British actors Bill Nighy and Gemma Arterton will appear in a captivating new short film this summer which highlights the work of leading conservation charity WWF. Written by the critically acclaimed writer-director Stephen Poliakoff and directed by BAFTA award winner Charles Sturridge, the 5-minute movie ‘Astonish Me’ introduces some of the world’s lesser known or recently discovered species. The film uses both real images and special effects to portray wildlife as diverse as massive insects and colossal squid, a fish with a transparent head and a rainbow of birds and frogs.
Colin Butfield, Head of Campaigns for WWF-UK and Executive Producer of ‘Astonish Me', said that the film:
“shows that the natural world is every bit as magical and surprising as the fictional world you might see in a Hollywood film. We know about less than a tenth of the species that we suspect are out there and I really hope this film inspires a new generation of conservationists to be curious about the natural world and to want to protect it.”
WWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservationist organisations, with a global network that is active in more than 100 countries. They work to tackle the most serious environmental issues facing our planet and focus on safeguarding the natural world, so that both people and nature can thrive. 2011 is WWF’s 50th anniversary year, and ‘Astonish Me’ is a great way to both celebrate the successes of WWF so far and also get people excited by the splendid variety of nature so that they are interested in tackling the challenges of the future. Although approximately 15,000 new species are discovered every year, we are also losing species and habitat at an alarming rate, and many of the new species that scientists discover are already on the verge of extinction.
‘Astonish Me’ will be screened in Odeon cinemas across the country from the 29 July 2011, and to celebrate the film and WWF’s 50th anniversary, WWF is offering a family of four the chance to win a conservation experience at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, one of the world's most prestigious research centres for deep-sea exploration in California. To enter the competition please visit Wwf.org.uk/astonishmecompetition