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"DOLPHINS" Splashes onto the
Giant IMAX Screen in Chattanooga



CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (March 15, 2000) -- Imagine floating in the crystalline, turquoise waters of the Bahamas. Sunlight dances off the rippled, white sand banks. Swimming alongside you are some of the most graceful and extraordinary creatures on earth-wild dolphins. While few of us will ever have the chance to encounter a dolphin in the wild, audiences will feel like they are swimming right alongside these playful creatures when they view Dolphins, the newest IMAX film from MacGillivray Freeman Films, producers of the box-office hit Everest, opening at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater April 1.

From the dazzling coral reefs of the Bahamas to the wind-swept seas of Patagonia, Dolphins takes audiences under the water's surface for a romp with inquisitive Atlantic spotted dolphins, acrobatic dusky dolphins, and the familiar bottlenose dolphin of Flipper fame.

Studying (and filming) elusive, fast-moving animals in the ocean environment is a difficult task but in Dolphins viewers will follow young marine biologist, Dr. Kathleen Dudzinski, and her two colleagues, mentor Dr. Bernd Wursig and Dr. Alejandro Acevedo-Gutierrez, as they research the communication of wild dolphins with innovative scientific methods and interesting technology. From rarely seen fish-herding behavior to a close-up look at complex communication activities, Dolphins will give audiences a fascinating new perspective on the lives of dolphins and their remarkable intelligence.

Dolphins also explores the dolphin-human bond, and audiences will be intrigued by the relationship between JoJo, a rare lone dolphin in the Turks & Caicos Islands and his friend, naturalist Dean Bernal. Dean and JoJo have saved each other's lives on more than one occasion, and their story will stir audiences with the beauty and mystery of inter-species communication.

"The topic has a wonderful appeal to the public; people want to know more about how dolphins communicate," says director and producer Greg MacGillivray. "I wanted to make a film that offered insight into these intelligent marine mammals and that revealed the wonder of their habitat, the ocean, and our need to preserve it."

While most of what we know about dolphins comes from studying them in captivity, Dudzinski and her colleagues conduct their research with dolphins in the wild, a far more strenuous, time-consuming, even dangerous endeavor. Audiences may be surprised to witness firsthand how scientific progress is made in inches and not miles, and how the slow accumulation of scientific data is passed on, and expanded upon, from one generation of scientists to the next.

Wursig comments, "Everybody in Western societies admires dolphins. But few people really know very much about these intelligent, social mammals that play out their lives in a marvelously complex three-dimensional world. This film can help energize a new generation to learn more about the beauty and fragility of these long-lived members of the marine environment."

Dolphins, which is narrated by Pierce Brosnan and features the music of Grammy-award winning artist Sting, is produced and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films in association with the National Wildlife Federation, the nation's largest member-supported conservation group, and with major funding provided by the National Science Foundation and Museum Film Network.

Founded in 1966 by Greg MacGillivray and the late Jim Freeman, MacGillivray Freeman Films has been setting the standard in large-screen filmmaking for more than three decades. In 1996, MacGillivray Freeman's inaugural project, To Fly!, was selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in America's national film archives. In 1995, the company's The Living Sea received an Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary/Short Subject, and it's 1998 blockbuster Everest has become the fastest grossing large format film in history.

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