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Reel Earth: on tour in Wellington

Reel Earth, Palmerston North, 18 Septmeber 2009: The Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival opens in Wellington 1 October. 25 documentary films and animations from New Zealand and around the world will screen until 15 October at the Paramount.

The films feature hard hitting social justice and breath-taking natural beauty. They tackle some of the biggest environmental issues that face us today, including the effects of our changing climate, managing our precious water resources, and the impact of over-fishing.

The Wellington season of the festival is hosted by the Wellington Branch of Forest and Bird.

“This year’s films are all of a really high standard,” said Vicki Connor, Forest and Bird branch member and organiser of the Wellington Festival. “They are dealing with some pretty serious issues, but they do it in a way that is engaging and entertaining.

“So many people care deeply about the planet and want to find out more about the challenges we are facing. These films are such a great way to do this – they present the facts from different and interesting perspectives. They tell the stories of the people who are out there right now, working at the very heart of these issues.”

The budget of these independent films has dramatically increased this year, topping $50 million, with a corresponding increase in quality. Heading the big budget titles is the $10M Wild Oceans, shot on large format off the wild southern coast of West Africa.

Another high profile title is Sundance nominee Crude, the latest offering from award-winning director Joe Berlinger, taking the viewer front and centre in the high-stakes chase to bring big oil companies to justice in the Amazon rainforests.

A number of films have strong connection with New Zealand including the epic new adventure of Tara, formerly Sir Peter Blake’s ship, in Journey to the Heart of the Climate Machine.

The Wellington Season will open with Best Feature Film winner So Right, So Smart, a slick movie telling the story of one man’s quest to turn his carpet making company into a truly sustainable business.

The Wellington season is sponsored by print company Graphic Press. Tickets for some screenings are limited. Book in advance by calling The Paramount on 04 384 4080

Go here for the complete Wellington Programme