Giant Pandas Come To The Giant Screen

Discovery Place Science

PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME opens in IMAX® at Discovery Place on November 14

CHARLOTTE— On Saturday, November 14, Discovery Place will premiere PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME, a groundbreaking natural-history film that captures the highly endangered giant pandas living in Wolong National Nature Reserve in the People’s Republic of China. This lovable species comes to life on The Charlotte Observer IMAX® Dome Theatre, giving audiences a unique glimpse into one of the most incredible conservation efforts in human history.

The giant panda is one of the rarest species on Earth.  Shy, elusive and gentle creatures, they once ranged in great numbers between Beijing and the Himalayas.  But now, after centuries of human expansion and destruction of their habitat, the giant pandas are on the brink of extinction, with fewer than 1,600 remaining in the world.  Scientists are now trying to increase the species’ numbers in captivity with the ambitious goal of returning pandas to t their natural home in the wild.

Narrated by actress Joely Richardson, the 40-minute large format film PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME follows the pandas at a significant milestone in their history. After decades of captive breeding, the Wolong National Nature Reserve has hit its target number of 300 giant pandas and now must tackle the challenge of reintroducing breeding populations of the species into the wild. Filmmakers were given unrivalled access to the Wolong National Nature Reserve with the support of the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association and the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda. Oxford Scientific Films was granted permission to film the rare release of a panda bred in captivity and to follow a group of pandas being prepared for the wild in a mountain habitat, a first for a Western film crew.

 Alongside the natural breeding program, the film also captures the captive breeding program, including footage of new-borns, young pandas playing, and methods of encouraging pandas to mate.  With this iconic creature excruciatingly close to extinction, PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME is an extraordinary picture of how pandas live and the astonishing measures conservationists are taking to ensure their future.

Audiences will also get a chance to help with the conservation effort by participating in a texting campaign to raise funds for the preservation of the pandas’ shrinking habitats. They can text PANDA to 50555 to contribute $10 towards a grant that National Geographic will award to the World Wildlife Fund for one of its panda conservation programs.

Directed by Nicolas Brown (Human Planet) and produced by Caroline Hawkins (Meerkats 3D), PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME, is an Oxford Scientific Films Production for National Geographic Studios and Sky 3D, in association with the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association, Wolong Panda Conservation Centre, CCTV9 and Nat Geo WILD.

Tickets are $10 for ages 14-59, $9 for ages 2-13 and 60+, $5 for Members and free for children younger than 2. When paired with a Museum admission, tickets are just $5 for all ages.  Group discounts also are available. Visit discoveryplace.org or call 704.372.6261 x300 for show times.  Tickets can be purchased online or at the museum. PANDAS: THE JOURNEY HOME runs for 44 minutes and is rated G. 

 

About Discovery Place:  

One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage people in the active exploration of science and nature. The Museum brings relevant, contemporary science to life through groundbreaking exhibitions, interactive educational programming and hands-on activities.

Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum’s parking deck – the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call 704.372.6261, visit discoveryplace.org or connect with Discovery Place on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

 Discovery Place, Inc. owns and operates Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum, Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville and Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham and is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council.

About National Geographic Studios

National Geographic Studios is the video and film production division of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations, whose mission is to inspire, illuminate and teach. From television series and specials to giant screen films, from mobile video to digital news and educational content, National Geographic Studios’ productions embody the Society’s long-standing reputation for stunning visuals and captivating storytelling. National Geographic Studios has received nearly 150 Emmy Awards and almost 1,000 other industry accolades, including recognition from the Peabody Awards, DuPont Columbia Awards and the highest honors from natural history film festivals. Brooke Runnette is president of National Geographic Studios.


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