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.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Peninsula and Area Agricultural Commission criticizes Central Saanich over committee demise

PAAC also calls on municipality to revive ag committee disbanded earlier

Migration drives Greater Victoria’s population growth

Region surpasses 400,000 population despite seeing more deaths than births

Oak Bay looks into boulevard gardens

Legalizing boulevard gardening among working group ideas

Recent arrests skim surface of Victoria’s human trafficking problem

Port city makes desirable place for traffickers flying under the radar

Victoria Canadian Forces member honored with exceptional Rotary Club award

Capt. Jacqueline Zweng is the Western Canada Ambassador of Wounded Warriors Canada

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

Most Read