The crew of Loggerheads: The Lost Years spent weeks filming at sea off South America as the turtles migrated. Photo: SUBMITTED
The crew of Loggerheads: The Lost Years spent weeks filming at sea off South America as the turtles migrated. Photo: SUBMITTED

A vision of turtles

A FILM starring Bundaberg’s most camera-shy residents is about to hit screens all over the world.

Work has finished on the $1.2 million documentary Loggerheads: The Lost Years, and executive producer Larry Zetlin said the turtles really came out of their shells during filming – metaphorically at least.

“We managed to get sequences of turtles feeding underwater, that even (turtle expert) Col Limpus had never seen in his 40 years watching them,” Mr Zetlin said.

“We had divers down there who were reed-breathing so there were no bubbles, and the turtles totally accepted them.”

He said the 52-minute documentary was competing in a number of international film awards.

“It has been entered into the International Wildlife Film Festival in Montreal, and the Ecovision Festival 2010, which is held in Italy,” Mr Zetlin said.

“It’s a wonderful film.”

The crew followed the turtles all over the world to get their footage, trailing them on the slow voyage from Mon Repos to the Gold Coast, all the way to Chile and Peru.

It shows the life stages of a female Loggerhead from the egg being laid, to travelling halfway around the world to South America and back again as she returns to Mon Repos to lay her own eggs – on the very beach where she was born.

The footage took more than 12 months to shoot, and includes dramatic scenes of turtle eggs being rescued from the rookeries at Mon Repos as Cyclone Hamish bore down on the region last March.

Mr Zetlin said the finished work was the result of a 20-year dream.

“So many people were instrumental in helping make it a reality, not least Col Limpus,” Mr Zetlin said.

“We hope to have a premiere for it in the next couple of months — either at Mon Repos, or at Bundaberg, to say thank you to everyone who was involved.”

The documentary was produced for ABC and National Geographic TV, with help from Screen Australia.

It is expected to be aired in Australia and America early this year.



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