EXCLUSIVE: With the West Coast still threatened daily by raging wildfires, an Oscar -contending documentary is planning to try to help the cause.
National Geographic Documentary Films announced today the commercial-free broadcast premiere of Rebuilding Paradise, from director Ron Howard and Imagine Documentaries, on National Geographic Sunday, Nov. 8 at 9/8c, the second anniversary of the Camp Fire in Paradise, California. Additionally, the banner has committed a portion of all sales and rentals of the documentary during the month of October, Fire Prevention Month, to wildfire recovery efforts in Paradise and the surrounding areas.
National Geographic Documentary Films has initiated an effort to donate one dollar of each sale or rental of the film (now available via Apple TV app, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, Comcast and others) for the entire month of October for the Wildfire Relief Fund in support of the Butte Strong Fund (up to $50,000). Previously NatGeo donated an additional $25,000 to that org in honor of the film’s theatrical release in July. They are also launching an educational campaign ,providing the film to classrooms through a virtual screening event tomorrow.
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“We at Imagine Documentaries are thankful to our partners at National Geographic Documentary films for the continued effort to share this very important and timely film with a wider audience,” said director Ron Howard. “There is no doubt that climate change is a contributing factor to the historic fires burning even now on the west coast, devastating entire communities. This should be a wake-up call – Paradise could be any of us.”
“We are proud to continue to share the timely and urgent story of Paradise with viewers around the world,” said Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president, Global Scripted Content and Documentary Films at National Geographic. “We hope this film and our impact efforts can bring much-needed attention and aid to the resilient community of Paradise and surrounding areas as they rebuild, especially now, in the face of additional threats from wildfire disasters.”
On the morning of Nov. 8, 2018, a devastating firestorm engulfed the picturesque city of Paradise, California. By the time the Camp Fire was extinguished, it had killed 85 people, displaced 50,000 residents and destroyed 95% of local structures. It was the deadliest U.S. fire in 100 years — and the worst ever in California’s history. Howard’s film focuses on the resilience in the face of tragedy as a community ravaged by disaster comes together to recover what was lost and begins the important task of reimagining and reembracing their future.
It is an ongoing fight for that community and isn’t over yet. In fact last month as new devastating wildfires broke out in Northern California, Oregon , and Washington, the town of Paradise found itself too close for comfort, and in fact on one day in September Paradise residents were even ordered to evacuate (though that was lifted the next day). Woody Culleton, one of the film’s main subjects is all too aware of the continuing dangers that make rebuilding Paradise a daunting task.
“As a survivor of the Camp Fire in Paradise CA, I know how it feels to lose my home and everything I worked for, escaping the flames with only the clothes on my back,” he said. “Now, we are reminded of that day as massive wildfires again threaten our town and trigger the terror. I hope those who watch Rebuilding Paradise can take from our experience and see that no matter how devastating the disaster, we can recover.”
Watch an exclusive clip from the film here.