Meares Island Big Tree Trail near Tofino

Lights, Camera, Clayoquot Action!

Clayoquot Action was stoked to host and coordinate logistics for filmmakers Jacob Wise and Rebecca Billings from Ithaca, New York. The pair are working to create two feature-length documentaries about the ancient rainforests of Vancouver Island.

The first film will be an investigative piece about the rainforest and associated environmental issues. The second will be a nonverbal documentary that evokes the wonder and beauty of this sadly endangered environment. The two films will work as companion pieces to each other.

In March, they spent 17 days on Vancouver Island gathering footage, and are currently back to complete the task. While in Tofino they were able to join a traditional dugout canoe tour with Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations member Tsimka Martin. They also attended Clayoquot Action’s Clayoquot Summer 20 Years After presentation, joined a whale watching tour, and got to fly over Clayoquot Sound on a classically beautiful summer day!

Jacob writes “We came to Vancouver Island to capture footage of the old-growth forests, but the beauty and rich cultures within Clayoquot Sound presented us with so much more. Clayoquot Sound houses more old-growth than any other place we’ve yet to visit, allowing us to explore and film vast areas of intact “wilderness.” But it’s not just the trees—the Sound is home to bears, whales, salmon, jellyfish, eagles, banana slugs, and countless other plant and animal species that come together to make up the complex and significant biocultural diversity celebrated in the area. When this biocultural diversity was threatened in the 80’s and 90’s by logging companies, there were peaceful protests and political resistance all over the area to bring protection to the forests and their surrounding ecosystems. Clayoquot Action’s Clayoquot Summer 20 Years After presentation delved into these protests in detail, allowing us to grasp the physical and symbolic significance of such protection. However, the show also expressed the current threats to the Sound, from salmon farms to copper and gold mines to continued logging of the ancient forests. Through our finished films, we hope to be able to capture and portray the inspiration, beauty, and much-needed awareness that we experienced during our trip to Clayoquot Sound.”

Check out short versions of the films: The Trees Around You, and The Ancient Ecosystems of Vancouver Island.

Thanks very much to everyone who helped the filmmakers get out into Clayoquot Sound: Atleo Air, Remote Passages, T’ashii Paddling School, Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks, and Tofino Water Taxi.