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$11,514 pledged of $30,000 goal
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$11,514 pledged of $30,000 goal
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About this project

Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night celebrates the love of fireflies in Japan, the US and ultimately the globe. Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night will be an amazing, and the first, wildlife documentary to feature the Genjii Hotaru of Japan. It showcases the photography of Rei Ohara and captures the artist at work in the rivers of Miyazaki Prefecture in an exclusive presentation. Fireflies are notoriously difficult to capture well on film, though our combined Japanese and American crews have already achieved this! Now we need your support to bring this footage to film festivals in its final format, telling the story of the love of night through fireflies!

A TEASER! 

OUR GOAL

We need to bring our vision of fireflies and the night to completion, so that the amazing footage of Hotaru can be shared within a proper narrative setting. Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the NIght shows audiences how amazing a natural night can be, and how important wildlife is in Japan. Our goal complete production upon a short but beautiful documentary film, the first of its kind, on the love and conservation of fireflies!

WHAT WE CAN DO WITH YOUR CONTRIBUTION

When we reach our goal of $30,000, we will bring the short documentary film to completion. The completed footage requires editing, as well as proper narration, careful story-telling and audio fine-tuning. Your donation will transform the existing and stunning visions of fireflies into a beautiful and effective documentary for wildlife conservation.

When we exceed our goal, we will then travel to Sumatra and Paupa New Guinea in November/December  2013 to begin production of a sequel. The Zoological Lighting Institute and its four campaigns have an existing social media network of nearly 500,000 people, and so this goal seems easily within reach. It all begins though, with your contribution and support. 

MORE ABOUT THE FILM: 

Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night
A Photo-Diversity Series Documentary 

Celebrating Fireflies and Nocturnal Habitats
Presented and Produced by The Zoological Lighting Institute
Directed by Emily V. Driscoll, BonSci Films  

Fireflies calling, the night smiles. 

Night. Not simply the gathering of twinkling lights in constellations above, but the gentle, softly illuminated habitats of our lives, an intimate peace beyond the fears of day. Peoples the world over celebrate firefly nights, with a quiet beauty to quench the solar thirst and stress of the burning day. 

Rather like a true love or calling ghosts of the past, Hotaru reward the attentive with respite, respect given for respect shown. Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night celebrates respect of fireflies and the nocturnal environments they depend upon. The film features artistic and scientific explorations, calling attention to the loss of night due to artificial night lighting. This film showcases the beauty and wonder of natural light.

Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night is a unique cross-cultural effort bringing together wildlife cinematographers in Japan and the US together, offering a model of partnership for future Photo-diversity films. These explore cultural relationships to wildlife and the night; relationships that are all too often lost through contemporary development. Artificial night lighting destroys and degrades nocturnal habitat, and with it, goes the firefly.

Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night begins and ends in Takachiho at the Amanoiwato-jinja Shinto shrine, set within Ama-no-Iwato cave, storied birthplace of Japan and well spring of the little hotaru; genjii firefly borne in waterfed moss and nurtured to adulthood by the river’s bounty. 

The film embraces the story of Rei Ohara, a former conflict photographer who discovered solace and beauty in the little rivers and gentle nights of Kyushu. For 16 years he has traveled in solitude and in darkness to capture the magical insects that inspired his art, experiencing the brilliant gifts of the genjii firefly as never before in photography. Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night enshrines Rei Ohara’s experience through the stunning cinematography of Sakuma Fumio, offering a nocturnal experience to viewers that has become far too rare in modern society.

The film goes to great length to explain why Rei Ohara's work is so important at multiple levels. We interview the world's leading firefly scientists and nocturnal habitat advocates around the world to do so. Assuming leadership to combat luminous degradation, Dr. Nobuaki Ochi of Toyo University, the International Dark Sky Association and The Zoological Lighting Institute, teaches the importance of the night for science, culture and the environment in Japan and the world. Firefly researchers subsequently highlight the importance of Dr. Ochi’s work. To better understand and care for the cherished firefly, Dr. Nobuyoshi Ohba built the Ohba Firefly Institute and Biotope in Yokosuka City. Dr. Among a rich 40-year commitment to research, Dr. Ohba explores technical lighting solutions to minimize the effect of development on firefly populations. In America at the University of Florida’s pre-eminent Entomology Department, Dr. James Lloyd and Dr. Marc Branham investigate the loss of diversity in firefly populations, hypothesizing the disruption of luminous communication necessary for breeding. Bringing meticulous care in research to a familiar setting, they examine the potential effects of porch lights on fireflies. Their research demonstrates that even minimal artificial lighting can have a drastic impact on the subtle interplay of life at night. Dr. Zach Lehmann of the Audubon Nature Institute’s Insectarium in New Orleans likewise relates the importance of all insect life, including fireflies, the the environment we all depend upon. 

Fireflies create peaceable nights, leaving anxieties behind for a time free of the stress and pressures of contemporary life. Whether in art, science or thoughtful moments of the everyday, people the world over express their appreciation of the firefly. The presentation of Rei Ohara at work therefore opens new avenues for the importance of art globally!

Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night is a film produced to celebrate the celebrations and encourage conservation of the nocturnal habitats life depends upon. Share with us the vision and experiences of Rei Ohara, the passion of local communities and the care of scientists as we explore the nocturnal world of fireflies together.

