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Wake up for Soul Places

“Wake up, it’s time to wake up,” proclaims Dr Rangimarie Rose Pere, who features in Manawatu-born filmmaker Mark Lapwood’s new film, “Soul Places”. Pere appears in Lapwood’s two-and-a-half-minute fundraising trailer on soulplacesmovie.co.nz.

“The majority of people in New Zealand live in cities, yet depression, anxiety and isolation are increasingly prominent with people of all ages. It’s a serious issue,” Lapwood points out.

“I just can’t believe we are so far removed from what is a part of ourselves,” claims Pere, referring to the predominant disconnection from the natural world.

“Soul Places” is a cinematic exploration of the beauty of nature and humanity, and the deep connection between humans and nature.

“Every living thing that seeks sustenance from our earth mother is family,” maintains Pere, in this new environmental documentary.

The filmmakers have launched a crowdfunding campaign via Boosted to raise money quickly to film more with elders like Rose while they’re still alive.

“It’s quite urgent as these elders are national living treasures, mostly in their mid to late 70’s. When they pass on, their wisdom goes with them,” says Lapwood.

“The spirit of the land has always been with people,” says Barry Brailsford, another key participant in the film. Brailsford MBE was scribe for “Song of Waitaha” and author of many celebrated books, including “A Tattooed Land” and “Song of the Stone”.

“Science is proving what we’ve always known intuitively: Nature does good things to the human brain. It makes us healthier, happier, and smarter,” says writer Florence Williams in her National Geographic article (“This is Your Brain in Nature”, January 2016).

“We launched the film’s trailer on Facebook and it went nuts online – the response was very positive. It’s been played over 5,000 times, had an organic reach of 20,000-plus with over 2,000 reactions, comments and shares. This is without any post-boosting.” claims Lapwood. “We’re donating a free copy of the film to schools in New Zealand for every $100 raised in the campaign,

“It’s so important our young people benefit from a healthy connection to nature, especially those growing up in lower socio-economic urban areas. This film celebrates New Zealand’s natural beauty with gems of wisdom from our elders, scientists and artists.

“We’re looking for donors, sponsors and market partners to engage with us while making this important film.” says Lapwood, an award-winning cinematographer.
“We will explore traditional sources of financing through the New Zealand Film Commission and international funds, however crowdfunding is a quick way of generating excitement and momentum around a project like this, especially when there’s a sense of urgency.”

Lapwood’s debut short film, “Eclipse,” shot on the streets of Mumbai, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, won an AFI (Australian Film Institute) award and ACS (Australian Cinematographers Society) Gold in 2007 for best cinematography.

Mark Lapwood is based in Auckland and works professionally as a cinematographer in the film industry. His career started as a photographer on the Manawatu Evening Standard aged 16 in 1987. He trained as a cinematographer in Sydney during the 1990’s, then worked for eight years in Asia, mostly Mumbai (Bombay), India. He returned to New Zealand after 20 years overseas to make this film.