The Messenger Takes Flight in the UK!

SongbirdSOS Productions Inc. and  Films à Cinq are pleased to announce that our award-winning feature documentary THE MESSENGER directed by Su Rynard is taking flight in the UK.  It is being released into UK cinemas, starting October 26th.   This cinematically beautiful and poignant documentary is essential viewing for anyone who cares about the environment and nature.  THE MESSENGER explores mankind’s deep-seated connection to the world’s songbirds and the devastating impact humans have had on bird species. It is an enlightening introduction to the global scientific research being done to further bird conservation.  The release of the film is timely, as more than a quarter of the UK Birds are in serious decline. * 

The UK tour of THE MESSENGER starts at Purbeck Film Festival in Wareham October 26, before travelling to Nottingham, Oswestry, Suffolk, Manchester and Liverpool.

On her drive to make the film director Su Rynard commented, “Birds are our ‘early warning system’ and this was one of the inspirations behind the film. Since ancient times we have looked to birds to foretell the future. Changes in the flights or songs of birds can signal the coming of storms, the change of season, or the dawn of a new day. A decline in the numbers or health of birds points to changes in the environment. Now is a critical time for the world’s climate and ecosystems. Birds have something to tell us, and I wanted to amplify their message.”   

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Screenings will feature guest hosts, including the Wildlife Trust and the RSPB.

Bird & Wild, a Bird Friendly coffee company is providing goodie bags at select screenings.  Bird & Wild is one of the UK’s only Smithsonian certified Bird Friendly® coffee roasters and it is on a mission to help protect migrating birds and support the RSPB, while offering triple certified, great tasting Fairtrade organic coffee, one cup at a time.

Canadian producer Joanne Jackson says ” We are excited to be working with Nottingham based PIPOCA for the UK release. Sally Hodgson from PIPOCA has tremendous experience releasing films that make an impact with audiences.  We believe THE MESSENGER will find an enthusiastic audience in the UK, because as any committed ‘twitcher’ or nature lover will attest, the sport of Birdwatching is a very popular past-time in the UK.”         

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The Messenger will become available on DVD in the UK in December and can be pre-ordered online now.  Up-to-date details on screenings and the DVD purchases for educational or home use can be found here.  PIPOCA.NEW_WebLarge

 

 

www.pipocapictures.com/the-messenger

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinema Listings:

Purbeck Film Festival @ The Rex Cinema, Wareham,

Thursday 26 October, 8.15pm, sponsored by Biotrack.  Q and A and Bird tracking devices will be demonstrated.  Tickets: https://therex.admit-one.eu/?p=details&eventCode=34429 or 01929 552 778

 

Broadway Cinema, Nottingham,

Saturday 28 October, 2 pm,  With Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust    Tickets: http://www.broadway.org.uk/events/film-the-messenger-plus-introduction or 0115 952 6611

 

Picturehouse @ FACT, Liverpool 

Sunday 26 November,   1 pm. With RSPB Liverpool,  Tickets: https://www.picturehouses.com/cinema/Picturehouse_At_Fact  or 0871 902 5737

 

Aldeburgh Cinema, Suffolk

Sunday 3 December, 3 pm, With the Suffolk Ornithologists’ Group and Suffolk Wildlife Trust.  Tickets: www.aldeburghcinema.co.uk or 01728 454884

 

HOME, Manchester

Friday 29 December, 3:50 pm, Tickets: https://homemcr.org or 0161 200 1500.

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Running length: 90 minutes. Advisory rating – PG

Movie Trailer: https://youtu.be/LjQtRr4CKcc

Twitter: @themessengerdoc

 

* Reference:  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/apr/11/more-than-a-quarter-of-uk-birds-face-extinction-risk-or-steep-decline-study.

