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Helen Mirren To Narrate Arabia, An All-New 3D Film For IMAX® Theatres


Written by: MacGillivray Freeman Films
Date: February 8, 2010

ARABIA is the first major film about Arabia to be filmed entirely in Saudi Arabia.


Category: Press Releases

Film premieres February 12 in select IMAX and IMAX 3D Theatres; Timely IMAX Theatre adventure presents a kaleidoscopic portrait spanning 2,000 years of Arabian history, as told by three modern-day Arabians

Arabia will be screened at the GSCA Film Expo in Los Angeles on February 23

LAGUNA BEACH, Ca. (February 8, 2010) - MacGillivray Freeman Films announced today that Academy Award®-winning actress Helen Mirren is the narrator for Arabia, a timely new 3D giant-screen adventure opening in select IMAX and IMAX 3D Theatres starting February 12.

A sweeping portrait of the history, culture and religion of the Arabian Peninsula, Arabia is a mix of contemporary scenes of modern-day Arabian life, epic historical recreations of ancient civilizations, and stunning digital visual effects. Produced and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films, Arabia is presented in association with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) of London. Distinguished British author and historian Robert Lacey also narrates a segment in the film.

Nineteen IMAX Theatres are scheduled to premiere Arabia to date including the Boston Museum of Science, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Science Museum of Minnesota, Atlanta's Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Detroit Science Center, Ft. Lauderdale's Museum of Discovery and Science, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Le Vieux-Port de Montreal, The Scientific Center of Kuwait, and others.

"Arabia takes audiences deep inside the Arabian culture, which is steeped in history and unique customs not found anywhere else in the world," said producer/director Greg MacGillivray, a two-time Academy Award nominee. "We spent months shooting where no cameras of any kind have ever been, so that we could better understand this important part of the world for ourselves. I think we have brought back a fresh portrait of Arabia's remarkable people and history. Helen Mirren's enormous talent and artistic sensibility help conjure up the mystery and the humanity of Arabia for audiences as they journey through the film."

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, and nominated this year for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in The Last Station, Helen Mirren is a paragon of fine acting. Four decades of dedicated work in cinema, television and the theater make Mirren one of the most enduring talents in the entertainment industry. Arabia is her first giant-screen film.

Shot over the course of two years at more than twenty locations across Saudi Arabia, Arabia is the first major film about Arabia to be filmed entirely in Saudi Arabia. A kaleidoscopic portrait that delves into Arabia's storied past and oncoming future, Arabia uses the power of IMAX 3D cinematography to invite audiences to ride across the dunes with a camel caravan, dive into the treasure-laden Red Sea, explore the ruins of an ancient lost city, journey back in time to the Islamic golden age of science, and join three million Muslims on the Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) -- the most sacred journey in the Islamic tradition and the largest single gathering on Earth. Told through the lives of three modern-day Arabians, the film also introduces audiences to the young Arabians transforming tomorrow's world.

"No other medium can convey the culture and atmosphere of another land as well as an IMAX Theatre film," says MacGillivray. "And with this film, we hope to separate myth from reality. I think audiences will be fascinated by the different aspects of Arabia and its culture based on strong family ties, its devotion to faith and its struggle to balance ancient values with the modern world. This is a film full of surprises, including the surprise of how much, underneath it all, our people share in common."

Arabia is directed by Greg MacGillivray, produced by Greg MacGillivray and Mark Krenzien, and written by Jack Stephens. The original score is composed by Steve Wood and features music by Yusuf Islam.

A photographic companion book authored by Michael Morgan and featuring a Foreword by Robert Lacey and an Afterword by His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al-Faisal -- Arabia: In Search of the Golden Ages -- is available from Earth Aware Editions (May 2010).

MacGillivray Freeman Films will screen Arabia at the GSCA Film Expo in Los Angeles on February 23 and in San Diego on February 25 for Dome Day.

About MacGillivray Freeman Films
MacGillivray Freeman Films is one of the world's foremost independent producers and distributors of giant-screen 70mm films with 35 films to its credit. Throughout the company's 40-plus year history, its films have won numerous international awards including two Academy Award® nominations and three films inducted into the IMAX Hall of Fame. In 1998 the company's hit film Everest achieved unprecedented box office success for a giant-screen film and is currently the highest grossing giant-screen film of all time with nearly $150 million earned worldwide. In 2004, company president Greg MacGillivray and his wife Barbara 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's films are known for their artistry and celebration of science and the natural world.

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