Mantas - Last Dance
The short musical film "Mantas Last Dance" was release a day after the Academy Awards, and is a very wonderfully creative and unique way of raising awareness for ocean conservation. Featuring giant Pacific mantas and professional mermaid-model Hannah Fraser, this mysterious underwater dance is part of the Manta Ray of Hope campaign with input from WildAid, Shark Savers and Manta Trust. This will be part of a presentation at the upcoming meeting of the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), at which manta conservation will be addressed.As for Fraser, she really is that close to the majestic mantas in a production filmed off Kona, Hawaii, strapped to the ocean floor by 50 pounds of lead. The effort intends to raise awareness to the plight of a docile, plankton-eating creature that faces an uncertain future, thanks to unregulated fishing in parts of the world. Little is known about their migration habits, but mantas are believed to travel long distances and are slow to reproduce, making them vulnerable."Unsustainable fisheries are now wiping out their small and isolated populations," Heinrichs explains in a blog post (with some amazing stills of the dancers). "One of the primary drivers of this increase in fisheries is the gill trade, and market that uses Manta gills in a pseudo-medicinal tonic in China and elsewhere in Asia. On the other hand, Manta Ray Eco-Tourism is worth over $140 million worldwide, and this tourism is now under severe threat from fisheries and the gill trade. Our objective was to present the beauty of the manta rays, their willingness to interact with humans in the hope of inspiring people to conserve this magnificent animal."The groups ask those who want to help mantas to sign a petition that will be delivered to the CITES meeting, the first in three years, in March.
The MIDWAY film project is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the remotest islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead on the ground, their bodies filled with plastic from the Pacific Garbage Patch. Returning to the island over several years, our team is witnessing the cycles of life and death of these birds as a multi-layered metaphor for our times. With photographer Chris Jordan as our guide, we walk through the fire of horror and grief, facing the immensity of this tragedy—and our own complicity—head on. And in this process, we find an unexpected route to a transformational experience of beauty, acceptance, and understanding.
We frame our story in the vividly gorgeous language of state-of-the-art high-definition digital cinematography, surrounded by millions of live birds in one of the world’s most beautiful natural sanctuaries. The viewer will experience stunning juxtapositions of beauty and horror, destruction and renewal, grief and joy, birth and death, coming out the other side with their heart broken open and their worldview shifted. Stepping outside the stylistic templates of traditional environmental or documentary films, MIDWAY will take viewers on a guided tour into the depths of their own spirits, delivering a profound message of reverence and love that is already reaching an audience of tens of millions of people around the world.Production of the feature film "MIDWAY" continues through 2013.
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