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Leonardo Dicaprio to Attend Reef Check Fundraiser w/ 'Coral Reefs'


Written by: MacGillivray Freeman Films
Date: June 10, 2003


Category: Press Releases

Leonardo DiCaprio and Gale Anne Hurd to Co-chair Reef Rescue 2003 Benefit for UCLA’s Reef Check Program

Fundraiser sponsored by Quiksilver will feature a sneak preview of MacGillivray Freeman’s new IMAX‚ theater film, ‘Coral Reef Adventure’

Reef Check, a program of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment, along with Academy Award‚–nominated film producer MacGillivray Freeman Films and board-riding apparel manufacturer Quiksilver, have joined together to raise awareness about the current environmental crisis facing the world’s coral reefs. The three partners are hosting Reef Rescue 2003, a benefit event co-chaired by Leonardo DiCaprio and Gale Anne Hurd to raise money for coral reef conservation. The gala event will feature a sneak preview of MacGillivray Freeman’s critically acclaimed IMAX theater documentary "Coral Reef Adventure." Now playing in more than 40 IMAX theaters and large-format cinemas worldwide, "Coral Reef Adventure" will be released in the Los Angeles area in early 2004.

Reef Rescue 2003 will take place on Wednesday, June 25, at the Universal CityWalk IMAX Theater, beginning with the screening at 7:30 p.m., followed by a live and silent auction and VIP after-party at 9 p.m. Tickets for the screening only are $75. Entry to the screening and after-party costs $250. All proceeds will benefit Reef Check.

Celebrities lending their support include Carrie Fisher; Nastassja Kinski; Arianna Huffington; Pierce Brosnan and his wife, Keely Shaye Brosnan; Wendie Malick; Ed Begley Jr.; Ben Stiller; Linda Gray; Sharon Lawrence; Tony Hawk; Kelly Slater; Alexander Gould; and special musical guests Deborah Falconer and Jenny Shimizu.

Coral reefs exist in the tropical waters of more than 100 countries and sustain one-quarter of all marine life. More than 350 million people depend on reefs for food and survival; medicines derived from reef species are used to treat heart disease and HIV. Coral reefs serve as protective barriers to entire nations while anchoring a multi-billion dollar tourist industry. In addition, the reefs are part of an ocean system that helps stabilize the planet’s climate, creating the rain that feeds crops and oxygenates the air we breathe.

Recent research by the global network of Reef Check scientists has demonstrated that over-fishing and global warming are the two major factors contributing to the decimation of the delicate coral reef systems. In the last five years alone, more than 10 percent of the world’s reefs have been completely destroyed, and another 27 percent are seriously threatened. "Reefs are currently experiencing an unprecedented crisis that could have devastating effects on all of us," said Gregor Hodgson, who founded the Reef Check program in 1996 ( "The loss of coral reefs would mean that the raw materials used as the source of thousands of potential life-saving drugs will be gone. Some countries may experience a severe economic decline without the revenue derived from coral reef tourism and fisheries, not to mention physical devastation due to the removal of natural barriers against storm waves."

UCLA’s Reef Check operates a volunteer monitoring program in more than 60 countries around the world. Participants are trained in the skills needed to check the health of coral reefs and collect photos and video for analysis by scientists at UCLA’s Institute of the Environment. Led by trained marine scientists, Reef Check teams count 25 easily identifiable organisms such as live coral, grouper and lobster, which serve as global and regional indicators of reef health. The results are analyzed and included in annual global coral reef status reports. The program also provides training and advice on how to take better care of coral reefs.

Motivated by a shared passion and appreciation for the world’s marine and coral reef ecosystems, Reef Check volunteer DiCaprio and his mother, Irmelin; Hurd; MacGillivray Freeman Films; and Quiksilver have lent their support and resources to Reef Rescue 2003.

MacGillivray Freeman Films is donating the use of "Coral Reef Adventure" (, the powerful story of a real-life ocean odyssey featuring the 10-month expedition of two extraordinary underwater filmmakers on a mission to document the endangered reefs of the South Pacific.

Quiksilver is sponsoring the event’s VIP after-party and donating a memorable adventure experience on the Quiksilver Crossing’s 72-foot exploratory vessel, the Indies Trader, as a live auction item. Quiksilver sponsors the global surf expedition, The Quiksilver Crossing, and provides space on board the Indies Trader for a Reef Check scientist, thus providing access to remote coral reefs.

"Reef Check is out on the front lines leading the charge to help save the world’s coral reefs," said Greg MacGillivray, producer and director of "Coral Reef Adventure." "Their remarkable work is featured in our film, and we applaud their far-reaching and successful efforts in local reef communities all over the world. They give us all hope that the worldwide decline of reefs can be reversed before it is too late."

"We are proud to have the opportunity to contribute to the research efforts of Reef Check and honored to be a part of an event that will at once entertain and extend the reach of our message to take action to protect our precious oceans and resources," said Bob McKnight, president and CEO of Quiksilver Inc.

Reef Rescue 2003 is an extension of the public awareness campaign called "How Good Is This?" sponsored by Quiksilver, Reef Check and MacGillivray Freeman Films. Through an ongoing series of marketing initiatives, the campaign is intended to raise public awareness of the growing threats to coral reefs. For more information about "How Good Is This?" visit

Quiksilver designs, produces and distributes clothing, accessories and related products for active-minded people and develops brands that represent a casual lifestyle — driven from a board-riding heritage. Quiksilver’s authenticity is evident in its innovative products, events and retail environments around the globe. Quiksilver’s primary focus is apparel for young men and young women under the Quiksilver, Roxy, Raisins and Radio Fiji labels. Quiksilver also manufactures apparel for boys, girls, men and women, as well as snowboards, snowboard boots and bindings under the Lib Technologies, Gnu, Supernatural Manufacturing and Bent Metal labels. For further information about Quiksilver Inc., go to

MacGillivray Freeman Films is the world’s leading independent producer and distributor of films for IMAX theaters. Producer/director MacGillivray received his first Academy Award nomination in 1995 for "The Living Sea" (Best Documentary, Short Subject), and he was nominated in the same category again for "Dolphins" in 2000. "Coral Reef Adventure" is the company’s third ocean-themed film and continues MacGillivray’s mission to produce at least five ocean films that promote the well-being of the world’s marine environments. MacGillivray Freeman Films has produced 29 IMAX theater films, including the highest-grossing documentary of all time, "Everest." For more information about MacGillivray Freeman Films, go to

For more information about Reef Rescue 2003 and to purchase tickets to the screening and after-party, please call (310) 559-9334, ext. 162.

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