THE MESSENGER is a Canada/France co-production by SongbirdSOS Productions Inc. and Films à Cinq/ARTE France that has played on over 160 screens in North America and continues to screen for audiences in Canada, and the USA. For screening requests and additional ways to view the film go to http://songbirdsos.com/screenings/

THE MESSENGER AT FESTIVAL DU FILM VERTE, FRANCE

It is the start of bird migration season, so we are watching the skies with anticipation and hope that our migrating feathered friends make it to their breeding grounds once again. This Sunday  THE MESSENGER,  our award-winning environmental documentary directed by Su Rynard is screening at Festival du Film Vert à Ferney-Voltaire in Voltaire, France. Sally Blake and the Films à Cinq team (our French co-production partners) are wonderful to work with!  Thanks to ARTE France and all our other partners for making this film possible. French subtitled Trailer included in this post.  French synopsis for the film below.    We can all make a difference to help songbirds.  Please spread the word about our film’s message. If you want to see the film or book it for a screening please check out the options and get in touch with us.  Screening and contact options here. 

The Messenger est une enquête innovante qui expose les raisons de la disparition massive des passereaux, et qui suit au plus près les ornithologues et écologistes dans leur mobilisation. Le film embarque les spectateurs pour un magnifique voyage à travers le monde, révélant comment les problèmes que rencontrent les oiseaux entrainent des conséquences accablantes pour notre planète, et pour nous-mêmes.

Take Action information to help songbirds  here. 

 

THE MESSENGER WINS BEST CONSERVATION FILM AWARD AT JACKSON HOLE

On October 1, in Jackson, Wyoming, THE MESSENGER  was honored with a Best Conservation Program Award at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festivals’ Grand Teton Awards Gala.  The Best Conservation Program Award is “Awarded to the program that most effectively contributes to an awareness of timely and relevant conservation issues and/or solutions.”  Finalists included Racing Extinction, and I Bought A Rainforest.

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THE MESSENGER is an artful investigation into the causes of songbird mass depletion and the compassionate people who are working to turn the tide, directed  by award-winning filmmaker Su Rynard.  The 90 minute film takes viewers on a visually stunning journey revealing how the issues facing birds also pose daunting implications for our planet and ourselves.

Producers Martin de la Fouchardiere and Diane Woods were at the ceremony to accept the award.

JH awards.2 shot.DW.MdelaF. better.21900115865_f8fd508f12_zDirected by: Su Rynard

Producers:  Joanne P. Jackson, Sally Blake, Martin de la Fouchardiere, Su Rynard and Diane Woods

Written by: Su Rynard and Sally Blake

Directors of Photography:  Daniel Grant and Amar Arhab

Picture Editor:  Eamonn O’Connor

Sound Design and Composer: Phil Strong

Additional Editing:  Sally Blake and Carole Larson

Additional photography:  Laurent Charbonnier, Christopher Romeike

and Joshua See

Sound Re-Engineering Mixer:   Daniel Pellerin

Line Producer: Diane Warme

Post Production was done at Urban Post in Toronto.

 

THE MESSENGER is an international treaty co-production between Canada and France, produced by SongbirdSOS Productions and Films à Cinq/ARTE.

US Distribution – Kino Lorber

International Sales Agent ZED

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Jackson Hole press release here

About Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival:  Recognized as the premier event of its genre, the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival is an unparalleled biennial industry gathering. Hosted biennially in Grand Teton National Park, over 650 international delegates participate in an exceptional slate of leading edge equipment presentations, seminars and state-of-the-art screenings.

The Festival’s international board members include: Animal Planet, BBC Natural History Unit, Discovery Channel, Disneynature, FujiFilm Optical Devices, Gorongosa Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute/Tangled Bank Studios, National Geographic Channel International, National Geographic WILD, National Geographic Society, National Parks Conservation Association, The Nature Conservancy, Nature/WNET, Off the Fence Productions, PBS, Sony Electronics, Terra Mater Factual Studios and UNIVERSUM/ORF, Vulcan Productions, WGBH, and World Wildlife Fund.

THE MESSENGER is currently screening at Film Festivals worldwide.

