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Jersey College for Girls Conservation Group raise £606 at Blackfish screening

13th December 2013

Following their trip to South Africa in July 2013, 3 Year 13 students have founded the Jersey College for Girls Conservation Group (JCGCG).

The group aims to raise awareness of important conservation issues, encourage other students to take action to help protect animals in the wild and also to raise money to support conservation initiatives both at home in Jersey and across the world. Last term the group focused on the issues surrounding keeping marine mammals, such as whales and dolphins, in captivity.

As part of their work the group hosted a pop-up cinema event on Friday 13 December where they screened the feature-length documentary ‘Blackfish’. This was the first public showing of this film in Jersey. There were three screenings scheduled in total; one at lunchtime for JCG students only and two further screenings at 5.00pm and 7.00pm which was open to students from all schools, parents and members of the general public.

‘Blackfish’ was released in cinemas in the  UK in July and has recently been shown on CNN in America. Since its release it has attracted wide-spread media attention, resulted in much interest on social media sites (including tweets from celebrities such as Leona Lewis, Stephen Fry and Ewan McGregor) and been nominated for several awards including the Grand Jury Prize for best documentary at this year’s Sundance Film Festival which influenced the group when choosing a suitable fundraiser.

Described as a ‘mesmerising psychological thriller with a killer whale at its centre, ‘Blackfish’ tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale who has killed several people while in captivity. Director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the species’ extraordinary nature and its cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers working with these animals and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry. The film’s trailer can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_C7Le65dCuU and you can find out more by visiting the film’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/BlackfishTheMovie or following their Twitter feed https://twitter.com/BlackfishMovie.

Tickets for the JCGCG screening of this important film were priced at £3.00 for adults and £2.00 for concessions and various members of conservation group helped in selling refreshments on the night. With the profits made from the event and the sale of T-shirts bought by conservation group members the group made an overall profit of £606 all of which will be donated to the charity whale and dolphin conservation. You can find out more about this charity at www.whales.org.

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