First time for Last Paradise’

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The full-length version of a film celebrating extreme sports pioneers shows for the first time in Queenstown tomorrow. 

A 35-minute teaser of Last Paradise, which features former Queenstown-based bungy jumping innovator AJ Hackett, originally screened here at the Adventure Film Festival last year. 

The full 104-minute documentary kicks off this year’s Adventure Film Festival which is part of the Winter Games’ off-mountain events programme. 

Last Paradise director Clive Neeson, from Taranaki, will be on hand to introduce the film which includes footage of the first snowboarding, bungy jumps, and wakeboarding to name a few sports which feature. 

“This is the story of adventure sports and how it started in New Zealand. It captures the whole Kiwi outdoor experience,” Neeson says. 

It tells it through the eyes of five pioneers, including Hackett who talks viewers through his childhood and his famous bungy off France’s Eiffel Tower. 

It also celebrates the spirit of invention and experimentation when breaking into new thrill-seeking activities. 

“A lot of technology and a lot of toys weren’t available on the shelves,” overseas-based Hackett explains in the film. Neeson says much of the film will resonate with Wakatipu residents. 

“It’s a story about adventure tourism and what it is that brings people to Queenstown.” 

The film was mastered at Kiwi director Sir Peter Jackson’s studios in Wellington.