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Grand Canyon Adventure honored with three GSCA Achievement Awards


Written by: MacGillivray Freeman Films
Date: September 19, 2008

Film takes home Best Cinematography, Best Marketing and Special Achievement in Filmmaking.


Category: Press Releases

Grand Canyon Adventure Honored With Three GSCA Achievement Awards Including Best Cinematography, Best Marketing and Special Achievement in Filmmaking

LAGUNA BEACH, Ca. (Sept. 19, 2008) -- Highlighting the successful creative and marketing force behind MacGillivray Freeman's first 3D film for IMAX® Theatres, GRAND CANYON ADVENTURE: RIVER AT RISK was awarded three GSCA Achievement Awards at the annual Giant Screen Cinema Association conference in Jersey City last week. The film won Best Cinematography, Best Marketing by a Distributor, and a Special Achievement in Filmmaking Award presented to Alan Markowitz of Visceral Image Productions and Tim Sassoon of Sassoon Film Design for the film's groundbreaking 3D visual effects.

The Achievement Awards are voted on by the 250 members of the Giant Screen Cinema Association representing the more than 400 giant screen theatres worldwide. The Best Marketing award is voted on by a panel of five judges who are members of the GSCA.

"Grand Canyon Adventure is a powerful entertainment experience that aspires to realize the true potential of the giant screen film medium through a combination of great location, exciting river action, compelling characters, innovative 3D cinematography shot in the highest quality 15/70 format, and a meaningful educational theme about water," said producer/director Greg MacGillivray. "I'm extremely proud of what our production and distribution teams accomplished with this film -- our first for both 3D and 2D giant screen theatres."

"The mission of the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation is to produce educational films and outreach programs that meet the needs of the IMAX Theatre network," said Chris Palmer, President of the MFF Educational Foundation, which co-produced Grand Canyon Adventure and created the film's educational programs. "Grand Canyon Adventure, with its strong educational themes of water conservation and river protection, is such a film, and we are honored by this recognition."

Grand Canyon Adventure is also winning top marks from teachers. "Every student in my class loved the movie," said Mr. Fields, a third grade teacher in Pennsylvania. "It was a topic of discussion in our class for over a week. We had never thought about conserving water before." At an educator's preview in Saskatchewan, 90% of the teachers said the film met their needs.

Now in its 27th week of release, Grand Canyon Adventure is playing in 44 theatres after first opening in 16 theatres in March. The film has grossed $8.9 million dollars worldwide and is on track to become the highest grossing 15/70 documentary this year.

"We are pleased to share the Best Marketing award with our film sponsors, Teva and Kohler, who made our great marketing campaign possible," said Alice Casbara-Leek, Director of Marketing at MacGillivray Freeman Films Distribution Company. "We look forward to offering the same comprehensive marketing support to future exhibitors as Grand Canyon Adventure continues its worldwide roll-out."

The Best Marketing award is MacGillivray Freeman's sixth such award in ten years, following awards for Everest (1998), Dolphins (2000), Journey Into Amazing Caves (2001), Mystery of the Nile (2005), and Hurricane on the Bayou (2006). The award honors the best and most comprehensive film marketing campaign within the giant screen industry.

The Grand Canyon Adventure marketing campaign generated more than 100 million film impressions with a launch that included national advertising and promotions, national publicity, a free educational standee for exhibitors, a teacher's guide, a photographic companion book, a CD soundtrack, and a targeted environmental online campaign. The MFF Distribution Company continues to offer film launch and marketing support to new exhibitors opening the film.

Set on the iconic Colorado River, Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk 3D takes viewers on an unforgettable river journey that calls attention to global freshwater issues. Leading the expedition is river advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and anthropologist Wade Davis with Native American river guide Shana Watahomigie. As scientific studies forecast water shortages in the Western U.S. and around the world, Grand Canyon Adventure explores the issues, presents real solutions and delivers an uplifting message of hope for future generations, showing how ordinary people can make a difference for our parched planet.

Grand Canyon Adventure is narrated by Robert Redford and features songs and music by Dave Matthews Band. The film is produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films and MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation in association with Museum Film Network, Reynders McVeigh Capital Management, and Waterkeeper Alliance. It is presented by Teva and supported by Kohler Co. The film is directed by Greg MacGillivray; produced by Greg MacGillivray, Mark Krenzien, Shaun MacGillivray; written by Jack Stephens and Stephen Judson; edited by Stephen Judson; musical score composed and arranged by Steve Wood and Stefan Lessard, director of photography is Brad Ohlund; director of aerial photography is Ron Goodman.

Upcoming giant screen films from MacGillivray Freeman Films include Van Gogh: Brush With Genius (February 9, 2009), Heart of Arabia 3D (February 2010, working title), To the Arctic 3D (February 2011), and Return to Everest 3D (February 2012).

About MacGillivray Freeman Films and its Educational Foundation
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-plus year history, its films have won numerous international awards including two Academy Award nominations and two IMAX Hall of Fame awards. In 1998 the company's hit film Everest broke giant screen industry box office records and is currently the highest grossing giant screen film of all time. In 2004, company president Greg MacGillivray founded the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation to fund and produce educational giant screen films and companion educational programming focusing on science, the environment, world culture and natural heritage locations. MacGillivray Freeman films are known for their artistry and celebration of science and the natural world.

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