‘Fantastic Fungi’

Fantastic Fungi

Award-winning filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg’s sight and sound spectacular ‘fantastic fungi’ narrated by academy award-winner Brie Larson released on demand in the UK this November.

The stunning documentary explores the power, beauty, complexity and importance of the often-overlooked fungi kingdom, offering solutions to some of the most pressing medical and environmental challenges we face.

Hot on the heels of its highly successful US release with a 100% fresh runaway hit on Rotten Tomatoes, Fantastic Fungi is an immersive experience that will inspire a shift in consciousness and a renewed love of nature.

Fantastic Fungi takes us on an immersive journey into the magical earth beneath our feet: an underground network with the potential to heal and save our planet.  Through the eyes of renowned scientists and mycologists like Paul Stamets, best-selling authors Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone, Andrew Weil and others, we become aware of the beauty, intelligence and solutions the fungi kingdom offer us in response to some of our most pressing medical, therapeutic, and environmental challenges. 

When so many are struggling for connection, inspiration and hope, Fantastic Fungi brings us together as interconnected creators of our world.

“I am thrilled to release Fantastic Fungi in the UK, a land full of fertile soil and passionate gardeners. Hopefully, my film will inspire the audience to learn about Fungi and the magic that lies beneath their feet. I love to make films that celebrate Life and take audiences on journeys through time and scale, making the invisible visible, showing how life is interconnected by the largest organism on the planet, that can heal us, feed us and shift our consciousness,” stated Schwartzberg, adding: “Beauty is nature’s tool for survival, because we protect what we love.” 

Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director and producer who has spent his illustrious career providing breathtaking imagery using his time-lapse, high-speed, and macro cinematography techniques over four decades. He is a visual artist breaking barriers, connecting with audiences, and telling stories that celebrate life and his works reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature, people and places.

‘Fantastic Fungi’

Directors statement.

People ask me “why would you make a film on mushrooms?” I did not make a film on mushrooms; I made a film about mushrooms.

40 years ago, I pioneered time lapse in 35 mm and began taking viewers on journeys through time and scale. Flowers seduced me with their sensual dances of movement and colour. I have been filming them non-stop, compressing 40 years into 16 hours of film.

When I heard that the bees were disappearing, I made Meryl Streep, a love story that feeds the earth that we can’t let unravel.

If plants are critical for our survival, giving us healthy food, medicine, and shelter, what do plants need? Soil. And, where does soil come from? Fungi, a kingdom of life that connects us all. Fungi can clean the environment, heal our bodies, and shift our consciousness. Yet the biggest discovery for me, beyond the science and challenge of making the invisible visible, is that they are the model for how Life can flourish, a shared economy under the ground, an intercellular network that share nutrients for ecosystems to thrive. This modality needs to be brought from below to above the ground. Together we’re embarking on this journey of creating immersive conscious events and screenings to network communities and share this hopeful vision for a sustainable way of Life.

Leratiomyces fungus

The film is released in tandem with a book published by Earth Aware Editions: FANTASTIC FUNGI: How Mushrooms Can Heal, Shift Consciousness, and Save the Planet. Edited by Paul Stamets, and containing an afterword by Louie Schwartzberg, the book contains written contributions from many of the luminaries from in the film. 

Fantastic Fungi is in UK Cinemas from 6th November and available on Apple TV, Amazon and Google Play from 9th November https://fantasticfungi.com/

Poppy Watt

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