‘Canary,’ Adventure Documentary on ‘Real Life Indiana Jones,’ Lands at Oscilloscope (EXCLUSIVE)
Danny O’Malley, a producer on “Chef’s Table,” directed the film with MIT-trained Neuroscientist Alex Rivest, PhD. It’s set to open in limited release on Sept. 15 followed by a one-night-only special nationwide screening on Sept. 20.
The subject of the film is Doctor Lonnie Thompson, who, in a press release, is referred to as an explorer “who went where no scientist had gone before and transformed our idea of what is possible.” He’s been globally recognized for his drilling an analysis of ice cores from various regions of the world in the hopes of better understanding the Earth’s climate.
The announcement goes on to describe the documentary’s mission like so: “Daring to seek Earth’s history contained in glaciers atop the tallest mountains in the world, Lonnie found himself on the frontlines of climate change—his life’s work evolving into a salvage mission to recover these priceless historical records before they disappear forever.”
“‘Canary’ is a thrilling story featuring a real-life superhero working against all odds to make a better future for everyone,” said Oscilloscope’s Dan Berger. “It’s adventurous, thrilling, and pulls at your heart strings. Devin Whetstone’s gorgeous cinematography captures Lonnie’s personal story while setting it against the epic nature of the Peruvian Andes. We’re excited to bring this to theaters so audiences can have the opportunity to witness it in all its glory, big and loud.”
The filmmakers, who were seeking to change the way that science stories are told, say they endured many challenges in making this documentary.
“When we told people we wanted to take a ‘Chef’s Table’ camera crew up an 18,000-ft mountain in the middle of nowhere, people thought we were crazy,” O’Malley said.
Rivest added, “At that elevation, we had half the oxygen that there is at sea level, shooting this film was the hardest thing we’ve done in our lives. We pushed ourselves to the limit to tell this unbelievable story, and with Oscilloscope’s support the world is about to find out why. There is nobody on earth like Lonnie Thompson.”
Along with REI Co-op Studios, “Canary” was co-produced by Act 4 Entertainment, End of The Road Films and Boardwalk Pictures. Andrew Fried, Boardwalk’s president, called the directing duo “two of the most passionate and gifted storytellers I’ve had the honor of working with.”
“‘Canary’ is an impactful, entertaining, and important film that showcases their commitment and eye toward compelling characters and essential storytelling,” Fried said. “Boardwalk is proud to have partnered on this film with them and could not be more excited to introduce Dr. Lonnie Thompson’s story to the world.”
O’Malley stressed the urgency of the film’s message in the wake of a climate crisis.
“When we say Lonnie is like a real-life superhero, it’s not hyperbole,” the director said. “Unlike the glaciers at the poles, the tropical high mountain glaciers Lonnie studies provide water to billions of people, and when they are gone, there’s going to be catastrophic consequences that will affect everyone. Lonnie is doing his work and telling his story because it can save lives. So, it’s not just a great adventure story. It has the potential to make a difference.”
Watch the “Canary” trailer below: