: UK Film Council (uncredited)
Amanda Pyne .... production finance: UK Film Council (uncredited)
Joyce Butler .... special thanks (as Dr. Joyce Butler)
Bob Ingersoll .... special thanks
Stephanie LaFarge .... special thanks
Laura-Ann Petitto .... special thanks (as Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto)
Herbert Terrace .... special thanks (as Professor Herbert Terrace)
Bill Tynan .... special thanks

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for some strong language, drug content, thematic elements and disturbing images
93 min | 100 min (DVD)
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

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36 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
A story of a remarkable ape and human folly, 13 August 2011
Author: Red-Barracuda from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

This story is about a project in the 1970's that was intended to discover if it was possible to bring up a chimpanzee like a human being. The chimp, Nim, lived in a house, wore clothes and developed a sign language that could identify many things. It's a story that is simultaneously fascinating and terribly sad. Snatched from his mother just after birth he was taken under the wing of a family of rich hippies who had no actual knowledge of primate behaviour. From this early stage it is evident that the chimp displays very specific primate behaviour where he acts aggressively and belligerently to the father figure, in a way that reflects chimp behaviour in the wild where the males need to assert domination over other males from an early stage. Nim proves too much for these misguided people to deal with and from here he is passed via a number of primate specialists until he horrifically winds up in an animal testing centre, and finally in a ranch for mistreated animals, although even here Nim lived for a period in complete isolation but thankfully ended up with mates in his final years.

The very idea of a chimp being brought up in human society is a fascinating one. But it quickly becomes apparent that this experiment is doomed to failure. There is a very good reason that you do not see people keep chimpanzees as pets – they can be extremely aggressive and powerful animals. On numerous occasions carers were bitten and maimed. One woman had a hole ripped in the side of her face while another had her head repeatedly beaten off the pavement by the ape. But the over-riding feeling engendered by the documentary is one of sadness. This poor creature is let down by those who took him from his mother and decided to rear him as a human. It seems to me quite outrageous that an animal taught to communicate with people and live in a house should ever have been sent to an animal experiment centre. The blame must surely be primarily put on Professor Herbert Terrace whose project it was. Once Nim was sent to a chimp reserve he seemingly lost interest and made absolutely no attempt to save him from what could have quite easily have been an awful fate. So thank heavens for Bob Ingersoll the man who looked after Nim in the reserve and never gave up on him. Bob ultimately saved him through perseverance and considerable effort. He emerges as the human hero of the film, although the other carers from New York such as Laura and the young couple who followed her also cared deeply for the animal too, the latter two still seemed genuinely pained by how Nim was ultimately treated.

The essential message of the film is that you should not try to transport a wild animal into human society and not expect repercussions. Some of the people in the film are just guilty of naivety, dangerous as it was. As much as a story about a remarkable primate, it's a story about human stupidity, human callousness and – thanks to Bob Ingersoll – human kindness. It's overall a remarkable documentary.

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