Giant Screen 3D 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
Backyard Wilderness is distributed by SK Films, a leader in the Giant Screen film industry and the distributor of Flight of the Butterflies, the most watched educational Giant Screen film of the last four years which grossed over $30 million. The film is currently screening at science centers and museums worldwide.
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!
Advisors on Backyard Wilderness
Richard Louv Journalist and author of Last Child in the Woods, The Nature Principle, Vitamin N, Founder of Children & Nature Network
Bernd Blossey, PhD Associate Professor, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, focuses on Biological invasions and Conservation Biology
Douglas Tallamy, PhD Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, author of Bringing Nature Home
Eleanor Sterling, PhD Chief Conservation Scientist at the Center for Biodiversity & Conservation, American Museum of Natural History
Michael Rubbo, PhD Clinical Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Science, focuses on the Ecology of Suburban Ecosystems
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