More info at www.theMessengerDoc.com

The Messenger – World Premiere at Hot Docs

Hot Docs Press Conference

Hot Docs Press Conference

We have some very exciting exciting news.  The Messenger will have it’s World Premiere at the Hot Docs International Film Festival on April 28, 2015.  At the Press Conference, Canadian programmer Lynn Fernie introduced the film eloquently by asking, “Can we, and even do we, want to live in a world without birdsong?” The film garnered a lot of attention at the conference, and Su was interviewed for radio, television and print.  More on the Press Room page of this website.

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Producer Joanne Jackson (left) and Su Rynard (right)

The Messenger is a visually thrilling ode to the beauty and importance of the imperiled songbird, that contemplates our deep-seated connection to birds and warns that the uncertain fate of songbirds might mirror our own.

On one level, The Messenger is eco-alert as art – a skillfully told character first-person p.o.v. about the mass depletion of songbirds on multiple continents, and about the compassionate people who are working to turn the tide. According to international expert Dr. Bridget Stutchbury, who is featured in the documentary, we may have lost almost half the songbirds that filled the skies fifty years ago.

On another level, The Messenger is an engaging, three-act emotional journey, one that mixes its elegiac message with hopeful notes and unique glances into the influence of songbirds on our own expressions of the soul. For example, a German composer, DJ and bird-watching enthusiast, Dominik Eulberg, incorporates bird-sounds seamlessly into techno music and introduces us to the use of birdsongs in Wagnerian opera.

Dominik Eulberg Composer & DJ_WesterwaldGermany

We meet passionate and motivated people like Michael Mesure, the founder of the Fatal Light Awareness Program, who has spearheaded the treating of skyscraper glass with markers, resulting in a 70% decline of bird deaths. As he says of the movement to switch off lights in empty buildings, ““How often can you say, you flick a switch and a problem disappears?”

We see culture clashes, as in France, where activists run up against hunters of the Ortolan Bunting, an endangered bird that is considered a culinary delicacy. And in the vast prairie lands of Saskatchewan, Dr. Christy Morrissey unravels the mystery behind the sharp drop in the numbers of insect eating birds. She discovers that the smoking gun is likely the same pesticide that is killing honeybees and states, “We are changing the environment faster than birds can cope with.”

But there is an ultimate wild card for songbirds. Turkish ecologist Çağan Şekercioğlu brings us to a crucial songbird site where the distant Mount Ararat looms large as a sentinel for climate change, as its’ disappearing glacier could spell tragedy for the wetlands at its base.

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There’s a glimpse of hope for a sustainable future, as Costa Rican coffee farmers learn from ornithologist Alejandra Martinez-Salinas about the benefits of pesticide-free shade-grown coffee. The diversity of shade trees provide a natural habit for migratory songbirds and the birds’ appetite for the destructive coffee berry borer, provides an alternative to agro-chemicals.

Ultimately, The Messenger is about what the birds have to tell us about the state of our planet and of ourselves.

In the words of Peter Marra, of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in Washington, D.C., “When the bird population starts to decline it’s a cold, it’s a flu that the Earth has. Birds provide an estimate of the integrity of the environment itself. We are part of that environment. We depend on it for our own lives.”

Don’t you think the Indigo Bunting looks amazing on the screen at the Bloor Cinema behind Festival Programmer Lynn Fernie? It certainly gives us a taste of what our birds in night flight footage will look like when the film premieres at this prestigious festival.

The Messenger has three  screenings during Hot Docs.

Tickets can be purchased through the Hot Docs Box Office

April 28 ,  9 PM – Scotiabank Theatre,  259 Richmond St. W.

May 1 – 1:30 pm, Scotiabank Theatre, 259 Richmond St W.

May 3 – 6:30 pm, Innis Town Hall Theatre, 2 Sussex Ave.

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Directed by Su Rynard.

Written by Su Rynard and Sally Blake

Produced by Joanne Jackson, Sally Blake and Martin de la Fouchardière, Diane Woods and Su Rynard

SongbirdSOS is an international treaty co-production between Canada and France, produced by SongbirdSOS Productions and Films à Cinq.

International Distributor: ZED