Army Captain releases film featuring Guyana’s rich biodiversity

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A one-hour long documentary film entitled ‘Sounds and Colours of the Rainforest’ captures unmatched footage of Guyana’s rich biodiversity.

The film, which is produced by renowned Guyana Defence Force (GDF) helicopter pilot, Mike Charles, took eight years to document and cost over $25 million. It features the most unique and rare species found in Guyana’s deep rainforest and savannahs.

Charles said it will be sold at a cheap cost due to the lack of copyright laws here.

“We have a copyright problem because this is going to be sold out on the streets for G$50 and we spent almost $25 million on this thing. Guyana is the only country within this region with outdated copyright legislation, so we need to change it and we need to change it now,” Charles told the News Room on Thursday at the launch of the film at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Greater Georgetown.

Flamingoes captured along a lagoon along the coastal lands of Guyana

According to Charles, it is pertinent that the government address this issue so producers and artistes can have better financial benefits from their work. He further stated that highly skilled persons in the arts and entertainment sector will always leave where there is protection for their work.

The Guyana Trade Mark and the Patents and Design Acts dates back to 1973, while the Copyright Act dates back to 1956. These laws offer little to none protection to local artistes and as such, Charles is calling on the authorities to have the laws updated.

An emerald tree boa captured in the film

Meanwhile, Charles who is a helicopter pilot for over 37 years, said the profession allows him to experience first-hand the beauty of Guyana and because of its sheer magnificence he felt it best to share the experience with the world. So Charles began producing videos and also got involved in photography.

“The videos which I have produced over the years have gone international. They can be found in Asia, Africa, North America, Europe, South America and Australia,” a proud Charles said.

A scarlet macaw is caught munching on a piece of fruit

Sounds and Colours of the Rainforest is the fourth film produced by Charles. He expressed sincere gratitude to his team and said they have much more to offer. He said it takes great financial and personal sacrifice to produce these films but sadly the returns on the intellectual property have been negligible.

“It was a very special team…a small team of people who are highly skilled at swimming, driving the boat, cooking staying out for long periods…good photographers and we have much much more to give,” Charles said.

According to Charles, the film would not have been possible without the support of President Irfaan Ali.

The film, which is being described as a creative masterpiece, takes you on a journey where birds, mammals and reptiles are captured in their natural habitat.

A tiger catfish

Charles explained that his wife does the research, as the film also touches on the various species and whether they are harmful or not so “we double check, triple check before we put it out because you can’t afford to put something that is incorrect with that amount of stuff we are doing and producing it to the world.”

In October 2011, Charles was awarded the Medal of Service for his contribution to aviation, photography, and videography in Guyana.

Persons can visit aerialguyana.com to either stream or download a copy of the film.

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