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Copywrite 2001-2004, California Science Center
Media Contact:  Isela Castillo (porta voz bilingüe)
August 20, 2003



LOS ANGELES, August 20 -- This fall, the California Science Center kicks off a brand new event that celebrates the power, mystery and vital importance of the ocean. OCEANFEST 2003 will take place at the California Science Center’s IMAX Theatre from October 3 through 13 and will feature a film festival of giant-screen documentaries that capture the thrill of ocean exploration, reveal the astounding diversity of life beneath the sea and spark a deeper appreciation of how the ocean affects all of planet earth. The festival also includes an ocean-themed fair with creative educational activities for the whole family.

At the center of the celebration are three stirring IMAX documentaries from the award-winning team at MacGillivray Freeman Films (MFF), who specialize in bringing audiences totally immersing cinematic experiences from the world’s most forbidding and remote environments (such as Everest and To Fly.) The festival will include a retrospective of MFF’s most popular and acclaimed undersea adventures, including two Academy Award® nominees: The Living Sea and Dolphins. It will also present a public special preview run of MFF’s critically acclaimed new release Coral Reef Adventure, a personal voyage of discovery through the spectacular, yet endangered, coral reefs of the South Pacific. The film debuts in theatres across Los Angeles in January 2004. Also joining the film festival lineup is the forthcoming feature Volcanoes of the Deep Sea, produced by The Stephen Low Company in association with Rutgers University, which follows a team of scientists as they explore the ultra-deep volcanic world of hydrothermal vents and reveal the fantastical life-forms that dwell in this rarely seen part of the ocean.

OCEANFEST 2003 will offer additional special activities for families from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 4, including a tide pool, ocean science activities, an interactive coral reef exhibit, face painting, and an inflatable sea creature for kids to crawl through, among others.

“The California Science Center is delighted to host OCEANFEST 2003, a fun film-going event that will give people an opportunity to learn about, experience and truly become part of the ocean habitat that we all depend on across the world,” stated Jeffrey Rudolph, President and CEO of the California Science Center.

Rudolph added, “Oceans cover 71% of the earth’s surface and, although we in Los Angeles live on the coast, there is far more to know about this remarkable ecosystem than meets the eye. With important new films such as Coral Reef Adventure and Volcanoes of the Deep Sea, as well as the always popular hits Dolphins and The Living Sea, the public will get a chance to dive into the latest scientific knowledge about the sea with an unforgettable view. MacGillivray Freeman and The Stephen Low Company create films that truly bring science to life. Combining great storytelling and innovative photography, these films not only have a sense of adventure but create an emotional impact that can bring people closer to nature than they ever imagined.”

For Greg MacGillivray, who is not only a renowned filmmaker but also a passionate advocate for ocean conservation, OCEANFEST 2003 represents a unique opportunity. “The more people see and feel for themselves the adventure and discoveries that await us under the sea, the better chance all of the ocean’s diverse life systems will have for long-term survival,” stated MacGillivray. “The ocean is not only a source of great pleasure, it is also the source of all life. The excitement created by OCEANFEST 2003 is a great way to raise awareness that this vital ecosystem is filled with wonders, but also fragile, and that everyone can help protect it for future generations.”

MacGillivray continued, “With this film festival, audiences will get a chance to take part in some of the most exciting things I’ve ever done: swim with dolphins, dive into the eye-popping colors of a coral reef and most of all, experience the exhilaration of discovering the unknown. I hope OCEANFEST will capture the imaginations of many.”

Each of the movies chosen for the film festival highlights a different, yet equally revelatory, view of the ocean and its life forms, all with 7 story-high, larger than life images that stimulate the senses to create a you-are-there experience. The films and their themes are:

CORAL REEF ADVENTURE: Due in Los Angeles-area theatres in January, Coral Reef Adventure will be seen in a special engagement run at OCEANFEST 2003. Four years in the making, the film follows the inspirational personal quest of filmmakers Howard and Michele Hall to document the imperiled coral reefs of the Pacific and the worldwide challenge to save them. In vivid detail, this all-new deep-sea adventure straight from director, producer and reef lover Greg MacGillivray’s heart, reveals the vast array of curious creatures that inhabit the reefs; introduces the everyday heroes fighting to save the reefs; and teams up with the scientists exploring the reefs for potent new medical cures and never-before-seen species that are adding to what we know about life on earth. Using groundbreaking techniques, the film plunges to daring new depths, taking the IMAX camera well below 350 feet. Bringing back images from an undersea realm where sharks circle, water pressure can burst machinery and humans are without oxygen, Coral Reef Adventure is not only one of the most technically advanced underwater films ever made, it is also a rare portrait of the demanding and daring process by which movies about life in the ocean are made at all. Among the highlights of the journey are stunning images of the Great Barrier Reef, the largest living thing on the planet; the first ever footage of huge schools of sharks deep off the coast of Rangiroa; the discovery of an entirely new fish species 370 feet below the ocean off Fiji; and scenes of conservationist Jean-Michel Cousteau passing on his passion for coral reefs to a new generation. Narrated by Liam Neeson, Coral Reef Adventure features songs written and recorded by Crosby, Stills & Nash.

