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

Storm knocks out power in West Kootenay

FortisBC crews are working to fix power outages

Trail family rallies for Ronald McDonald House

“We always described it as our oasis in the middle of the desert.”

Update: Suspect in Montrose gas station stabbing new to the area

Police say the 30-year-old suspect stabbed a Montrose gas station employee

RDKB launches survey to address housing needs in the district

Communities in the district include Trail, Grand Forks, Rossland and Fruitvale

Minimum wage goes up June 1 in B.C. as businesses face COVID-19 challenges

The minimum wage jumps by 75 cents to $14.60 an hour on Monday

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

Most Read