Ramon Thomas meets Jane Goodall at TEDGlobal in Tanzania, 2007In 2007 I was fortunate to meet Jane Goodall at the TEDGlobal Conference in Arusha, Tanzania. So seeing this premier information I immediately shared it with friends. Free fundraising premier for South Africa

By advancing our awareness of – and fighting for the preservation of chimpanzees, this remarkable woman has given humans a greater understanding – not only of primates, but of ourselves.

The Jane Goodall Institute of South Africa and Ster-Kinekor Theatres will be hosting a premiere of the uplifting documentary on Dr Jane Jane Goodall, “Jane’s Journey,” on February 8 2011 at Cinema Nouveau Rosebank.

Tickets to the premiere are free although guests will be required to make a donation of any value to The Jane Goodall Institute on entry to the premiere. Guests also have the opportunity participate in an auction of JGI rescue photo sets and memorabilia. Bookings for the premiere can be made through TicketLine on 082 16789 and are on a first come first served basis.

It was more than 20 years ago, that Dr. Jane Goodall, now 75, decided to give up her career as a primatologist, as well as her private life, in order to devote all her energy to saving our endangered planet.

Since then she’s been spending 300 days a year scouring the globe on her mission to spread hope for future generations. She has taken on the responsibilities of a UN Messenger of Peace, and has been honoured with countless awards.

In Jane’s Journey, German director Lorenz Knauer takes the audience along with her on her remarkable travels where she interacts effortlessly with both humans and primates.

With support from film stars Pierce Brosnan and Angelina Jolie (who has always been a fan), as well as Kofi Annan, Dr Goodall devotes her energies to speaking around the world, increasingly focusing on her youth organisation, Shoots and Roots, where she instils in young people the urgency of saving the planet. It has already taken root in 120 countries, including South Africa.

She believes in the importance of teaching young children about the environment and what one must do to preserve our sensitive eco-system. The documentary, which also features interviews with a former husband and her son Merlin van Lawick, is an all revealing exercise where the audience gains unprecedented access to her intense and exciting past, shown in grainy snapshots and film footage.

Just 23 when she first arrived on a six-month mission to Gombe National Park on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in Tanzania, to study chimpanzees; all this naive young woman had was a notebook, a pencil and plenty of passion.

She was there under the aegis of the famed archaeologist and paleontologist, Louis S. B. Leakey, and was tasked with studying the wild chimpanzees who lived there, with the hope that this would shed some light on our evolutionary past. She was to achieve that – and a lot more!

It was here where she began her groundbreaking research nearly half a century ago, and she still returns every year to enjoy the company of the chimpanzees that made her the internationally recognised activist who is so loved and deeply respected by so many.

This is an intimate portrait of the private person behind the world-famous icon, an articulate and wise personality, possibly one of the most fascinating women of our times whose scientific breakthroughs are considered to be the most significant of the past 100 years.

“We must learn to live in peace and harmony, not only with each other, but with the natural world,” she states in the film. “We all have to get involved and we all have to make decisions in our daily lives to make a difference.”

Jane’s Journey offers a moving and intimate portrait of this gentle, caring, yet fiercely determined individual, and will undoubtedly prove to be one of the most important filmic documents of our time.

Here’s a trailer for this documentary film…