To the Arctic, MacGillivray Freeman Films' breathtaking 3D IMAX documentary about living beings dealing with climate change at the top of the world, recently won two top prizes at the 2012 Giant Screen Cinema Association Achievement Awards.
Produced and directed by the Laguna Beach company's co-founder Greg MacGillivray, To the Arctic was honored as Best Film Short Subject and Best Film for Lifelong Learning at a ceremony in Sacramento.
"We are honored with this recognition by the members of the GSCA, and we are especially pleased to share the Best Film Award with Stephen Low and his exceptionally well-crafted film, Rocky Mountain Express," says MacGillivray in a release from his company. "It's no coincidence that both films were shot primarily on 15/70 film stock. Image quality matters, and it is key to creating a satisfying film experience in giant-screen theatres."
Co-produced by Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX Filmed Entertainment, To the Arctic was the first of 10 new films MacGillivray Freeman plans to release as part of the 40-year-old company's One World One Ocean campaign, an ambitious, multi-media effort to educate the masses about protecting the planet's great bodies of water.
MacGillivray Freeman--the second name belongs to the other co-founder, the late filmmaker Jim Freeman--reports To the Arctic, which is still rolling in theaters worldwide, has grossed $9.7 million in worldwide ticket sales since its April 20 release with exhibitions on 67 IMAX screens.
Besides strong word of mouth, helping get butts in the seats are posters revealing there are songs in the film by Sir Paul McCartney and narration by Meryl Streep. Another eco-themed film narrated by the multiple Oscar winner is Berkeley in the Sixties director Mark Kitchell's A Fierce Green Fire. Actually, Streep is one of five narrators featured in the historical documentary that covers the conservation movement from distinct periods of time, from its birth in the 1960s through today's global concerns about climate change, rainforest destruction and the need for a sustainable future. Robert Redford, Ashley Judd, Isabel Allende and Van Jones also lend their voice-overs.
An early cut of A Fierce Green Fire played at the 2012 Newport Beach Film Festival in April--yours truly highly recommended it--and Kitchell writes in an email that he'll have a final cut ready to release to theaters--come hell or highly toxic water--by the middle of the month.
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"There is an exciting new opening and a revised closing mosaic that we can hardly wait to show," Kitchell reveals. "The film now runs 100 minutes. Lots of tightening up, addressing problems and perfecting scenes."
Helping greatly, he adds, has been "lots of favors and good news" about fair use of footage and rights to music, including Tom Lehrer's song "Pollution" and the master rights to Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi" being provided for free.
First Run Features is set to distribute A Fierce Green Fire in domestic theaters, on home video and through digital sources and Bullfrog Films will handle non-theatrical, educational and environmental group access.