“National Parks Adventure” – a 3D film for IMAX® and giant-screen theatres that has taken audiences around the globe on a virtual journey through well-known (and even some lesser-known) parks across the United States – was named Best Film of 2016 in the Short Subject category by the Giant Screen Cinema Association at the group’s annual worldwide conference and trade show, held Oct. 4 to 7 in Toronto.
Brand USA, the destination-marketing organization for the United States, collaborated with MacGillivray Freeman Films, an award-winning, independent filmmaker, to create the documentary as a cinematic tribute to this year’s centennial anniversary of the National Park Service.
The 45-minute film, narrated by Robert Redford, features footage from more than 30 of the parks – including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Arches and Glacier national parks.
“This movie has been an ideal vehicle for showcasing and inspiring visitation to our national parks and the Great Outdoors experiences that await international visitors in the United States,” said Chris Thompson, President and CEO of Brand USA. “In fact, exit surveys have indicated that 81% of those people who have watched the film are either “much more likely” or “somewhat more likely” to visit the United States after seeing the film.”
“National Parks Adventure” also won achievement awards from the Giant Screen Cinema Association for best cinematography, sound design and original score. Additionally, the film was named in connection with two other awards: best marketing campaign by a distributor and best film launch by a theater.
MacGillivray Freeman has 38 giant-screen productions to its credit, including nine of the all-time, top-20 giant-screen, box-office hits.
“The audience reception to the film has been nothing short of outstanding, and we are truly honored to have inspired millions of moviegoers around the world with the awe-inspiring images of America’s untamed wilderness,” said Shaun MacGillivray, Producer and President of MacGillivray Freeman Films. “The national parks belong to everyone, and we are pleased the film has had such a positive impact on viewers’ desire to travel to the parks to see for themselves.”
Beyond its artistic success, the film has been a commercial powerhouse. According to MacGillivray Freeman Films, it generated more than $18 million in ticket sales, making it the highest-grossing documentary film of 2016 (for both giant-screen and Hollywood-made documentaries).
The film premiered at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History on Feb. 10, and then opened at museums and science centers in dozens of U.S. cities. It had its international debut in London, Feb. 16, as a prelude to playing in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Australia, India, Japan, and other locations. The film continues to open in new markets around the world and is anticipated to play in theatres throughout 2017 and beyond.