Julia Roberts' nature plea to Hong Kong in conservation video

Hollywood star and Chinese actress play Mother Nature in global charity's video campaign, coinciding with annual Hong Kong Ocean in Motion Film Festival, part of global Ocean Appreciation Month

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 April, 2015, 4:07pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 April, 2015, 4:26pm

A global environmental charity is using a video campaign featuring Hollywood stars to spread its message in Hong Kong. The campaign reached China earlier this month, with Chinese film stars recruited to spread the message.

Nature Is Speaking, by Conservation International, which this week opened an office in Hong Kong, was created by Lee Clow, the mind behind Apple’s Think Different campaign and first aired in the United States in October 2014. The campaign features short films voiced by Hollywood heavyweights including Harrison Ford, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Edward Norton, Penelope Cruz, and Robert Redford, who play various “characters” in nature.

Watch Julia Roberts as Mother Nature

Nature Is Speaking – Courtesy of Conservation International Foundation

“It is really simple: We need water. We need food. We need minerals. We need energy. But we need to eliminate the damage when getting these things. We need to ensure the seven billion here today leave the planet healthy so that the nine billion who will be here tomorrow can prosper,” said Peter Seligmann,  founder and chief executive of Conservation International (CI).

For its Chinese campaign, the charity recruited Chinese actors including Jiang Wenli, Jiang Wen, Chen Jianbin, Ge You, Zhou Xun, Pu Cunxin and Tang Wei. 

Jiang Wenli, who voices Mother Nature, said: “We all want a healthy and prosperous world. Let’s care for and value nature, for the long-term benefit of people and all life on earth.”

Seligmann said: “When we launched the video series in China we had six million views on [Chinese microblogging website] Weibo in an hour so it is something that resonates with people, in particular those living in cities where pollution and environmental degradation are major issues.”

CI, established in 1987, works in more than 30 countries to ensure a healthy planet. It launched its first programme in China in 2002 focusing on biodiversity conservation, freshwater conservation, adapting to climate change and protecting marine ecosystems.

Film festival

The fourth annual Hong Kong Ocean in Motion Film Festival begins this week as part of Ocean Appreciation Month.

Organised by charity Ocean Recovery Alliance, the event will be held over five nights from April 15-19.

Local and international filmmakers will screen stories of people, nature, adventure, humour and love, with the cinematic experience heightened further this year by Ocean Appreciation Month’s collaboration with Ocean Film Festival Australia. Each night’s screening has between five and 10 films, covering adventure, sports, culture, ecosystems, pollution, and fishing.

Screenings will be held at the Hong Kong Maritime Museum in Central, The Vine in Wan Chai, the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Causeway Bay, and Shek O. Tickets are available from Ticketflap

Click here for more information about the festival and the Ocean Recovery Alliance.