Full synopsis

“Last Paradise” uses the world’s most exciting adventures to address the world’s most crucial issues. Through the untold story of extreme sport pioneering and 45 years of stunning original footage, we are alerted to what was once “normal” for our planet and how dramatically it has changed in one lifetime.

Subverting the usual style of documentary, this film inspires innovative solutions through entertainment as opposed to instruction.  Beginning on a New Zealand sheep farm in the 1960s and concluding with the world’s most ambitious green energy project, the theme of ingenuity is propelled by captivating action and adventure.

Director/producer, Clive Neeson, is a man straddling two worlds. On the one hand, he and a handful of friends pioneered the New Zealand phenomenon of extreme sports. On the other, Neeson gained a Masters degree in physics under fusion energy pioneer, Bruce Liley, and innovated digital technologies, such as the world’s first climate monitoring machine.

Neeson grew up in East Africa, where his parents filmed wildlife during the 1950’s. On moving to New Zealand, he met a maverick group of children who would become the pioneers of modern extreme sports. Early footage depicts how their lack of toys and TV acted as a catalyst to experimentation in the raw New Zealand wilderness.

As teenagers in the 1970’s, Neeson and friends were inspired to explore the roads less traveled in a global search for ‘paradise.’ We personally experience their daredevil adventures, set in lands and cultures that have long since gone.

In their quest for adrenaline we see a novel use of science as they harness the powerful forces of nature. Ranging from extreme surfing to hangliding and  culminating in the audacious jump off the Eiffel Tower by lead character and bungy pioneer, AJ Hackett. “Last Paradise” is an exclusive witness to the very first pioneers and today’s very best. Its entertaining characters are world-renowned scientists and adventurers who inspire us to pursue our own dreams.

Remarkably, this film has been a lifetime project. From age 15 Neeson has created his own filming equipment to capture a unique perspective, which puts the audience in the driver’s seat. Forty years later it was the team at Peter Jackson’s Park Road Post Production who recognized the quality of the footage and encouraged him to create the film with their assistance. “Last Paradise” has screened with huge success at festivals around the world, garnering awards such as ‘Best Eco-Adventure’ (XDANCE USA), “Best of Banff” (Canada) and ‘Most Popular NZ Film’ (NZ International Film Festival).

“Last Paradise” is an awakening to how our world has changed in 45 years – culturally, environmentally and technologically. It provides inspiration to address the challenges ahead through an exhilarating story with colourful characters.