Hanging with the Sloth was conceived, produced, and edited by Jeri Ledbetter. Jeri was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where her father played a pink-and-blue dog on a popular children's television show. Despite this clear portent that she was destined for a life on least one side of the camera, she determinedly frittered away several decades in other pursuits. She is a pilot, environmental activist, and a river guide in Grand Canyon.
In 2003 Ledbetter returned to college to study filmmaking and revive her fascination with sloths. Ten years earlier she had been introduced to Buttercup, a hand-raised orphan sloth that still lives at Aviarios del Caribe, a sloth rescue center in Costa Rica. She decided to make a short educational film as a class project. Shouldn't take too long, she thought.
The result, Sloth Ballet, was a huge success. Each day visitors to the rescue center watch the twelve-minute film and become hopelessly enamored with the animals.
Next Jeri went to work on a longer version, Hanging with the Sloth.
Thousands of hours later, what began as a "class project" has led to two award-winning films and a deeper infatuation with sloths.