VOLCANOES OF THE DEEP SEA: To be seen in IMAX theatres this fall, Volcanoes of the Deep submerges audiences into a little-explored dimension of our planet: the mysterious hydrothermal vents on the 46,000-mile long mid-ocean ridge. The film tracks a team of scientists as they dive in the submersible Alvin to depths below 8,000 feet, where the temperature can reach 400 degrees Celsius, to capture footage of deep-sea fauna and phenomena from the hidden universe below. As the dive unfolds, the scientists discover strange communities of organisms, shipwreck gardens, bioluminescent creatures and awesome giant predators. An astounding 97% of the earth’s Biosphere is located here, in the dark regions of the ocean that humans have just begun to penetrate and explore, and discoveries from these deep portions of the ocean may even hold key answers to questions about the emergence of life on earth. Volcanoes of the Deep is the first large-format film to explore these ultra-deep underwater realms with state-of-the-art lighting producing true high fidelity images. The result is a chance to enter a world of towering black smoker chimneys, of giant tubeworms and other sulfur-loving creatures captured in unprecedented clarity.

DOLPHINS: One of MacGillivray Freeman Film’s most popular and acclaimed features, the Academy Award-nominated Dolphins returns to the giant IMAX screen at OCEANFEST 2003. From the dazzling coral reefs of the Bahamas to the wind-swept seas of Patagonia, Dolphins takes audiences under the water’s surface to experience some of the most graceful and extraordinary creatures on earth in a whole new way. While few people will ever have the chance to encounter a dolphin in the wild, in this film, viewers can romp with inquisitive Atlantic spotted dolphins, fly through the air with acrobatic dusky dolphins, and swim the waves with the familiar bottlenose dolphin of Flipper fame. The film follows young marine biologist, Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski, and her two colleagues as they research the astounding communication skills of wild dolphins with innovative scientific methods and intriguing technology. Dolphins also explores the truth behind the famed dolphin-human bond, revealing the remarkable relationship between JoJo, a rare lone dolphin in the Turks & Caicos Islands, and his friend, naturalist Dean Bernal. Dean and JoJo have saved each other's lives on more than one occasion, and their stirring story speaks to both the beauty and mystery of inter-species communication. Narrated by Pierce Brosnan, Dolphins is set to the music of Grammy Award-winning pop artist Sting.

THE LIVING SEA: MacGillivray Freeman Films received another Academy Award nomination for this underwater fantasia that evokes the majesty, wonder and sheer significance of the ocean to life on earth. Filmed in locations around the world, The Living Sea explores the currents, tides and water cycles that link all the waters of the world into one sea. The film not only reveals stunning, candy-colored landscapes and imagination-defying creatures, but the complex relationship between human beings and this major force of nature. Audiences journey to the Pacific island of Palau, considered one of the “Seven Underwater Wonders of the World” and home to giant clam farms and the mysterious Jellyfish Lake, where islanders have a fascinating, spiritual view of their coastal waters. Then, they truly feel the power of the ocean as they surf thundering waves in Hawaii and ride in a Coast Guard Rescue Boat through the rough surf at Cape Disappointment. Other stops include a face-to-face encounter with humpback whales in the open ocean, an unprecedented view of tidal currents in Canada’s Bay of Fundy, and a descent to 3,000 feet to visit strange creatures who inhabit a realm sunlight never penetrates and humans almost never get a chance to see. Narrated by actress Meryl Streep, The Living Sea is set to a Caribbean-inspired score by Sting.

OCEANFEST 2003 is not only a place where people of all ages can take part in oceanic adventures and marine science exploration, it’s also a bargain for families. Ticket prices for the California Science Center’s IMAX theatre are less than a regular Hollywood film, ranging from $4.50 to $7.50, with additional discounts offered for multiple shows and free popcorn to the first 200 kids that arrive wearing a snorkel and mask. For more details on tickets please call (213) 744-7400.

Film Schedule: October 3 through October 13, 2003
Volcanoes of the Deep Sea –10:30 a.m., and 2:30 p.m.
Coral Reef Adventure – 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.
The Living Sea - 12:30 p.m., and (5:30 p.m. Sat. & Sun. only)
Dolphins - 4:30 p.m.

California Science Center, located at 700 State Drive in Exposition Park, Los Angeles, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission to the exhibitions is free. For recorded information on IMAX show times, phone (213) 744-7400. For advance ticket purchases, group rates, or to make reservations for any visiting group of 15 or more (required), call (213) 744-2019. Parking is available in the guest lot at Figueroa and 39th Street for $6 per car. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. For general information, phone (323) SCIENCE or visit our web site at www.californiasciencecenter.org.

Editors Note: Images available at www.californiasciencecenter.org in the Media Room.

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