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Microsoft Corp. To Deliver Ten MFF Titles As High-Definition DVDs

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Written by: MacGillivray Freeman Films
Date: January 9, 2004

  

Category: Press Releases

Laguna Beach, California, January 8, 2004 -- Continuing its tradition of forging new ground in film marketing and technology, MacGillivray Freeman Films (MFF) has joined forces with Microsoft Corp. to release ten MFF giant screen film titles in a pioneering series of high-definition companion DVDs created using Microsoft’s Windows Media High Definition Video (WMV HD). In a statement released yesterday, Microsoft announced that CORAL REEF ADVENTURE is the first of sixteen titles to be released in WMV HD, which delivers to movie fans a visually stunning high-definition experience on their Windows XP-based PC or in the home theater using Windows XP Media Center Edition. WMV HD titles offer video resolution of up to 1080p, approximately six times the resolution of standard DVD video. Coral Reef Adventure was originally created for exhibition in IMAX® theaters and is on track to become one of the most successful films in the large format medium with more than $24 million taken in at giant screen theaters worldwide since its platform release in February 2003.

The films will be available at retail in two-disc DVD sets that contain the films both 236in standard definition as well as a companion DVD disc with a version of the film in high-definition video and 5.1 channel surround-sound using WMV HD. MFF’s DVD and WMV HD titles are produced by Big Picture Digital Productions and distributed by Image Entertainment, http://image-entertainment.com.

"For more than 25 years, MFF has produced giant screen cinematic experiences that deliver the largest and most pristine images ever displayed," said Bill Bennett, President of Distribution at MFF."Today, with the WMV HD release of Coral Reef Adventure, we are proud to be at the forefront with Microsoft in providing fans of our films with the ultimate high-definition surround-sound home theater experience."

"Windows XP users expect superior entertainment experiences, which is why we are proud to work with MacGillivray Freeman Films to offer Coral Reef Adventure and other MFF titles using WMV HD," said Dave Fester, general manager, Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "The spectacular images and moving storylines provide the ideal content for showing our customers just how powerful the WMV HD home theater experience really is."

The new two-DVD set of Coral Reef Adventure is now available at major retail outlets including Amazon.com, Borders, Sam Goody, Musicland, Virgin Megastores, Suncoast and Tower Records. Additional MFF titles will be available in the first half of 2004: JOURNEY INTO AMAZING CAVES, DOLPHINS, THE LIVING SEA, AMAZON, TO THE LIMIT, THE MAGIC OF FLIGHT, SPEED, STORMCHASERS, and THE DISCOVERERS.

In a new national promotion, Gateway Inc. is offering a free WMV HD DVD-ROM of Coral Reef Adventure for a limited time with the purchase of a qualifying Gateway Media Center Edition PC. More information about Microsoft’s Windows Media and WMV HD can be found at http://www.wmvhd.com.

The DVD release of Coral Reef Adventure features additional bonus material including a special behind-the scenes "Making Of" documentary, a retrospective of MacGillivray Freeman’s filmmaking history, and an underwater ambient looping video.

Voted the Best IMAX Theater Film of 2003 by members of the Giant Screen Theater Association, Coral Reef Adventure follows the inspirational personal quest of underwater filmmakers Howard and Michele Hall to document the imperiled coral reefs of the South Pacific and the worldwide challenge to save them. Narrated by Liam Neeson and featuring songs written and recorded by Crosby, Stills & Nash, Coral Reef Adventure was produced with major funding from the National Science Foundation and in association with Museum of Science, Boston, National Wildlife Federation, Lowell, Blake & Associates, and Museum Film Network.

First released in IMAX theaters on February 14, 2003, Coral Reef Adventure is the third film in the company’s series of ocean-themed mission-driven films. For the launch of the film, MFF coordinated a far-reaching outreach campaign to generate increased awareness of the plight facing the world’s reefs. The company produced a companion book, a traveling exhibit for museum lobbies, and a scientist lecture series, among other projects. The company estimates the campaign has so far reached approximately 43 million people with its message of hope and conservation of reefs. The company’s fourth ocean film, WATER PLANET, will be released in 2006.

About MacGillivray Freeman Films

MacGillivray Freeman Films is the world’s leading independent producer and distributor of giant screen films for IMAX theaters and large format cinemas. The company has 32 giant screen films to its credit, including such blockbuster hits as EVEREST and TO FLY! and the Oscar®-nominated documentaries Dolphins and The Living Sea. The company’s upcoming films include MYSTERY OF THE NILE and GREECE: SECRETS OF THE PAST, both slated for release in 2005.

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For more information, please visit www.coralfilm.com or www.macfreefilms.com or contact: Lori Rick, MacGillivray Freeman Films, (949) 494-1055 ext. 118, lrick@macfreefilms.com

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