New James Bond flick brings Blue Ventures alum to the big screen

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    The new James Bond flick, Casino Royale, brings 007 to Madagascar for his first mission, and a former Blue Ventures staff member to the big screen.

    Eric Jaona, a Malagasy national and former translator with Blue Ventures, provided background voices to several scenes in the spy thriller.

    Early in the film, Bond is sent to Madagascar to track down terrorist spies. At one point, he chases the villain through a market where locals yell and cheer as they wager on a fight between a cobra and a mongoose.

    Jaona was brought in to provide an authentic Malagasy voice for the scene. Jaona, who lives in London, didn’t travel all the way to Madagascar for the film, but recorded the background voice in a London sound studio.

    “We first watched all the scenes and then we recorded the voices, working from a script,” Jaona said. “My friends say they can hear my voice in the film, but there are a lot of people talking during the scene.”

    The film unfortunately does not show any of Madagascar’s beautiful natural areas – instead Bond is seen running through a market and a construction site – but Jaona said he is glad the film is bringing new attention to the island nation.

    “Even in Madagascar, they have put together a marketing campaign around the film,” he said. “They say Madagascar is the island of James Bond.”

    Madagascar is the world’s fourth largest island, and is home to some of the world’s most biologically diverse marine habitats.

    These habitats, however, are facing growing threats as populations increase along coastal areas and more and more fishing companies discover the richness of Madagascar’s waters.

    Blue Ventures is working with local communities to protect these threatened resources and develop alternative livelihoods to destructive fishing practices. It’s a mission worthy of James Bond.