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Ancient Egypt comes to life
on the giant IMAX screen

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Sept. 4, 2000) - Experience the intrigue of life in ancient Egypt, soar over the Nile river and explore a pharaoh's tomb in the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater newest feature, "Mysteries of Egypt, " opening Sept. 30. The IMAX film adventure from National Geographic unlocks the myths and reveals the masterpieces of this fascinating empire that began some 5,000 years ago.

Egypt is captured for the first time on the giant screen, and is brought to life by Omar Sharif, the audience's guide into the "Mysteries of Egypt." Receiving exclusive access to the Valley of the Nile, the filmmakers have captured breathtaking aerial shots of the pyramids and give the audience a close-up look at the pharaohs' treasures.

Through the magic of large-format cinematography, "Mysteries of Egypt" explodes onto a screen that is six stories tall, taking the audience on a thrilling flight rushing over the Nile, the world's longest river. Soaring over the great pyramids of Giza, viewers cross the deathly quiet Valley of the Kings and descend into the shadowy chambers of the scared tomb of King Tutankhamun. The large-format screen allows the audience to truly experience the magnificence of Egypt.

The first time Lisa Truitt, the film's co-producer looked over the massive rock pyramids and enormous structures marking the ancient Egyptian Empire, she thought jokingly, "The pharaohs must have had these built for the giant screen."

Based on an ancient Egyptian belief that death was not an end, but the beginning of a great journey, the Egyptians carved out a kingdom of limestone monuments, enormous pyramids and spectacular golden treasures, creating mysteries that continue to fascinate the world.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of the history of Egypt is that these people went to a great deal of effort to tell their own story. Everywhere you look, on the walls and columns of the great temples and in the dark tombs of the pharaohs, there are symbols and signs teeming with information about a civilization that loved life.

The film transports the viewer to the time when the great pyramids were built, recreating the scenes, as archaeologists now believe they occurred.

"We found the ramp that the workers used to move the blocks," says Dr. Zahi Hawass, director general of the Giza Pyramids and Saqqara, and film consultant. "We believe the people who built these monuments were very proud and committed to this national project."

"Mysteries of Egypt" also depicts the process used to prepare a pharaoh's body for eternal life. Reenacting the ritual, the film engages the viewer as Egyptians ready the body of the teenage pharaoh, King Tut, then ceremoniously carrying him deep into his dark tomb.

The powerful tale of ancient Egypt is told by legendary screen actor and native Egyptian, Omar Sharif ("Doctor Zhivago," and "Lawrence of Arabia.") He plays a grandfather enchanting his granddaughter, played by Kate Maberly ("The Secret Garden"), with a great detective story of tombs and treasures.

Weaving a story of determination, discovery and tragedy, Sharif recounts the tale of the British archaeologists who discovered King Tut's tomb. The film also uncovers the amazing accomplishments of this ancient civilization in fascinating detail.

"Mysteries of Egypt" is the first large-format film co-produced by National Geographic Films and Destination Cinema in association with NOVA/WGBH Boston, the Museum of Science and Industry-Chicago, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and Centex Investment Limited. The film's beautiful photography can be viewed on National Geographic's web site

Explore the most important monuments and treasures in the world at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX theater.

For more IMAX movie information, click here!



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