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Copywrite 2001-2004, California Science Center
Media Contact: 

Isela Castillo
Work: (213) 744-7446
Pager: (323) 410-9160

December 16, 2003

“CORAL REEF ADVENTURE” Sets Sail On Voyage of Discovery Through South Pacific’s Awe-Inspiring and Endangered Reefs on January 30, 2004 at the California Science Center IMAX® Theater

A New IMAX® Theatre Film From The Academy Award®-Nominated Producers of “Dolphins” and “Everest” Brings Reef’s Wonders and Urgent Message of Peril to Life on a Screen Seven Stories Tall

Narrated by Liam Neeson, Featuring Songs Written and Recorded by Crosby, Stills & Nash

Diver going down to reef

Los Angeles - Take a cinematic voyage and discover a world unlike any other, a world that has been called the “soul of the sea”. Coral Reef Adventure opens at the California Science Center IMAX® Theater in Exposition Park on January 30, 2004. Experience breathtaking photography shown on the enormous 7-story IMAX® screen with the latest technology and a 12,000-watt digital surround sound system. This 46-minute film reveals the ocean’s powerful yet fragile beauty, while documenting the efforts of scientists who work to understand and protect the Earth’s last pristine wilderness – the sea. This is life on a coral reef – where some of the planet’s most diverse, fascinating and mysterious landscapes and creatures exist hidden from our sight. It is a world few human beings will ever experience up close, yet one that helps sustain the very balance of life on earth, and one that might contain unforeseen solutions to human medical problems. Only now it is under siege.

The story of the reefs and how they’ve come to face worldwide decline is brought to life on a screen seven stories tall in Coral Reef Adventure, an all-new IMAX theatre experience from MacGillivray Freeman Films, Academy Award®-nominated producers of Dolphins, The Living Sea and the highest grossing documentary film in history, Everest.

Coral surrounded by small fish

Voted “Best IMAX Theatre Film of 2003” by the Giant Screen Theater Association, Coral Reef Adventure takes audiences on an epic voyage of discovery to the South Pacific’s reefs, revealing both their remarkable contribution to life on earth and the imminent dangers they now face. Following husband and wife underwater cinematography team Howard and Michele Hall on a 10-month quest across the Pacific Ocean – during which they attempt to create a lasting cinematic record of the reefs as they exist today – the film captures mesmerizing images of beauty as well as sobering images of reefs in decline. In vivid detail, the giant screen adventure reveals the vast array of unusual creatures that inhabit the reefs; introduces everyday heroes hoping to help save the reefs; and teams up with scientists exploring the reefs for clues to their health and for new species that are adding to what we know about life on earth.

To bring these dramatic stories of the reef up to the surface, the filmmakers of Coral Reef Adventure faced many extreme challenges and underwater dangers. “This film is one of the most technically complex underwater films ever made,” says Howard Hall, who also served as the film’s Underwater Director of Photography. Using innovative techniques, the filmmakers plunge to record-breaking depths, taking the notoriously cumbersome IMAX camera deeper in the open ocean than any diver has ever taken it before—to 370 feet below the surface.

Clown fish hiding

Found in more than 100 countries around the world in sun-drenched waters in the tropics, coral reefs comprise just 1% of the ocean yet nurture 25% of all marine life. Coral reefs are the underwater equivalent of tropical rainforests, rivaling and at times exceeding the diversity of broad kinds of organisms in their terrestrial counterparts. Over 350 million people depend on reefs for food and survival while medicines derived from reef species treat heart disease and cancers, among other illnesses. Coral buffers entire nations and anchors a multi-billion dollar tourist economy. In fact, the reefs are part of an ocean system that helps stabilize our climate, making the rain that feeds our crops and oxygenating the very air we breathe.

Divers with camera

But more than a science lesson in reef biology, Coral Reef Adventure is an inspiring personal tale of courage and hope, the story of ordinary men and women seeking to make a difference to the planet’s most vulnerable environments. Coral reefs thrive on symbiosis – a word that literally means “living together” – and a similar spirit of partnership drives the Halls on their Coral Reef Adventure. Melding the story of the reefs with that of the Halls’ impassioned quest to bring worldwide attention to the plight of the reefs, the film mixes art and real life, science and entertainment. As a result, it is not only one of the most technically advanced underwater films ever made, it is also a rare portrait of the demanding and daring creative process by which underwater movies are made at all.

A labor of love for long-time ocean enthusiast Greg MacGillivray, the film’s director and producer, Coral Reef Adventure is the third in his series of ocean-themed films. “While few people on earth will ever experience the intense challenges and rewards of ocean exploration, Coral Reef Adventure opens up this world of unprecedented beauty and vital importance to our survival as a species,” says Greg MacGillivray. “Howard and Michele have taken the IMAX camera into these underwater worlds so audiences will experience these far-off, magical places. Their story is one not only of great human adventure, but of real hope for the future of coral reefs.”

Coral Reef Adventure was produced in association with the Museum of Science in Boston, the National Wildlife Federation, Lowell, Blake and Associates, and the Museum Film Network, and with major funding from the National Science Foundation.

For more information, visit the Coral Reef Adventure website.

Tickets: Ticket prices for IMAX films range from $4.50 to $7.50. Call (213) 744-7400 for information. For advance ticket purchase and group rates, phone 213.744-2019.

Proceeds from the IMAX Theater support Science Center exhibits and programming. Guests should call (213) 744-7400 to confirm film schedule prior to their visit. For general information, visit our website at www.californiasciencecenter.org.

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