Antarctica: On the Edge and The Last Reef Inspire DC Leadership

July 31, 2015 – 1:29 pm

Oceans Month Events Celebrate Research and Conservation

Explorers, storytellers and scientists travel to the ends of the Earth and the depths of the oceans—and their discoveries reveal how even the most remote extremes have profound effects on the environment across the globe. This summer Giant Screen Films (GSF) was pleased to partner with nonprofits and elected officials to call attention to the beauty and fragility of our planet’s few remaining pristine environments.

A series of events featuring filmmakers Jon Bowermaster and Luke Cresswell used GSF’s films to shine a spotlight on climate science and to underscore how the poles, which may seem remote and distant, drive the circulation and health of our oceans. At a Congressional briefing and reception with honorary special guests Senators Harry Reid (Senate Minority Leader; D-NV), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Angus King (I-ME), and Edward Markey (D-MA), Antarctica: On the Edge and The Last Reef served as platforms for lively discussions. Welcomed by NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan and joined by renowned researchers Dr. Robin Bell and Dr. Brendan Kelly, the filmmakers discussed their efforts to share new understandings of the natural world with audiences worldwide.

“Films like Antarctica: On the Edge and The Last Reef are an inspiring testament to the planet’s natural wonders and humanity’s thirst for adventure,” said Senator Reid. “This kind of storytelling builds a true emotional connection to remote, pristine environments, from the poles to the open ocean to the beautiful deserts of the Basin and Range National Monument. With uplifting conservation messages and a true commitment to STEM education, Giant Screen Films and their partners are powerful allies in our efforts to protect the Earth and support a new generation of science leaders.”

“Climate science is a polarizing issue on the Hill,” said Dr. Neysa Call, science fellow for Senator Reid. “Filmmakers like Bowermaster and Cresswell help show us it shouldn’t be. We had an audience of hundreds at our briefing events, which is unusual. This level of interest underscores the critical research and conservation messages so vividly illustrated in GSF documentaries. Collaborating with GSF and other expert science communicators was a real achievement in our work to share the importance of geoscience research with colleagues who have the power to help strengthen it.”

“Museum theaters and researchers are part of an ‘ecosystem’ that reveals the wonders of our planet and forges a bright future for generations to come,” said Don Kempf, president of GSF. “We’re honored to engage new partners in our efforts and proud of our continuing commitment to innovation in both filmmaking and educational outreach.”

“Antarctica is a place that gets in your blood,” said Bowermaster, director of Antarctica: On the Edge. “Its sweeping, hostile beauty is perfectly suited to the giant screen. But I’ve witnessed undeniable changes in Antarctica’s landscape over the past twenty-five years. I hope this film can help museum audiences and policy-makers alike better understand and appreciate this surprisingly vulnerable continent”

“Science continues to reveal how connected we all are to our oceans and even the furthest reaches of the planet,” said Cresswell, a British director, composer and performer. “Our message is global, and it was rewarding to share our work with leaders who we hope can help advance conservation efforts everywhere.”

Supported by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, executive publisher of the Science family of journals), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and The Pew Charitable Trusts, GSF’s other Ocean Month outreach events included a GEO Distinguished Lecture at the National Science Foundation and a special screening of Antarctica 3D at AAAS headquarters.

Dr. Rush Holt, CEO of AAAS and executive publisher of the Science family of journals, offered praise for Antarctica: On the Edge. “This is a critical time to consider how we can share our scientific understanding of the issues facing our planet—from climate change to ocean health,” Holt said. “Antarctica: On the Edge offers a compelling platform for connecting researchers and the public, and for promoting greater understanding of climate-change impacts.”

ABOUT GIANT SCREEN FILMS
Since 1997, GSF has established itself as a pioneer in the large-format industry, producing and distributing films that push the boundaries of the medium. Through the magic of immersive sight and sound technologies, GSF’s productions challenge the imaginations of children and adults, offering an inspiring perspective on the world and an unforgettable theater experience. Meaningful educational collaborations and partnerships extend each film’s impact far beyond the theater. The company is recognized as one of the world’s leading and most active large-format producers and is based in Evanston, Illinois. For additional information, visit www.gsfilms.com.