“This could be a Hope Spot.” French filmmakers share Daintree conservation and restoration with international audiences.
Rainforest Rescue’s restoration projects and Nature Refuges feature in not one, but three different features produced for TV and film in France and further afield. Why the overseas interest, you might ask?
When we mention that the Daintree is the world’s oldest continually surviving rainforest, people from all corners of the globe are keen to know more. They lean in further when they learn that this rainforest is a place with a thriving community living alongside unique animals and plants, and that it is being actively restored by those who care deeply about its future.
Perhaps this is why three separate stories of the Daintree as a place of significance have been filmed and broadcast this year by filmmakers from the other side of the planet? Read on to discover (and watch) more about their individual perspectives on the rainforest, which reveals how those new to its wonders are eager to share it with an international audience.
Snapshot of the Daintree – France 2 – Journal 20h
A long-running feature of France 2, the 8:00 p.m. news broadcast takes a unique look at the world. The show seeks to make people understand economic, environmental and societal issues through stories from across the globe. In this episode, the Daintree is identified as a place of environmental and cultural importance.
Rainforest Rescue was privileged to be able to share its work with visiting journalists, alongside Solar Whisper and Cooper Creek Wilderness tours which offer people an intimate encounter with the tropical rainforest from the river and beneath the canopy.
In this short TV feature, you can enjoy a rainy walk through the Cooper Creek area of the Daintree, with Neil Hewitt as your guide. He introduces the rainforest and some of its unique inhabitants, such as the Southern Cassowary. Boatman David White from Solar Whisper tours then picks up the story, sharing the Daintree River from the water and pointing out some of the key regional species, such as Saltwater crocodiles.
The story then concludes with Rainforest Rescue’s team guiding the cameras around the new Cow Bay nursery, before sharing the process of rainforest restoration from seed collection to propagation and tree planting. As the drone camera pans high over the Lower Daintree, you’ll watch our land management team working hard to restore habitat at the Nightwings Rainforest Centre.
Award-Winning immersion in the Daintree Rainforest – ‘Saving Paradise’ – French Connection Films documentary
If you’re looking for a more in-depth view of the Daintree Rainforest and conservation, then Saving Paradise, a 52-minute documentary by Grégory Maitre for French Connection Films is a stunning world to lose yourself in.
The feature-length film is in English and dubbed into French, making it widely accessible to a greater audience. Rainforest Rescue’s very own acclaimed videographer, Martin Stringer, filmed all aerial footage of the Daintree Rainforest and Great Barrier Reef, an achievement we’re immensely proud of.
Saving Paradise illustrates the unrivalled biodiversity and interconnectedness of the rainforest and adjacent reef system, posing whether after millions of years the ecosystem will be able to stand up to the pressures of man-made climate change. As the documentary reveals, organisations like Rainforest Rescue, James Cook University, Great Barrier Reef Legacy and Queensland Parks & Wildlife are active in addressing environmental issues affecting the region.
For Rainforest Rescue, sharing the story of rainforest conservation and restoration is a means to raise awareness of fundraising and partnership opportunities. It’s also a humbling experience when we are highlighted as an expert in our field, as we work alongside many other wonderful organisations in the region who contribute to the protection of the natural environment.
The documentary has been broadcast on various television networks across the world and is justly acclaimed by audiences and curators of film festivals.
Saving Paradise won the Audience Favorite 2023 Best Nature Environment Documentary Film Award at the China International Green Film Week (2023 Ya’an Giant Panda and Nature Film Week).
It was also selected for the 20th International Oceanian Documentary Film Festival, taking place from February 04 to 12, 2023, in Tahiti. Additionally, it was chosen for the 2nd Festival De Cine Del Mar – Puerto De Ideas Biobío in Chile.
If you have access to a VPN service, you can view the film on ARTE, a Franco-German arts channel.
Regenerative Tourism, Contributing to Local Communities around the World – TF1 filming
The most popular TV network in France, TF1 has almost a quarter of all French viewers tuned to its programmes. Late in 2023 the Rainforest Rescue team joined up with journalists Linda Hure, Sophie Ansel and cameraman Fred Larrey to share with them some of the Daintree’s magic.
Filming for TF1 News 8 pm and TF1 Reportages, Hure and Larrey were accompanied by their sons Nils and Milo, who as young people are discovering natural wonders firsthand.
Due to broadcast in 2024, the family crew are documenting their travels and involvement in community projects as they circumnavigate the world. The opportunity to help our team with tree planting, cassowary spotting and even propagating seedlings at the native nursery immersed the visitors in the rainforest restoration process. Experiences like this are part of a burgeoning movement in regenerative tourism.
When witnessing the restoration techniques, Larrey points out that there are parallels between the conservation of coastal forests in France and that of the Littoral (coastal) rainforest in the Far North Queensland.
During filming we discussed the importance of sharing messages of regeneration and restoration with a wider audience. Ansel mentioned Sylvia Earle’s Mission Blue and the concept of Hope Spots – places in the ocean that are of ecological significance:
“Witnessing the community energy that is being put into restoration and conservation, I believe this (the Daintree Rainforest) could be considered a Hope Spot. It’s a place of ecological importance that people can learn from.”
These three films allow many, many more people to get up close to nature in the Daintree Rainforest, wherever they are in the world, raising awareness of how crucial it is that we all care for our earth’s natural resources and inhabitants.
What an amazing introduction to the uniqueness and preciousness of the environment up here!
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