CHATTANOOGA, TN – May 23, 2019 – Today, the Tennessee Aquarium debuts Great Barrier Reef 3D, the latest IMAX project by the filmmakers at December Media, one of Australia’s most experienced film and documentary producers. Narrated by Eric Bana, the movie offers the chance to experience the Great Barrier Reef’s vibrant scenery and diverse wildlife on Chattanooga’s largest screen.
Stretching for more than 1,600 miles just off Australia’s northeast coast, the Great Barrier Reef is the kind of natural wonder draped in superlatives and statistics that still struggle to encompass its splendor and importance.
Actually a system of more than 3,000 interconnected reefs, the Great Barrier Reef is considered the world’s largest living structure and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981. Sprawling across 132,000 square miles, it comprises 10 percent of the world’s coral reef ecosystems and is the only natural structure that can be viewed, unaided, from space.
The Great Barrier Reef is home to 600 types of coral, 1,600 kinds of fish, more than 200 birds species, 30 species of whales and dolphins and six of the world’s seven Sea Turtle species. Each year, more than 2.5 million people visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to experience its abundance of life and stunning underwater scenes.
Of the millions who have visited the reef, few can claim to know it as well as marine conservationist and underwater cinematographer Jemma Craig. The central figure of Great Barrier Reef 3D, Craig was raised in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef on Green Island, a tiny dot of land off the coast of Queensland.
Growing up miles offshore, Craig was brought up surrounded by the majesty of the reef and in the company of a host of animals living in her family’s crocodile and marine life habitat and museum, which they’ve operated on the island since the 1970s.
Green Island is visited by about 300,000 visitors a year, but Craig’s family are its only permanent residents. As a child, Craig recalls that she and her brother spent much of their time learning all there was to know about their unique home and the amazing animals that shared it.
Great Barrier Reef 3D follows Craig to many locations in the Great Barrier Reef on a quest to aid a rescued green sea turtle. Viewers can learn more about her personal relationship with her home and meet others working to safeguard this natural wonder for future generations. Along the way, viewers can see views of the reef’s diverse animal residents, from gigantic Manta Rays and Minke Whales to newly hatched Green Sea Turtles and a Maori Wrasse named Wally.
Craig will be on hand at the IMAX 3D Theater on May 23 to introduce a 7 p.m. showing of Great Barrier Reef 3D. After the screening, she will answer questions about the film and her experiences as a reef-native and conservationist.
From 6 p.m. until the film’s debut, guests arriving at the theater will enjoy children’s activities, opportunities to get up close with marine invertebrates and music by Chattanooga-based didgeridoo player Jerry Wallace.
Great Barrier Reef 3D will be shown 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. daily with additional screenings at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater.
For more information about Great Barrier Reef 3D or to purchase tickets, visit www.tnaqua.org/imax/great-barrier-reef-3d.
About the Tennessee Aquarium
The mission of the Tennessee Aquarium is to connect people with nature and inspire them to make informed decisions about water and wildlife. Admission is $34.95 per adult and $21.95 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $11.95 per adult and $9.95 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $42.95 for adults and $29.95 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities.
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