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Buffalo Museum of Science to open 'Pandas: The Journey Home' in National Geographic 3D Cinema

by jmaloni


Mon, Oct 13th 2014 11:50 am
Xiao Xi Xi, a 1-year-old panda at Deng Sheng Vally, Wolong, Sichuan, China. (photo by Bao Cheng Li/`Pandas: The Journey Home`)
Xiao Xi Xi, a 1-year-old panda at Deng Sheng Vally, Wolong, Sichuan, China. (photo by Bao Cheng Li/"Pandas: The Journey Home")

Presented by M&T Bank

Groundbreaking giant screen and digital 3D film features unrivaled access to highly endangered species and highlights conservation efforts to repopulate them in the wild

The giant panda is one of the rarest species on this planet. 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.

"Pandas: The Journey Home," a groundbreaking natural-history film, captures for the first time in 3D the highly endangered giant pandas living in Wolong National Nature Reserve in the People's Republic of China.

On Tuesday, the National Geographic 3D Cinema presented by M&T Bank at the Buffalo Museum of Science will premiere "Pandas: The Journey Home," giving audiences a unique glimpse into one of the most incredible conservation efforts in human history. The scientists' goal: to increase the numbers in captivity and, far more ambitiously, to return pandas to the wild - to their natural home.

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 Entertainment and Sky 3D, in association with the Chinese Wildlife Conservation Association, Wolong Panda Conservation Centre, CCTV9 and Nat Geo 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 newborns, young pandas playing, and methods of encouraging pandas to mate. With this iconic creature excruciatingly close to extinction, "Pandas: The Journey Home" is the story 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. Viewers can text PANDA to 50555 to contribute $10 toward a grant that National Geographic will award to the World Wildlife Fund for one of its panda conservation programs, details of which can be found at ngpandas.com.

Film admission is $2 for BMS members or $4 for non-members with general museum admission. Film admission can be purchased at the BMS admissions desk or in the cinema lobby. "Pandas: The Journey Home" will play daily at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

To learn about all the films playing in the National Geographic 3D Cinema presented by M&T Bank, visit www.sciencebuff.org/visit/ 3dcinema/.

Watch a preview


About the Buffalo Museum of Science

Committed to inspiring curiosity through exploration, the Buffalo Museum of Science is a nonprofit educational institution dedicated to providing relevant science programming and services to children, families, adults and schools in the Buffalo Niagara region. Through exhibits and interactive spaces designed for multigenerational learning, the museum showcases its extensive collections of more than 700,000 specimens and artifacts representing all facets of the natural world with an emphasis on Western New York.

Opened in 1929 in Buffalo's Olmsted-designed Martin Luther King Jr. Park, the museum is currently installing eight new permanent interactive science studios to transform its visitor experience by 2016. The museum also operates Tifft Nature Preserve in South Buffalo, a 264-acre urban wetland preserve on reclaimed former industrial land.

Learn more at www.sciencebuff.org.

About the National Geographic Society

Founded in 1888, the National Geographic Society is one of the world's largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. With a mission to inspire people to care about the planet, the member-supported society offers a community for members to get closer to explorers, connect with other members and help make a difference. The society reaches more than 500 million people worldwide each month through its media platforms, products and events.

National Geographic has funded more than 11,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy.

For more information, visit http://nationalgeographic.com.


A mother panda carrying her cub at the Wolong Panda Breeding Cenre in Sichuan Province. (photo by Yang Dan/"Pandas: The Journey Home")  

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