Opportunity for young people to save orangutans in Borneo and star in 3D film

A youth-led reforestation project is searching for 10 ‘action agents’ to spend five months in Borneo helping create an orangutan sanctuary, and to star in 3D film about the project

Online youth community, TakingITGlobal, are looking for ten outstanding young leaders (aged 18-35) to spend five months in Sintang, Borneo taking part in a project restoring forest, conserving animal habitat and helping provide income and good quality water for local people.

The initiative, called DeforestAction, is a global collaborative project to halt the destruction of important rainforests and create a permanent home for orangutans. Supported by by TakingITGlobal and Microsoft Partners in Learning, the DeforestAction co-ordinators have teamed up with acclaimed conservationist Dr. Willie Smits and Orangutan Outreach, to deliver the project, which is being driven by youth from schools, homes and communities across the world.

Commencing on 1 July 2011, the ten selected project leaders will be welcomed by the local villagers and paired with young people from the community. The tasks will include: installing a solar electricity supply; taking part in orangutan rescues, care and rehabilitation; setting up satellite monitoring systems to protect existing forests; creating tree nurseries; mapping where to establish forest restoration projects; assisting the young people of Sintang who are making documentaries about local environmental issues; and providing online updates through the DeforestAction campaign, for millions of students across the globe who are responsible for driving, developing and owning the project.

Award-winning production company Virgo Productions is developing a 3D feature documentary about the project in collaboration with National Geographic Entertainment. Cathy Henkel, (The Burning Season, The Man who Stole my Mother’s Face) will produce and direct Project Borneo 3D: An Action Movie, to be shot by acclaimed cinematographer Don McAlpine (Moulin Rouge, Romeo & Juliet, Wolverine) and Paul Nichola (Cane Toads: The Conquest 3D).

One hopeful applicant, Tom Smith, says: “This is such an amazing opportunity to be part of something incredibly important. With only 7% of the Bornean orangutans and 55% of the Bornean rainforests left, this is crunch time. We have to protect the environment for the sake of future generations, and a 3D documentary is a great way of increasing awareness.”

Applicants are asked to submit a video explaining what deforestation means to them, why they want to save forests and orangutans, how they have been passionate about protecting the planet and why they should be in a film and TV series. Applications are open until 10 April.