Initiated by the Lights Out in Fashion™ Campaign of 501 c3 Nonprofit The Zoological Lighting Institute, this film underscores the need for artistic work to respond to a ecologically viable and naturally-lit night. as such, a portion of your donations are tax-free! It is a multi-lingual film, presented in Japanese and English, developing crucial partnerships for animal welfare and wildlife conservation.

FIREFLIES ACROSS THE WORLD:

Wherever fireflies exist, communities celebrate them. Nowhere rivals Japan, which subsequently leads the world in firefly art, conservation and research. BRILLIANT DARKNESS: Hotaru in the Night will be completed first as a short documentary, with footage taken in Miyazaki, Yokozuka, Tokyo, New York, Gainesville and New Orleans. Envisioned as the first in a series of Photo-Diversity Films, we intend on expanding this project quickly by creating a sequel on fireflies in Sumatra, Paupa New Guinea, Malaysia and Singapore and the Americas.  

THE TEAM AND PARTNERS

The Zoological Lighting Institute turned to acclaimed and award-winning Director Emily V. Driscoll of BonSCI Films to direct BRILLIANT DARKNESS: Hotaru in the Night. As no other wildlife conservation organization actively addresses the challenges of artificial night lighting for animals, we felt that we had an obligation to make the first film on the subject as stunning as possible. Emily V. Driscoll's work speaks for itself, and we know we made a great choice!

Many prominent advocates have stepped forward to aid and participate in this film, including top figures in their respective fields: Travis Longcore (Los Angeles, CA), Ken Yeang (London, UK), Nobuaki Ochi, (Japan), Rei Ohara (Nagoya, Japan), Fumio Sakuma (Tokyo, Japan), Misa Kimura (Tokyo, Japan), Nobuyoshi Ohba (Tokyo, Japan), Bruce Robertson (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY), James Lloyd (Gainesville, FL), Marc Branham (Gainesville, FL) and Zach Lehman (New Orleans, LA). Now we need your help to bring it to completion!

Filming at Night in Kyushu, as a Typhoon Approaches...
Filming at Night in Kyushu, as a Typhoon Approaches...

Risks and challenges

This is a unique film, which borders artistic celebration and wildlife conservation themes, and so will require careful thought as to its presentation and follow-up once completed.

Our intention is to submit Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night to a variety of film festivals. This is a challenge, because the themes of the film span multiple categories. International circulation and exposure equally runs the risk of glossing over real differences in local conditions and variations in appreciation of the firefly. The challenge here demands that we continue to expand our social and professional networks to establish local participation around the world. This is one more reason why we are seeking crowd-funding, to build the network from the beginning of the project.

Just as we did for this film, we intend on partnering our Japanese and US film crews with local crews in Sumatra, Malaysia, Nepal and Thailand as the Photo-diversity films advance. Such partnerships always bring additional work to any project, but we believe that the sensitivity expressed in the final products will be worth it. Of course there are also translation issues here, which we plan to address with a multi-lingual team as we have for Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night.

Another concern arises with the showing of the film. We plan on circulating Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night through the global network of aquariums and zoos. The Zoological Lighting Institute, an AZA Conservation Partner, now sponsors the Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums (JAZA), which is important due to the cultural relationships maintained between Japan and the rest of the Pacific. We need to also become a more active part of WAZA, and also to look to other venues. Our social media network is vast and well aligned with similar groups, and so we will continue to seek partnerships here as well.

Success in this project will allow us to fund and create future work celebrating the role of nocturnal wildlife in an incredible range of cultures and nations. There are significant administrative challenges to make certain the film can be shown in different countries by different organizations, but we believe we have the expertise and network to achieve this.

The artistic quality of the team gathered here, the beauty of fireflies and commitment of The Zoological Lighting Institute to animal welfare and wildlife conservation will overcome the novelty of the endeavor and aid us in our mission to underscore the importance of good design practices for sustainability.

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    Our gratitude and mention across our vast social media network! No amount is too small! Donate any amount to www.brilliantdarknessmovie.com and we will mention you too!

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    Donate $10 and receive a signed thank you letter from the Director and Producer, as well as mention across the ZLI social network of 400,000+, and listing on our web-site at www.zoolighting.org!

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    Mention in credits of film and across social media as 'Glow Worm', plus downloadable copy of Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night!

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    Mention in credits of film and across social media as 'Moon Bug'. Also includes DVD copy of Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night for screening at home, school or wherever!

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    Public gratitude in credits of film and across social media as 'Big Dipper', special edition Zoological Lighting Institute 'Big Dipper' cap, plus signed copy of DVD!

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    Public gratitude in credits as 'Lightning Bug', plus previous benefits, with 1 hr live virtual presentation by The Zoological Lighting Institute on what you can do to create wildlife sensitive lighting in your home, school or office!
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    All previous benefits, plus gratitude in credits and social media as 'Golden Sparkler', plus Public Screening Rights for BRILLIANT DARKNESS: Hotaru in the Night. Includes in-person presentation by Executive Director James Karl Fischer PhD (minus travel expenses). Suitable for zoos, aquariums, environmental centers and schools!

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    All previous benefits, plus gratitude in credits and across social media as 'Hotaru Champion', Screening Rights with in-person presentation by ZLI Executive Director James Karl Fischer PhD on lighting and wildlife (minus travel expenses), plus one day consultation by Zoological Lighting Services™ for wildlife sensitive lighting design projects.

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    Four day guided tour of Hotaru in Kyushu Japan, including hotel but excluding airfare, to visit Hotaru, in Spring 2014. Plus Previous Benefits

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Funding period

- (30 days)