Australia House in London was transformed into a private cinema last night, as royalty, celebrities and media were treated to a special pre-screening of a new documentary film on the Great Barrier Reef, which Tourism Australia believes will inspire greater interest and more visits to the world’s largest coral reef system.
The three-part series produced by BAFTA award-winning Atlantic Productions – ‘Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough’ will be broadcast across the world, including the United Kingdom and Australia.
More than 200 guests attended the invite-only event, including his Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh. Amongst other guests making their entrance along a VIP ‘sand carpet’ specially created for the evening were Helena Bonham Carter, Heston Blumenthal and Barry Humphries.
The special screening was jointly hosted by the Australian High Commission and Tourism Australia, and included a special appearance and Q&A session by the film’s presenter and renowned naturalist David Attenborough.
Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O’Sullivan, said the release of the TV series coincided with a new campaign it was launching early in 2016 and aimed at promoting Australia’s aquatic and coastal experiences.
“Our aquatic and coastal story has always been an important part of selling Australia, but has never before taken centre stage in a campaign. This film will show the Reef in ways never previously seen before and provides a wonderful vehicle for us to shine a light on Australia’s outstanding aquatic and coastal experiences.
“Our research shows that aquatic experiences, and particularly the Reef, are major draw cards for tourists from all of our major international markets,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
David Attenborough spent approximately three weeks on the Reef as part of the filming schedule, which took in Ribbon Reef and Osprey Reef and Lady Elliot, Magnetic, Orpheus, Lizard and Heron Islands.
CEO of Atlantic Productions and producer for the project Anthony Geffen said that the filming project was unique, combining the latest filming techniques, science and cutting edge research.
“Documentary filming techniques have come on leaps and bounds since David last filmed on the Great Barrier Reef nearly 60 years ago, and I think the images we have captured will not only wow audiences but also assist them in better understanding and, importantly, appreciating one of the most fascinating natural wonders on our planet,” he said.
The series goes to air just weeks before Tourism Australia unveils a major push to promote Australia’s aquatic and coastal experiences. The new campaign aims to tap into the fact that around 70 per cent of international visitors undertake an aquatic or coastal experience as part of their trip to Australia.
Note to editors: Atlantic Productions is one of the world’s leading factual production companies, whose TV and film productions have won BAFTAs, Emmys and other top industry awards. Atlantic’s productions with David Attenborough have been seen by more than one billion people in more than 150 countries, since their first collaboration in 2009.
Covering an area of almost 350,000 square kilometres from around Bundaberg in the south to the northern tip of Queensland, the World Heritage Area, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem and considered to be one of the seven natural wonders of the natural world.
Stock library video footage of the Great Barrier Reef (not associated with the Atlantic Productions series) can be downloaded free of charge from Tourism Australia’s video gallery.