Ten years in the making, this full-length feature documentary is an experiential film for our times.
It is a story of Dreaming and interwoven Dreams… taking us on a deep global journey into a forgotten magic that connects us all.
The wisdom of Indigenous Elders from around the world permeate the film, offering up the all too familiar warnings of where humanity seems to be going… but it also reflects back to us that we collectively can also come back from the edge of extinction… it is not too late. People around the world are waking up. For the first time on film Aboriginal Whale Calling ceremonies are being shared.
Written & Directed: Kim Kindersley
Produced: Kim Kindersley, Julian Lennon
Narrator: Jack Thompson
Guest Appearences: Jack Thompson, John Hurt, Julian Lennon, Pierce Brosnan, Geoffrey Rush
Program Formats: 3 TV Episodes @26min Commercial 60min Film Full-Length 90min Feature
'You may say I'm a dreamer,' sang John Lennon as he imagined a world with no religion, no countries etc.
Son Julian has been a bit more proactive and made an Al Gore-style documentary he hopes will galvanise the public into action. The Gathering: Return of the Whale Dreamers, which won top film at the Monaco Film Festival, is an anti-whaling tale inspired by an Australian tribe which was controversially declared extinct in 1956 by the government. Its homeland was then used for nuclear testing.
'The tribe's story really got to me,' Lennon told Pendennis. It is, apparently, 'a metaphor for wasted natural resources and a plea for mankind to avoid total extinction'. Lennon is putting his money where his mouth is. From the specially recorded soundtrack version of his song 'Saltwater', '100 per cent of the proceeds will go to the benefit of Greenpeace'.
The film, which took 10 years and £300,000 of Lennon's money to make, includes cameo appearances from the likes of Pierce Brosnan and John Hurt. 'We have got to make a quantum leap in humanity,' says Lennon.
Aussie whale tale welcomed in Cannes 27th May 2007, 7:15 WST
A film produced by Julian Lennon, shot in Byron Bay and on the Great Australian Bight among other locales, has met with a friendly reception following a late screening in the Cannes Festival Market Place.
Whaledreamers, which is described as an eco-feature, shows the unique relationship between whales and indigenous Aboriginal tribes.
The film follows the quest of British writer/director and co-producer Kim Kindersley, who documented his own relationship with Australian Aboriginal tribes living on Australia's southern coastline near the Nullarbor Plain.
Lennon and Kindersley also gathered together a group of tribal elders from all over the world, including a New Zealand Maori chief, on a cliff top near Byron Bay where they called upon the whales to surface and communicate - a tradition that is said to date back centuries.
"When we started the film, no one anticipated the current surge of interest in climate change, nor the renewed threat to our whales from attempts to re-introduce commercial whaling," said executive producer Wayne Young of Youngheart Productions in Byron Bay.
Pierce Brosnan, John Hurt, Jack Thompson, Geoffrey Rush and John Boorman all make brief guest appearances in the film.
The documentary won Best Film at Byron Bay Film Festival as well as two awards at the Monaco Film Festival in 2006 - the Independent Spirit Award and the top prize for Best Film.
"Financing came from Lennon personally and various concerned private investors with big hearts," said Kindersley.
Lennon has declared himself devoted to ecological concerns, which he will explore via other documentary projects.
His upcoming video, called Saltwater, is a spin-off of Whaledreamers, and feature footage of battles with whalers and other environmental issues.
Greenpeace has adopted Lennon's song, Saltwater, as its theme.
It could be released as a single, with the profits going to the environmental organisation.
Following the screening, held in a well-filled small cinema inside the Palais des Festivals, a crew member from Byron Bay added to the ambience and theme by playing his didgeridoo.
The production team, including Lennon and Kindersley, then attended a private party held for them on the beach by Hollywood Today.