Jean-Michel Cousteau, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and 3D Ent. announced the upcoming release of SHARKS 3D, a film that brings the viewer face to face with a multitude of the world's great shark species, including the Great White, Whale Shark and Hammerhead. Audiences will experience them as they truly are in their natural habitat: not wicked man-eating creatures, but wild, fascinating and highly endangered animals.
Principal photography on SHARKS 3D required an extensive nine-month shoot totaling 500 dive hours. The film, shot on location in Guadalupe Island, Socorro Island and the Sea of Cortez (Mexico), Malpelo Island (Colombia), the Red Sea (Egypt), Sodwana Bay (South Africa), Mozambique Channel and Rangiroa Atoll (French Polynesia), consists uniquely of underwater footage, with none of the usual "dive preparation" sequences.
"The minute I saw this amazing footage, I knew I had to be involved with this documentary. With this 3D experience, you are the diver, swimming weightlessly with sharks all around," said Jean-Michel Cousteau, president and chairman of Ocean Futures Society. "SHARKS 3D sheds new light on the urgent need to protect these magnificent endangered animals, which are so essential to the survival of our oceans. To inspire and educate people to act responsibly in order to ensure the preservation of the world's oceans is a mission the film and I have long shared."
"We are thrilled to be working with such a world-renowned personality as Jean-Michel on this new ocean adventure and to have expanded our agreement with UNEP," added Francois Mantello, executive director of 3D Ent. "Our first successful venture with the United Nations dates back to February 2003, when we released OCEAN WONDERLAND 3D, the popular IMAX theater film about the preservation of coral reefs. This documentary, which is still playing worldwide, has generated over $17 million in ticket sales to date."
"Despite the existence of various international treaties, certain shark species have been reduced by nearly 80% in the past decade alone. Today, the priority is not only to end the steady decline of the shark population, but to rehabilitate its image among the general public," said UNEP's executive director, Klaus Toepfer. "We believe that this outstanding IMAX theatre film is an ideal means of reaching a vast audience and changing a great number of people's perception of these animals. SHARKS 3D contributes greatly to marine conservation efforts, and we believe it could be used as part of a wider public awareness campaign for shark protection."
In addition to its Las Vegas engagement, SHARKS 3D will be shown this month at two of the U.S. top institution-based IMAX theaters: the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, Virginia Beach (Virginia), and the Audubon Institute's New Orleans Aquarium, New Orleans (Louisiana). SHARKS 3D also has commitments from more than 35 IMAX theaters. The film is scheduled to open at select IMAX theaters in the U.S. in March 2005 before expanding into nine countries shortly thereafter.
SHARKS 3D (www.sharks3D.com) is produced by 3D Ent. Ltd. and Gavin McKinney Prods. Inc. Directed by Jean-Jacques Mantello, filmed by McKinney and executive produced by Francois Mantello, the film is distributed worldwide by 3D Ent. Christophe Jacquelin composed the original music score.
3D Ent., based in London, specializes in the production and distribution of marine conservation and environmental-themed films for the worldwide network of IMAX theaters.