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‘Arabia’ garners top awards

MacGillivray Freeman’s newest 3D film for IMAX Theatres, “Arabia,” was recently awarded Best Original Score and Best Sound Design by the members of the Giant Screen Cinema Assn. at the 2010 GSCA Film Achievement Awards in Chattanooga. The Film Achievement Awards honor the best films of the year produced for the giant-screen industry. MacGillivray Freeman Films, based in Laguna Beach, also won the Best Marketing Campaign by a Distributor award for its launch of “Arabia,” an award the company has won seven times in the nine years it has been eligible.


As the first major film production to be granted access to more than 20 locations across Saudi Arabia, the film offers an in-depth portrait of Arabia’s people, history and culture and its struggle to balance ancient values with the modern world.

“‘Arabia’” takes audiences deep into the rich history of the Arabian peninsula and offers a fresh portrait of a culture based on strong family ties, love of education and deep faith,” said producer/director Greg MacGillivray. “Arabia was a challenging film to make in a part of the world where little filmmaking exists, and I am incredibly proud of our efforts to bring the story of Arabia to worldwide audiences. Our greatest hope is that the film transcends the myths and misperceptions that limit communication between our cultures and helps build a bridge of understanding among all peoples.”


The Film Achievement Awards are voted on by the 260 members of the GSCA representing more than 350 giant-screen theatres worldwide. The Best Marketing award is voted on by a panel of six judges who are members of the GSCA.

“Our Arabia marketing campaign invites viewers to experience the many surprises of the diverse Arabian culture with the most powerful entertainment medium available,” said Alice Casbara-Leek, Director of Marketing. “We look forward to helping new exhibitors realize the marketing potential this exciting film presents as Arabia continues its worldwide roll-out.”

The “Arabia” marketing campaign featured a series of high-profile premiere events including one attended by Prince Charles and Prince Turki al Faisal in London, a speaker series with lead film character Hamzah Jamjoom and best-selling historian Robert Lacey, local promotional support for exhibitors, a photographic companion book, a CD soundtrack, online promotion, and a teacher guide. “Arabia” has played or will open soon in nearly 30 IMAX Theatres.

The film mixes contemporary images of modern-day life, historical recreations of ancient civilizations, and 3D digital visual effects, to allow theatre-goers to ride the dunes with a camel caravan, dive into the Red Sea, hurtle back in time to the Islamic golden age of science, join three million Muslims on the Hajj pilgrimage, and get to know young Arabians.


Narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren, “Arabia” is produced and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films and presented in association with the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, and the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies. For more information, visit