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MFF Returns to Everest


Written by: MacGillivray Freeman Films
Date: April 9, 2007

MacGillivray Freeman Films to go into production for Everest follow-up.


Category: Press Releases

MacGillivray Freeman Films Returns to Mount Everest For 3D IMAX® Theatre Follow-Up to Blockbuster Everest

Original "Everest" Stars Jamling Norgay and Araceli Segarra to Reunite in "Return to Everest 3D" Premiering in IMAX® Theatres March 2009

Laguna Beach, CA, April 9, 2007—Premier giant screen filmmakers MacGillivray Freeman Films today announced the production of the 3D giant screen adventure RETURN TO EVEREST 3D, a follow-up to the company's giant screen blockbuster Everest. The production marks the first time the world's tallest mountain will be filmed in IMAX 3D.

Return to Everest 3D is directed by two-time Academy Award® nominee Greg MacGillivray (The Living Sea, Dolphins) and produced by MacGillivray and his son Shaun MacGillivray.

Starring in the production are two of the original stars of Everest, Jamling Norgay of Nepal and Spanish climber Araceli Segarra, whose successful 1996 ascent to the summit and subsequent appearance in Everest made them international stars. Everest has grossed more than $136 million in worldwide ticket sales, making it the highest grossing IMAX Theatre film of all time.

For Return to Everest 3D, Norgay and Segarra will return to the storied 'Goddess Mother of the World' not to conquer the summit but to assist the Nepalese Sherpa people whose livelihood depends on the mountain. While Sherpas know the perils and moods of Everest intimately, they often lack critical climbing and communication skills, which has led to a number of deaths on the mountain in recent years.

Return to Everest 3D will also follow a groundbreaking medical research expedition seeking to turn Everest into a working laboratory. Doctors on the Caudwell Xtreme Everest Expedition will risk their lives to study the impact of extreme altitude on the human body and bring back the first blood and tissue samples taken from the 29,035-foot summit. The results of their studies will benefit the treatment of critically ill intensive care patients whose low blood oxygen levels mirror those of climbers at altitude.

"We're returning to Everest with Araceli and Jamling to tell a new story about this great mountain," said producer/director Greg MacGillivray. "We'll look at what has changed on Everest in the eleven years since Araceli and Jamling reached the summit and focus on the lives of the Sherpa people. The Sherpas are the unsung heroes of Everest and nearly every major expedition relies on their ingenuity and courage, including the medical science team we'll be following to the top."

"MacGillivray Freeman Films was the first to take the IMAX camera to the summit of Everest, and now we'll be the first to capture it in IMAX 3D," said producer Shaun MacGillivray. "Filming with the heavy, over-sized 3D IMAX camera in such extreme conditions will be a dangerous challenge, but the visceral images we capture will put audiences right into the center of the action. When viewers see the 3D images of climbers crossing the Khumbu Icefall come up on the giant IMAX Theatre screen, they'll feel like they're climbing right along with them."

For twelve weeks this spring, a MacGillivray Freeman production film crew will be stationed in Nepal. Producer/director Greg MacGillivray will lead the mountain unit stationed at Everest Base Camp and co-director and director of mountain photography, Michael Brown, who has summited Everest three times before, will lead the mountain unit following the Caudwell Xtreme Everest medical team to the summit.

In another first, the filmmakers will attempt to film the first aerials of Everest's summit using a helicopter mounted with the Spacecam. It will be the first attempt to capture Spacecam aerials at such high altitude. The production also plans to fit the Sherpa climbers with helmet cams to record every minute of their climb, giving the audience a unique "you-are-there" experience.

"When Everest was released nine years ago, it changed the giant screen industry," said Mike Lutz, Director of Distribution at MacGillivray Freeman Films. "It was the first and only giant screen film to reach Variety's Top 10 Box Office list. Undoubtedly, Return to Everest 3D will be an unparalleled visual experience, but it will be the intimate glimpses into the regions' culture and the heroic stories of people making a difference that will place this film at the top."

Return to Everest 3D is produced and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films. It is slated for release to IMAX Theatres and other giant screen cinemas in March 2009, eleven years after Everest was released to international acclaim.

Return to Everest 3D is the company's eighth film in its Great Adventure Film® series, a brand that encompasses original giant screen productions based on real-life adventures in remote locations and that celebrate the discovery of the natural world.

MacGillivray Freeman Films is the largest, most experienced independent producer and distributor of giant screen 70mm films in the world. Throughout the company's 40-year history, its films have won numerous international awards including two Academy Award nominations for Best Documentary Short Subject for Dolphins and The Living Sea. The company's hit film Everest achieved unprecedented acclaim and box office success for a large format film and is currently the highest grossing giant screen film of all time. MacGillivray Freeman's films are known for their artistry and successful blend of education and entertainment, as well as their celebration of science and the natural world.

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