The Crowdfunders: The Great Forest

As a non-profit website dedicated to the support and promotion of Australian made films, Cinema Australia rarely gets the opportunity to throw cash at crowdfunding projects. Trust us, if we had the money we’d be executive producers on almost every new Australian film calling for supporters through the myriad of crowdfunding platforms available on the interwebs.

That’s why we’ve launched this new feature, The Crowdfunders, which will shamelessly plug projects calling for your dollar. It’s just another way for us to do what we love doing most – supporting Aussie cinema!

It should be noted though – and take this as a warning – that not all crowdfunding projects are successful and just because a project has reached it’s target, it doesn’t guarantee the film will be made, or that you’ll receive any reward or compensation for your donation. So in saying that, Cinema Australia takes no responsibility for any wrongdoing on the fundraisers behalf.

Now that the serious stuff is out of the way… here’s our second plug.

The Great Forest

Rising Australian female filmmaker, Marli Lopez-Hope sets out to save the world’s most carbon rich wilderness from extinction with her short natural history documentary, The Great Forest. Marli’s innate passion to tell the stories of the world’s last wild ecosystems has taken her to Antarctica with National Geographic, Botswana, and now, just two hours from Melbourne, Victoria.

Already a year in the making, The Great Forest follows the enthralling chronicle of Toolangi State Forest from natural riches to ruin, in the face of state-owned logging coupes.

The independently produced 8-minute wildlife documentary journeys through the forest, capturing the secretive lives of animals including the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possum and the Superb Lyrebird, all of whom depend on the 200-year-old giant Mountain Ash trees for their survival. Under the hands of rapacious logging, in this ancient Victorian forest, some of Australia’s most peculiar creatures have managed to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

Target: $11,000

What the cash will be used for: Research and development, camera and sound hire, special equipment, accommodation and travel, post production, marketing and festival entry, contingency (backup shoots).

Synopsis: This independently produced 8-minute wildlife documentary journeys from the forest floor all the way to the canopy above, capturing the secretive lives of two critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possums, a Superb Lyrebird, and a duo of native snails, all of whom depend on the 200-year-old Mountain Ash trees for their survival. Standing at over 90 metres tall, these gentle giants are falling – and as a result this entire valuable ecosystem is struggling to cope as state-owned logging corporations take hold. The Leadbeater’s Possum is among the most-effected by deforestation. The last 1000 possums are set for extinction in the next five years. But you can be part of the solution – bringing them back from the brink.

What they told Cinema Australia“It was actually after a memorable conversation I had with the remarkable, Sir David Attenborough, in 2013, that inspired the ethos of The Great Forest. Sir Attenborough reminded me of the massive separation between human civilisation and nature in the 21st Century; while you and I may live in cities and towns far away from forests and oceans, we depend on these wildernesses for our very own existence.”
“It is a pretty daunting experience to stand within a recently logged site in Toolangi State Forest- it looks more like the stage for a war film than a precious wilderness. I believe it is a duty of wildlife filmmakers to show both the beauty but also the tragedy of a forest in decline, we cannot focus on just the cute animals that have managed to survive, we need to show audiences the truth about our natural world, while still providing that ray of hope.”
“Filming a rare animal like the Leadbeater’s Possum has been a mammoth task. Luckily, Healesville Wildlife Sanctuary have gotten behind the project and we will be filming our possum footage with their captive Leadbeater’s. It is sad to think that this is one of the only ways to show audiences such a remarkable creature. Time really is running out.” – Marli Lopez-Hope, Cinematographer, Writer/Director, Camera Assist

You can donate and find out more about the project here:

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