Saturday 18th July — 7.00pm
An inspiring film about two remarkable young Australians zookeepers who bring about change that would seem – on the face of it – impossible. But they did it.
“How do you persuade 10,000 people not to hunt an endangered species that has been part of their staple diet for centuries?” Jean Thomas
Newlywed zookeepers Jim & Jean Thomas pack up the their safe suburban lives in Melbourne to try to save one of the world’s rarest animals – the Tenkile, a species of tree kangaroo – in the remote jungle of Papua New Guinea. The wild locations, unpredictable climate, tricky political circumstances and serious cultural differences presented huge challenges.
Into The Jungle is an inspiring film about two remarkable young Australians zookeepers who bring about change that would seem – on the face of it – impossible. But they did it.
It took them 17 years, but they managed to convince the people of central highland New Guinea to stop hunting and eating their favourite food. It saved the species and in the course of doing so, improved enormously the local peoples’ way of life without destroying their culture.
In the past summer, we have seen billions of Australian animals killed in the fires, and vulnerable species brought almost – if not entirely, because it may still be the case – to the brink of extinction.
What can we do about it? Can ordinary Australians find a way to mobilise to save our species? And we don’t have the problem of a competing culture to deal with.
Australia & UK 2018
Director & Producer: Mark Hanlin
Mark Hanlin is an award winning Australian filmmaker who has been working in the film and television industry for more than 25 years. He has written and directed short films, documentaries, television series and hundreds of television commercials.
Mark Hanlin, Director, Cinematographer & Producer of Into The Jungle in conversation with Castlemaine environmentalist, Natalie Moxham; and Professor Brendan Wintle, an ecologist who has done a great deal of work in Australia about how animals in the wild react to large scale environmental change.
Natalie Moxham Natalie is an environmentalist who has worked in solidarity with First Nations People of Australian and the people of Papua New Guinea for over 35 years. She is the principal consultant of Leanganook Yarn, providing professional services to indigenous people and their projects. Much of this work has been in and out of PNG with environment, sovereignty and conservation groups. She is the founder of Living Landscapes of Papua New Guinea – protecting biodiversity, transforming lives – an international alliance. Recently, in response to the pandemic Natalie instigated Castlemaine Commons, a weekly YouTube broadcast of locals in discussion about life in the pandemic. She lives in Castlemaine with her partner and two teenage children.
Brendan Wintle Professor of Conservation Ecology at the University of Melbourne and Director of Australia’s Threatened Species Recovery Research Hub. Working with governments and conservation organisations, he advises on policy and helps develop and test actions for preventing species extinction and recovering threatened species and ecosystems. He harbours strange obsessions with greater gliders, playing soccer (too old), tigers (AFL variety) and spider orchids.
Into the Jungle is supported by THE MILL CASTLEMAINE