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Coral reef documentary to screen in Laguna

Coral reef documentary to screen in Laguna
A still from Greg MacGillivray’s film “Coral Reef Adventure.”
(Coastline Pilot)

With loud, buzzing cameras weighing up to 250 pounds, the MacGillivray Freeman Films team is careful not to scare away the wildlife as they reach into the depths of the ocean. One lousy shot can end up being amplified on IMAX screens around the world.

When Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Greg MacGillivray’s “Coral Reef Adventure” screens Friday at the Festival of Arts Forum Theatre, the audience will have to make do with a regular DVD format. But the screening, the last in the Laguna Beach Film Society’s Ocean Awareness series, will hopefully still be eye-catching enough.


Narrated by Liam Neeson, “Coral Reef Adventure” is captured on 70mm film and follows the 10-month journey to the coral reefs in the South Pacific undertaken by husband-and-wife ocean explorers Howard and Michele Hall.

MacGillivray’s son Shaun, the producer of MacGillivray Freeman Films, will answer questions at the end of the screening.


“We are an ocean community, and as a result we wanted to create a series that would document the ocean, its condition and its fragility across the world,” said George Weiss, chair of the Laguna Beach Film Society.

The previous two films in the series have focused on the oil spill tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico and the environmental issues related to the ocean in Southern California, respectively.

“Our third screening will focus on coral reef and its decline in places such as the Philippines that have been devastated by global warming and human interaction,” Weiss said.

Shaun MacGillivray will present an additional short feature on his One World One Ocean campaign, which is an initiative to bring awareness to the ocean’s role in environment and to help clean up the oceans worldwide.


MacGillivray Freeman Films is the largest independent producer of IMAX films in the world. Two of its documentaries, “The Living Sea” (1995) and “Dolphins” (2000), have been Oscar-nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject.

“We get letters from kids telling us they want to become marine biologists because of seeing our ocean films, and in exit surveys, people have said they will make more environmentally conscious decisions because of what they’ve learned in our films,” Shaun MacGillivray said.

If You Go

What: “Coral Reef Adventure”


Where: Forum Theater, Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Cost: $5 in advance, $6 at the door; free for Laguna Beach Film Society members

Information: (949) 494-8971, ext. 203 or