Big Movie Zone Blog Press Releases Teacher's Guides Community
Features and Reviews

Ocean Oasis Spurs Vicente Fox to Create Preserve


Written by: Giant Screen Theater Association
Date: October 17, 2001


Category: Press Releases

Giant Screen Film Serves as Catalyst to Creation of Preserve

ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct 17, 2001 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Ocean Oasis, a giant-screen film about the Baja, California peninsula and the Sea of Cortes -- one of the world's richest and most beautiful ecosystems -- has incited Mexican President Vicente Fox to preserve a portion of the Sea of Cortes as a Biosphere Reserve protecting Gulf of California islands and surrounding marine habitats as well as ecologically sensitive development. President Fox announced his intention at a June 27, 2001 screening of the film in Mexico City.

The $5 million, 38-minute film is a bi-national collaboration between producer and distributor Summerhays Films, the San Diego Natural History Museum and PRONATURA, Mexico's oldest and largest conservation organization, and is internationally sponsored by Sempra Energy, a San Diego-based, Fortune 500 energy services holding company with customers in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America and Asia. The film shows the spectacular and captivating life in the Sea of Cortes and the pristine desert of the Baja peninsula. "One of the chief goals of (Ocean Oasis) is to foster an affinity with the region by a wider audience," said Soames Summerhays, the film's director and President of Summerhays Films. "The giant-screen format is ideal for audiences to experience the awe and wonder that one feels traveling through Baja, California."

Darcel Hulse, Senior Vice President of Sempra Energy and President, Sempra Energy International, says, "The film demonstrates international cooperation to preserve and conserve without regard to international borders." Sempra hopes that the film will stimulate similar cross-border partnerships in the future. The film has also been endorsed by international conservation organizations such as Conservation International, Fondo Mexicano, The Nature Conservancy and International Biodiversity Observation Year. Proceeds from Ocean Oasis will support conservation, education and research in the Baja, California region.

Ocean Oasis was recently shown at the Giant Screen Theater Association(R)'s (GSTA(R)) 2001 International Conference and Expo held in Chicago from September 20-25, where Sempra Energy and Mexico's department of Tourism were the sponsors of the opening reception at the Museum of Science and Industry. In attendance were Soames Summerhays; Mick Hager and Don Steele, Executive Producers; Iliana Ortega Bacmeister, marine biologist and on-screen naturalist; Guillermo Ohem, Regional Director of Mexico Tourism Board, Chicago and his wife, Damaris; Martha Varela and Stephen Peters, also from the Mexico Tourism Board; and Senior Carlos Sada, Consul General of Mexico and his wife, Maria Elena. The film is also the recipient of the "Best Theatrical Program Award," which was announced at the 2001 bi-annual Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. The award is given every two years to "the program produced for large format or conventional motion picture theaters that most effectively advances an appreciation of the natural world."

Summerhays Films, Inc, a San Diego-based film production company, is an award-winning world leader in the production of large-format special exhibit motion picture films for giant screen museum theaters, expositions, destination theaters, corporations, and theme parks worldwide. Founded by scientist, naturalist, and conservationist-turned-film-producer Soames Summerhays, Summerhays Films has produced in all the major large formats. Key members of the filmmaking team include director of underwater photography Bob Cranston of San Diego and director of land photography James Neihouse of Florida, both recognized by the industry as leaders in their areas of specialty.

Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with annualized 2001 revenues of about $11 billion. Through its eight principal subsidiaries -- Southern California Gas Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, Sempra Energy Solutions, Sempra Energy Trading, Sempra Energy International, Sempra Energy Resources, Sempra Communications and Sempra Energy Financial -- the Sempra Energy companies' 12,000 employees serve more than 9 million customers in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, South America and Asia.

The Giant Screen Theater Association (GSTA) is a nonprofit association dedicated to the life-long learning and worldwide growth of the large format film industry by supporting the developers and presenters of giant screen film experiences. Founded in 1977, GSTA is the oldest and largest international association serving the large format film industry with 360 member companies consisting of theater, developing theater, and associate members. The goal of GSTA is to be the global forum for producers, operators and suppliers of the large format film industry and to foster its growth and development in both the educational and commercial sectors. GSTA headquarters is located in St. Paul, MN, USA. For more information on Summerhays Films or any of the sponsors involved with the film Ocean Oasis, call Mary Ann Henker, Executive Director, GSTA, (651) 292-9884 or email her at

SOURCE Giant Screen Theater Association
CONTACT: Mary Ann Henker, Executive Director of GSTA, +1-651-292-9884,or e-mail,

Articles Archive: Newest to Oldest

Reviews Archive: Newest to Oldest