SOURCE: Sense of Wonder Productions LLC

September 09, 2008 14:34 ET

"A Sense of Wonder" World Premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival

A Documentary-Style Film Reflecting the Life of Rachel Carson, Pioneer of the North American Environmental Movement and Author of "Silent Spring"; World Premiere Tuesday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m. PT

VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwire - September 9, 2008) -

-- Shot by Two-Time Academy Award®-Winning Cinematographer Haskell Wexler, Directed by Christopher Monger and Produced by Karen Montgomery

-- Based on the Play of the Same Name, Written by and Starring Broadway Luminary Kaiulani Lee

Sense of Wonder Productions LLC presents the world premiere of "A Sense of Wonder" at the Vancouver International Film Festival. The documentary-style film is an intimate portrait of celebrated environmentalist Rachel Carson, and her last year of life. The film premieres Tuesday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m. PT as part of The Ark: Elements and Animals series, focusing on the fate of our water and reflecting on our historical co-existence with animals.

Carson became America's most celebrated and controversial activist for the natural world after publishing her bestselling book "Silent Spring" in 1962. The critical backlash thrust her into the centre of a political frenzy. Originally a play by the same name, "A Sense of Wonder" was written by and stars Drama Desk Award nominee Kaiulani Lee ("Kennedy's Children"). Using many of Carson's own words, Lee depicts the determined and very private Carson in the last year of her life. While struggling with cancer, she focuses her final energy on getting her message to congress and the American people.

"I am thrilled to be bringing 'A Sense of Wonder' to such a highly acclaimed festival," said Kaiulani Lee, creator and star. "This film is a deeply personal and intimate portrait of the environmental pioneer, Rachel Carson. By showing this film at the Vancouver Film Festival, we are presenting it to a new audience who we hope can find inspiration from her story and carry on her battle to protect the natural world around us."

Rachel Carson has been called the "patron saint" of the modern environmental movement. The Atlantic has listed her as one of the 40 most influential figures in American history.

With both humor and anger, Carson recounts the attacks by the chemical industry, the government and the press regarding the risks of chemical pesticides.

"Rachel Carson lives in this film. Her words are contemporary and have a relevant urgency for all of us today," said two-time Academy Award®-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler. "Kaiulani becomes Rachel Carson. The film is not merely a history of facts; it has the emotional weight of a living story."

The 54-minute film unfolds in two acts. Act one takes place at Rachel Carson's cottage in Maine. Battling cancer and preparing to return to her public life, Carson fears it may be her last visit to her beloved coastal home. Act two fast-forwards two months to the critical maelstrom surrounding the release of Carson's book "Silent Spring."

"I'd like people to be moved and angry after watching this film," said Christopher Monger, the film's director. "Angry because after almost 50 years the powers that be still refuse to listen to Rachel Carson's warnings about the environment. And I want them to be moved enough to take action to promote change."

The film was shot in HD by Wexler ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest") at Carson's cottage on the coast of Maine; directed by Christopher Monger ("The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down A Mountain") and produced by Karen Montgomery ("Special Thanks to Roy London"). "A Sense of Wonder" will be released in the United States in early 2009.

For images and more information on the film please visit

The Vancouver International Film Festival is one of the largest festivals of its kind in North America. A fall fixture on the film festival circuit, VIFF hosts more than 150,000 people and approximately 575 screenings of 350 films from more than 60 countries. The festival runs from September 25 - October 10, 2008 at various venues in the city. For more information about the festival and film schedules please visit

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