Get really, really up close to mushrooms in FUNGI: WEB OF LIFE
Opening exclusively in the UK at BFI IMAX on Friday 9 February 2024
Immersive experience, opening exclusively in the UK on the biggest screen, BFI IMAX, on 9 February 2024. In this 40-minute documentary, British biologist and writer Merlin Sheldrake and the iconic Icelandic musical artist Björk discover the mysterious, secret world of fungi that connects all life on earth. Taking audiences on a mesmerising round-the world journey, the film highlights both the fragility and enormous ingenuity and resilience of the living world and the opportunities they offer to humanity – if we are able to conserve and protect them.
When we think of fungi, we probably think of mushrooms, but mushrooms are only fruiting bodies, analogous to apples on a tree. Not only do fungi shape the weather and support life on land, they are at the cutting edge of medical research and even have the power to break down plastic waste. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse group of organisms that support and sustain the living world. This film is about the ways that fungi have shaped life on earth for over a billion years, and how we might collaborate with them to adapt to the radical changes and challenges of our times.
Presenter Merlin Sheldrake is an acclaimed biologist and the author of Entangled Life – How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures (one of Time Magazine’s 100 Must Read Books of 2020).
Björk, whose music frequently explores the relationship between nature and technology, and who refers to her latest album ‘Fossora’ as her ‘mushroom album’, narrates the film.
Together they explore the hidden world of fungi against the backdrop of Tasmania’s ancient Tarkine rainforest, largely unchanged from the time of the dinosaurs, and the mystical wilds of China’s Yunnan Province. They begin in the depths of the forest floor, where fungi are the central players in nature’s story of birth, death and rebirth, to discover that life, as we know it, could not exist without them. Björk and Merlin show us some the grandest and strangest organisms ever discovered – in jaw- dropping time-lapse cinematography and with dazzling images of fungi under the microscope. Fungi have important lessons to teach humanity and may hold the key to solving some of our most urgent problems. With millions more species to discover, our exploration of the fungal world has only just begun.
FUNGI: WEB OF LIFE combines time-lapse and microscopic photography with IMAX 3D technology to create an experience as entertaining as it is informative. The result is a film that both calls for urgent action for our planet and provides us with hope for the future.
FUNGI: WEB OF LIFE is A Stranger Than Fiction Production presented by Screen Australia in association with