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Discover Riches and Ruin in Amazonia as Jaunt Releases Under the Canopy

At last month’s Sundance Film Festival Jaunt and Conservation International screened Under the Canopy, a 360-degree film highlighting the plight of deforestation in the Amazon. Now the virtual reality (VR) company has launched the experience for everyone to watch.

Directed by Patrick Meegan, Jaunt’s creative director, Under the Canopy was shot using the Jaunt ONE camera and narrated by indigenous guide Kamanja Panashekung and actor Lee Pace. The film takes viewers on a journey into the largest rainforest in the world, which because of rampant deforestation each year loses an area more than 1.5 times greater than the size of Yellowstone National Park.

Under The Canopy - Sloth

As Panashekung guides you through the forest he shows you how the forest supplies food, income and more, while he and his community draw on their collective knowledge in protecting its trees, waters and wildlife.

“Kamanja’s community is one of over 350 indigenous communities throughout Amazonia that depend on the rainforest, as we all do — for the air we breathe and the water we drink,” said Dr. M. Sanjayan, Conservation International executive vice president and senior scientist. “‘Under the Canopy’ gives those who may never visit the Amazon rainforest an opportunity to repel down a 200-foot tree, see its wildlife up close, and understand what is at risk. Sustaining the Amazon is not an option, it is a necessity.”

“In approaching this project we wanted to not only illustrate the importance of conserving the rainforest in relation to climate change, but to create a thrilling experience for audiences far and wide,” said Meegan, creative director at Jaunt. “To do this, we married the experience of veteran nature filmmakers with up-and-coming technologists to develop new techniques and achieve VR shots — such as the vertical moves from canopy to forest floor — that are the first of their kind. We also took the Jaunt ONE camera to new heights — achieving impressive VR encounters with tropical birds, butterflies, sloths and more.”

Under the Canopy can be viewed below or in fully immersive VR via the Jaunt VR app available on iOS, Android, Gear VR, PlayStation VR, Google Daydream, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.

For all the latest Jaunt news, keep reading VRFocus.