Fundraiser offers extreme-sports documentary at the Arlington

Joel Linde, Features Editor

Pioneer surfer, filmmaker and physicist Clive Neeson will be attending a fundraiser at the Arlington Theatre on Oct. 20, where his award winning film “Last Paradise” will screen.

It cost the Center for Sustainability several thousand dollars to put on the event which offers the award-winning documentary to an audience of up to 2,000 people. Accounted for in the bill is also the cost to allow Neeson himself to fly in from his home country of New Zealand for a Q-and-A session after the screening.

At the age of 15, Neeson bought his first camera. A couple years later he started filming “Last Paradise” as a result of some disturbing discoveries he made during his excursions.

“I had the notion that the world was about to change dramatically,” he said in an e-mail interview. “The places and exploits we were discovering then were quite extraordinary.”

Dr. Adam Green, director of the Center for Sustainability, is pleased to be able to present this event on the program agenda, and he’s hoping to see at least 500 people show up.

“This is the only chance to see the film,” Green said. “It will be a great opportunity.”

After his insights, Neeson decided to begin filmmaking and traveled the world from New Zealand to Australia, Bali, Mexico, Portugal and Utah, with a home-built water camera in his backpack. Today, the story has come to fruition and the crew was able to tell it in film.

“Last Paradise is filmed in a way that allows the audience to personally experience the journey,” Neeson said. “[It’s] close to the action and [people get to] appreciate… the excitement of discovery, and of course the realization of how the world has changed in 45 years.”

The film combines the best original footage of many cinematographers, and was restored to its highest quality at Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post Production.

“We insisted on the best all the way through,” said Neeson. “Including high profile scientists and modern athletes in dramatic locations.”

Green, who has already seen the movie, is convinced it will appeal to a very broad audience, and he emphasizes the importance of the long time span in which this movie was filmed.

“We’ve had this shifting baseline of what healthy is,” he said, referring to how our acceptance of the exploitation of nature is stretched with every generation. “But now it’s on film… it’s visual.”

“Last Paradise is an opportunity to personally experience the discovery of amazing places that once existed or are hard to access,” Neeson said. “It addresses the most significant global issues we face today whilst taking us on an amazing and fun ride. Whatever age you are, it will inspire and change you.”