Coastal wolves are among the unique species featured in a new IMAX documentary Great Bear Rainforest. (Ian McAllister/Pacific Wild)

B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest film headed for the biggest screens

IMAX documentary narrated by Ryan Reynolds aims for student audience

B.C.’s coastal rainforest and its unique creatures are featured in an IMAX documentary film opening this week in Victoria and around North America.

Great Bear Rainforest, Land of the Spirit Bear is narrated by Vancouver actor Ryan Reynolds, and features the camera work of Ian McAllister, co-founder of environmental society Pacific Wild.

It has its red carpet premiere at the Royal B.C. Museum IMAX theatre in Victoria on Wednesday, opening to the public on Friday, Feb. 15. It also begins its international theatre tour Feb. 15 in Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and other giant-screen venues around the continent.

The IMAX project is an ambitious entertainment and educational project, produced with the support of Kyle Washington, a Vancouver resident and executive chairman of Seaspan Corp. In an interview with Black Press, Washington said McAllister was pitching him to support Pacific Wild’s work in the remote Central Coast area, and the documentary project came out of that.

“I grew up wanting to be a marine biologist,” Washington said with a laugh. “This is just an expensive way to do it.”

The film comes with a classroom educational guide and is designed as a field trip for students around the world to get a vivid look at the wilderness teeming with whales, wolves, bears and marine life.

“The film is really a big-fish-eat-little-fish story,” Washington said. “It starts in the spring with the herring coming in. It changes the whole ocean. Through the film you start with those little tiny things and end up getting into the wolves and the bears.”

Choosing a narrator for a wildlife documentary is “mission critical,” Washington said, and he was looking for a younger voice.

“Ryan, he’s so witty, he’s a good Vancouver boy, and when we reached out and told him about it, he took us up on it,” Washington said. “We met him in New York. What a professional.”

The run time of the film is under 50 minutes, which was required by IMAX so it would qualify for an Academy Award nomination.

RELATED: Duke and Duchess William and Kate visit Bella Bella

As the movie was preparing to launch, the B.C. education ministry launched its own website, sponsored by the Great Bear Rainforest Education and Awareness Trust.

The region, which spans 64,000 square kilometres of the B.C. Central Coast, was subject to a unique protection area worked out with 26 Indigenous communities that put 85 per cent of the territory off limits to commercial logging.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Heiltsuk village of Bella Bella in the heart of the region as part of their B.C. tour in 2016, where Prince William announced that the Great Bear Rainforest was being included in the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Initiative to promote forest preservation.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Alternative approval process to proceed for Centennial Field purchase

Fate of loan to purchase land for future park in hands of South Shuswap residents

Valdy gives volunteers a hand after Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Celebrated Canadian singer pitched in alongside starstruck clean-up crew

Robbery tactic used on Salmon Arm senior not uncommon

RCMP advice comes after credit cards stolen at Walmart parking lot

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival exceeds expectations

Artists, attendees and organizers praise effort behind successful event

Founder of Salmon Arm’s sister city exchange helps welcome Inashiki visitors

Twenty three Japanese guests visit city for a week, Salmon Arm to return in March

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

North Shuswap Lions, Celista winery host benefit concert

Sept. 7 event at Celista Estate Winery to support North Shuswap Youth Program

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Shuswap history in pictures

Shuswap history in pictures: mechanics class

Most Read