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

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

First residents move into Nuxalk Nation’s tiny homes

Four of the tiny homes are now complete and residents have moved in

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Most Read