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To The Arctic Honored with Best Film of the Year and Best Lifelong Learning Awards at the 2012 GSCA Achievement Awards


Filmmakers Pledge to Produce Ten Educational Giant-Screen Films Over the Next Ten Years Marking a Long-term Commitment to IMAX® Theatres and Giant-Screen Exhibitors


Laguna Beach, CA (Sept. 26, 2012) MacGillivray Freeman Films’ latest 3D IMAX film, To The Arctic was honored with the two top prizes at the 2012 Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) Achievement Awards in Sacramento last week. To The Arctic won awards for Best Film Short Subject (in a first-ever tie) and Best Film For Lifelong Learning, which honors the film with the greatest educational impact.  Voted on by the nearly 300 members of the GSCA, the Achievement Awards honor the best films of the year produced for the giant-screen industry. Warner Bros. Pictures and IMAX Filmed Entertainment present the MacGillivray Freeman Film, To The Arctic, a One World One Ocean presentation.

Also at the GSCA Conference, MacGillivray Freeman Films announced its commitment to produce ten new educational giant-screen films over the next ten years, ensuring a steady stream of the highest-quality 15/70 film product for IMAX theatres and other giant-screen cinemas.  In addition to new ocean films produced under its One World One Ocean Campaign, MacGillivray Freeman will offer a new film about Mt. Everest and a space film, Hidden Universe, produced by December Media, among other films.

“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,” said director/producer Greg MacGillivray.  “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.”

“Our commitment to making high-quality films for the giant-screen theatre community has never been stronger and we look forward to another decade of delivering top-tier product like To The Arctic that exhibitors can count on to fill their theatres,” said producer Shaun MacGillivray.  “These films and the multi-platform educational content we’re producing as part of our One World One Ocean Campaign, support our mission to create meaningful, memorable lifelong learning experiences for audiences.”


Added To The Arctic writer/editor Stephen Judson, “Writing for the giant screen is always a delicate balancing act, and in To The Arctic, we tried to deliver the essential information with a light touch, so the message would be clear and still entertaining.  Our audience surveys show that this approach works, and it is a great pleasure to watch so many viewers rediscover the unique importance of the Arctic as one of our last great wildernesses. We thank our production partners Tom Campion, Chat Reynders and the Canadian Museum of Civilization who made the film possible.”

An extraordinary journey to the top of the world, To The Arctic tells the ultimate tale of survival.  Narrated by Oscar® winner Meryl Streep with songs by Paul McCartney, the film takes audiences on a never-before-experienced journey into the lives of a mother polar bear and her twin seven-month-old cubs as they navigate the changing Arctic wilderness they call home. 


To The Arctic has grossed $9.7 million in worldwide ticket sales since its April 20 release with exhibitions in 67 IMAX theatres.  The film continues to roll out in IMAX theatres both domestically and abroad. 

To amplify the film’s educational impact, MacGillivray Freeman’s One World One Ocean Campaign produced a series of Arctic-themed educational content including a  lobby display; a speaker tour with award-winning photographer Florian Schulz (whose Arctic images are featured in the film companion book); an educator guide for middle school teachers; grants for Title I school field trips; online resources including educational videos, photo galleries, and downloadables for kids; and a call-to-action initiative for supporters who want to help protect the Arctic. Exhibitors interested in these resources should contact Mary Jane Dodge at


Upcoming giant-screen films from MacGillivray Freeman Films include (working titles):

Hidden Universe 3D (March, 2013)

The South Pacific 3D (Spring, 2014)

Humpback Whales 3D (Spring, 2015)

Ocean Planet 3D (Spring, 2016) 

Everest: Conquering Thin Air 3D (May, 2016)


About MacGillivray Freeman Films

MacGillivray Freeman Films is the world’s foremost independent producer and distributor of giant-screen 70mm films with 36 IMAX films to its credit.  Throughout the company’s 40-year history, its films have won numerous international awards including two Academy Award nominations and three film inductions into the IMAX Hall of Fame. The company’s hit film Everest is currently the highest grossing giant-screen film of all time. Helmed by Oscar-nominated producer/director Greg MacGillivray, MacGillivray Freeman Films is the first documentary filmmaker to reach the $1 billion box office benchmark in worldwide ticket sales. MacGillivray Freeman’s films are known for their artistry and successful blend of education and entertainment, as well as their celebration of science and the natural world. 

About One World One Ocean

The One World One Ocean Campaign is a MacGillivray Freeman Films multi-platform initiative powered by MacG Media that is harnessing the power of film, television and new media to change how people see and value the ocean.  As “the ocean’s storyteller,” One World One Ocean will inspire and connect millions worldwide in an effort to catalyze a movement to restore and protect the world’s oceans. One World One Ocean will work in collaboration with the One World One Ocean Foundation and other campaign partners to produce and distribute ocean educational programs around the world. 


Media contact:

Lori Rick, MacGillivray Freeman Films



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