Screening tickets available to the public; discussion panel to follow film

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida State Parks Foundation and Live Wildly will present conservation photographer and National Geographic Explorer Carlton Ward Jr. to host a screening of the National Geographic film “Path of the Panther,” a film by director Eric Bendick, Grizzly Creek Films and Wildpath featuring Carlton Ward Jr., at Camp Helen State Park in Panama City Beach, Florida, on Thursday, Aug. 31. The screening will begin at 6:30 p.m., Central followed by a discussion panel.

Tickets are available now and are expected to reserve quickly.

“We are thrilled to host Carlton Ward for what will be an incredible event at beautiful Camp Helen State Park,” said Julia Gill Woodward, CEO of the Florida State Parks Foundation. “‘Path of the Panther’ is a deeply moving film that showcases the amazing natural habitats within the state of Florida and highlights the need to protect and preserve these places for our precious wildlife.”

“Experiencing the film, within one of our award-winning state parks and alongside one of its producers, cinematographers and driving forces, will be a very special experience.”

“Florida State Parks is proud to host a screening of ‘Path of the Panther’ at Camp Helen State Park – one of 75 parks that provide critical connections for the wildlife corridor throughout the state,” said Chuck Hatcher, director of Florida State Parks. “I can’t think of a more fitting location to highlight one of the most iconic symbols of our state – the Florida panther.”

The film screening is the latest element of a transformative partnership between the Florida State Parks Foundation and Live Wildly. The two nonprofits announced in June that they had joined forces to amplify and foster the conservation of the 75 state parks and trails located within the Florida Wildlife Corridor. The corridor is an 18-million-acre connected network of public and private lands stretching across the full length of the state.

Additional partnership elements will include multimedia storytelling, state park cleanup days, park-themed art projects and campaigns to encourage park visitation.

“The Florida State Parks Foundation is a natural partner for Live Wildly as we both aim to get people outside and experience what makes Florida, Florida” said Lisa Shipley, CEO of Live Wildly. “Hosting a ‘Path of the Panther’ screening at Camp Helen State Park is a perfect embodiment of this partnership – native wildlife such as the Florida Panther rely on connected landscapes for survival, and our state parks play a crucial role in the functionality of the Florida Wildlife Corridor.”

“Path of the Panther” is a feature-length documentary by executive producers Eric Bendick, Carlton Ward Jr., Thomas Winston and Tori Linder that debuted in February and is available for streaming on Disney+ and Hulu. The film details efforts to preserve habitat for the endangered Florida panther and is the result of years of research, thousands of images and hundreds of hours of camera footage.

Camp Helen State Park is a 180-acre park that lies between the Gulf of Mexico and Lake Powell, the state’s largest coastal dune lake.

About the Author: Foundation Staff