The MV Kalabia, an environmental education boat in Indonesia, arrives in a new village in the Raja Ampat archipelago. (© 2014 IMAX Corporation and MacGillivray Freeman Films. IMAX® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation.)
Aboard the MV Kalabia, an education boat in Indonesia’s Raja Ampat archipelago, our movie theatre consists of a makeshift screen made from a white bedsheet strung over the top deck of the boat. During our movie nights, villagers come and sit on the wooden docks to watch educational films.
But this month, thousands of moviegoers on the other side of the world will get a glimpse at the stunning views, fascinating creatures and vibrant communities I get to see every day here in Raja Ampat — on a multistory, 3D IMAX platform!
The new 3D IMAX film, “Journey to the South Pacific,” documents human and marine life in the coastal areas of the Bird’s Head Seascape, often described as the global epicentre of marine biodiversity. It’s also home to thousands of people who depend on marine resources for food, coastal protection, tourism income and other benefits.
However, these benefits are under threat from a range of human activities, including destructive fishing using dynamite and cyanide, consumption of sea turtles and their eggs, throwing garbage into the ocean, coral mining for construction, pollution from mining activities and overfishing of certain species such as sharks, groupers and anchovies.
Since 2008, the Kalabia — a former tuna-trawling boat — has been touring the islands of Raja Ampat, spending a few days at each village to deliver a highly interactive conservation education program to the children of these communities.
For three weeks in January 2013, the Kalabia education team hosted the MacGillivray Freeman film crew in several villages around Dampier Strait Marine Protected Area (MPA). The film is focused on positive action for the ocean and will feature the Kalabia education program as the story’s “heartbeat.”