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Bristol academic hits the red carpet for Hollywood premiere of dinosaur documentary

Dr Dean Lomax introducing documentary Tony Pinto

Q&A with Dr Dean Lomax and cast and crew Tony Pinto

Dr Dean Lomax on the red carpet with cast and crew Tony Pinto

Press release issued: 7 November 2023

A University of Bristol palaeontologist has attended a star-studded event in Tinseltown where new independent documentary ‘WHY DINOSAURS?’ was screened for the first time.

Executive Producer Dr Dean Lomax from Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences, appears as one of the leading experts and introduced the independent film before its world debut.

‘WHY DINOSAURS?’ follows dino-obsessed teenager James Pinto and his father Tony on a journey around the world, interviewing over 65 seasoned palaeontologists, amateur fossil hunters, artists, and dinosaur fanatics from the United States, Canada, UK, Morocco, China, and Patagonia. On this global adventure, together they track down the director of Jurassic World, see the world’s largest dinosaur toy collection, and dig up real dinosaur bones. Written and directed by the father and son-duo, both first-time filmmakers, this six-year passion project first gained traction on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo.

“This film is for everyone who ever played with dinosaurs as a kid, wanted to be a palaeontologist and dig up dinosaurs, or loved movies like ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Jurassic World’”, said Dr Lomax, who is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Manchester. “It’s a timeless story that will inspire girls and boys across the planet to pursue science in a variety of disciplines--not just palaeontology--as well as boost attendance at natural history museums for decades to come.

“The film not only captures the buzz about dinosaurs in popular culture but dives deep into the science – speaking with researchers from around the world, discussing recent discoveries and challenging our preconceptions about dinosaur science.”

James, who also narrates and appears throughout the film, said: “From museums and university dinosaur displays, to blockbuster films, amusement park rides, video games, and toys--dinosaurs appeal to people of all ages around the globe. But, why?

“This movie explores the myriad ways in which men, women, and children around the globe connect with these awe-inspiring prehistoric animals, and also provides a unique look into the lives and careers of palaeontologists.”

“WHY DINOSAURS? isn’t the traditional computer-generated dinosaur reconstructions and celebrity-narrated prehistoric documentary,” said Producer Tony Pinto, who primarily filmed and edited. “Instead, we introduce the genuine voices of working palaeontologists, science communicators, artists, and dinosaur fanatics to tell a brief history of palaeontology and explore the world’s fascination with dinosaurs in popular culture.”

WHY DINOSAURS? is G-rated, 90 minutes long, and anticipated to be available for purchase or streaming in early 2024.

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