3D Giant Screen Film for Science Centers and Museums
accompanied by an online classroom and activity guide
Backyard Wilderness is a 43-minute Giant Screen film and multi-platform educational initiative about the great web of life that surrounds and sustains us, but which we have forgotten how to see. Set in and around a typical suburban home and neighborhood pond, it is an entertaining and poignant story that reveals with captivating imagery the miracles that unfold right under our noses each year in backyards across America – whether we see them or not.
And there’s evidence that more and more, we don’t see them. It is probable that in the Eastern U.S., more people now live in closer proximity to wildlife than in any other place on Earth. Yet ironically, we are more disconnected from nature than ever before. Unstructured playtime outdoors has all but vanished from childhood. The average American kid now spends over seven hours a day in front of a screen. Child obesity is on the rise and diagnoses of depression and hyperactivity are multiplying at alarming rates. Perhaps most tellingly, the average American kid can name over 300 commercial brands, but only ten native plant and animal species that live in their neighborhood. Statistics such as these have led researchers to coin a term that would have been unimaginable even a generation ago: Nature Deficit Disorder.
Backyard Wilderness will address this deficit head-on, reconnecting our kids to nature by allowing them to experience the world through animal eyes and at nature’s pace, inspiring a new sense of wonder and commitment to understanding the world right outside their own back door.
Distribution & Educational Outreach
The film is just the beginning of what we have to offer audiences, because Backyard Wilderness is far more than just a movie. It’s a comprehensive, multi-platform educational effort that includes traveling interactive exhibits and companion curriculum that meets U.S. Next Generation Science Standards and can be used in classrooms to allow teachers and students to explore the STEAM related themes of the story in greater detail.
The educational outreach also includes ongoing events known as Backyard Wilderness BioBlitzes where people of all ages can come together to discover and document the species living in their own community. A BioBlitz is usually held by a museum, science center, or library and allows community members to explore a local park or area using the iNaturalist app to photo-document the plants and animals found there. The event-goers can participate in a number of games and activities to see how many species they can document in a set amount of time, and the evidence collected by the app then becomes official species occurrence records available for scientific use, thus allowing everyday people to become citizen scientists and have lots of fun along the way!
Gorillas of the Mountains
Gorillas of the Mountains interweaves the intimate story of a mountain gorilla family in breathtaking Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda, with one of their devoted caretakers—a young Rwandan forest ranger named Josie. Innovative conservation science has led mountain gorillas to become the only great ape species with an increasing population, and gorilla tourism has brought schools and clinics to the surrounding Rwandan communities. Josie brings visitors up the volcano for the life-changing experience of meeting gorillas face to face. She also helps the group Gorilla Doctors vaccinate the apes against human disease. It’s a delicate undertaking, but with gorillas sharing 98.4 percent of their DNA with humans, conservationists now promote the interconnected health of both species. Featuring cutting-edge science in ecology, genetics and epidemiology, Gorillas of the Mountains is an inspiring story of our interdependence with nature, and how saving one of the Earth’s most majestic species can lift the fortunes of an entire human population.
Tiger Trek: Bhutan 3D
Tiger Trek: Bhutan 3D takes viewers on an immersive 3D giant screen journey into the remote Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. It tells a lyrical conservation story that follows the coming of age of a young monk, Tshering, as he grows to understand the people, plants and animals he encounters on a trek across the breathtaking country that early explorers called Shangri-La. Along the way, we discover a critically endangered Bengal tiger and her cubs in the foothills of Mount Everest. We journey through virgin forests, along sparkling rivers, and soar past gravity-defying temples where nature is being celebrated in vibrant ceremonial festivals that date back to the 12th century. We discover Bhutan’s delicate balance between urbanization and tradition, in a land where Gross National Happiness reigns over Gross National Product. Tiger Trek: Bhutan 3D will inspire a sense of awe for the harmony that can be created between people and their environments everywhere.