Jim & Jean and the tree kangaroos...
Did you know that kangaroos live in trees? Tree Kangaroos are one of the world’s best kept wildlife secrets. But in Papua New Guinea, tree kangaroos are struggling for survival: they are being hunted to extinction. A few years ago, the entire population of the Tenkile, one of the cutest but also the rarest species of tree kangaroos, was down to 100 individuals.
Jim and Jean Thomas were Australian zookeepers when they found out about the plight of the Tenkile and decided to do something to save them. They travelled to the remote wilds of the Torricelli mountain range, Papua New Guinea. When they arrived they were shocked. The people who were hunting the Tenkile were desperate. Still living in villages the way they had for centuries, they were isolated from the rest of the country and had almost no access to electricity, medicine or any of the services most people would consider essential. They had also run out of animals to hunt.
Jim and Jean committed to the adventure of a lifetime. They quickly learnt pidgeon English and helped the people find alternative food sources and worked with them to better manage their environment. Securing funding from International aid agencies, they were able to provide clean water and sanitation to fifty remote villages. This had a huge impact on the health and welfare of more than ten thousand people across the Torricelli mountains.
This in turn has helped the Tenkile tree kangaroo. In the thirteen years since Jim and Jean arrived, their population has risen to over 300 but the work still continues to improve living conditions for the local people. Without it, all the great effort Jim and Jean have put in might fail. As Jim puts it 'Conservation is 10 per cent studying animals and 90 per cent working with people, because it is the people who ultimately create or destroy habitat.' This a story of the human condition at its most precarious, a huge turning point that will effect future generations of people, and many threatened species.
Documenting Jim & Jean's story of determination and endurance...
Independent filmmaker Mark Hanlin has been shooting a feature length documentary on Jim and Jean’s amazing story for more than five years and has titled it 'Into the Jungle'. Using his own equipment and resources he’s shot over 100 hours of footage in Papua New Guinea, the UK and Australia.
Feature-length documentaries on Papua New Guinea are seldom made. The wild, remote locations and unpredictable climate and political circumstances present considerable challenges. So making a film like 'Into the Jungle' provides a unique opportunity not only to profile the amazing work of Jim and Jean Thomas, but to get a rare insight into how life is for the people who live in the wilderness areas of this country and their struggle with choosing traditional and more modern ways of life. We’ve already interviewed Sir David Attenborough, Jane Goodall and Australian scientist Tim Flannery for the project. You can view a 10 minute teaser https://vimeo.com/70312950
How The Funds Will Be Used
Mark is now at the point where he's nearly finished the feature film edit and it’s looking great. Up to now he's used his own funds and equipment as well as financial help from our amazing supporters for the travel, food and accommodation for the 6 months shooting in Papua New Guinea and the David Attenborough interview in London. Once he's finished editing, the film will need to be properly sound mixed and the pictures colour graded and matched by proffessional post production facilities. He's chosen some great production music (music tracks that have been specifically designed for film and television) that takes the film to another level.
So we're asking for:
- $6,000 for Sound Mixing.
- $8,500 for Colour matching and grading.
- $5,500 for Production music rights.
We've done all we can on our own and these are not luxury items, this is essential for any feature film that wants to seriously compete for a worldwide audience. Ultimately we'd like to distribute it theatrically and on television as we want this story told far and wide! If we can get these funds we’ll have the film ready for the first stage which is film festival screenings by early 2017.
With your support to get the film ready for festivals, we'll then need to send it all around the world. For festivals to accept the film for screening we have to be well prepared. We would like to make up media kits comprising of posters, booklets and a digital print of the film. Together with international postage and entry fees, we estimate these kits to be $1,100.00 per unit. We'd like to send out 10 ($11,000 for 10) so anything over our $20,000 target will go towards the cost of Film Festival Prints and Media Kits.
Time is our enemy. Because we've done all this ourselves, it's taken a few years and we don't want to wait any longer to get this cracking tale told. We need your help to get this out to the world. It is one of the most worthy and inspiring stories of the 21st century, and demonstrates just how individuals CAN make a difference.