Mill to be star of TV documentary

Macclesfield Express - - BARNABY FESTIVAL - STU­ART GREER

MAC­CLES­FIELD’S Par­adise Mill is to star in an up­com­ing documentary.

Film­ing for a short 3D film called ‘Bates of the Ama­zon’ has been tak­ing place at the mill, which is famed for its jacquard looms, over the past two days.

The documentary will tell the tale of the re­mark­able life of Henry Bates who fol­lowed his dream to the per­ilous Ama­zon in the 1850s.

There he dis­cov­ered thou­sands of new species and helped prove Charles Dar­win’s then con­tro­ver­sial ex­pla­na­tion for the devel­op­ment of life on earth. The 45-minute film is be­ing made by Canad­abased SKK Films for IMAX the­atres and mu­se­ums.

Film crews will also be film­ing at Quarry Bank Mill in Styal be­fore head­ing to Brazil for the fi­nal leg of its shoot­ing sched­ule.

Joe Kotroczo, pro­duc­tion man­ager, said: “We needed the back­drop of an 1850s mill and Par­adise Mill is per­fect for it. There’s aren’t many place like this still around.

“It’s a stun­ning building in­side and out. The peo­ple of Mac­cles­field have been very wel­com­ing and we’ve loved work­ing here.”

The film is di­rected by Mike Slee, who spe­cialises in 3D films and won ac­co­lades for ‘Flight of the But­ter­flies’, which traces the epic mys­te­ri­ous jour­ney of the monarch but­ter­flies.

Joe added: “The but­ter­fly theme con­tin­ues in Bates of the Ama­zon where the in­sects dis­cov­ered by Henry Bates are the real stars of the show.”

Bates was pulled out of school in Le­ices­ter at 13 to be­come an ap­pren­tice at a hosiery fac­tory.

But with a love of na­ture and learn­ing he set sail on the ad­ven­ture of a life­time to the Ama­zon rain­for­est where he stayed for 11 years to make sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to evo­lu­tion­ary sci­ence.

De­spite yel­low fever, treach­er­ous land­slides, rob­bery, star­va­tion, en­coun­ters with jaguars, army ants, poi­sonous snakes and in­sects, Bates dis­cov­ered the mind­bog­gling world of an­i­mal mimicry and cam­ou­flage. He re­turned to Eng­land, to lend, what his friend Charles Dar­win called “the beau­ti­ful proof” to claims about nat­u­ral se­lec­tion made in the con­tro­ver­sial book “On the Ori­gin of Species...”.

Par­adise Mill has fea­tured in a num­ber of doc­u­men­taries in re­cent years in­clud­ing ‘Cal­cu­lat­ing Ada: Count­ess of Com­put­ing’ and Nat­u­ral Cu­riosi­ties, which was pre­sented by leg­endary broad­caster Sir David At­ten­bor­ough.

●● Film­ing has been tak­ing place at Par­adise Mill

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