IMAX still selling an experience

Film festival takes viewers around the world and undersea

Gavin McKinney (director of photography)

From burning oil fields in Kuwait, to the peak of Everest, to a 370 km/h drive in an Indy car, this year’s selection for the IMAX Film Festival promises to expand horizons.

For the second year running, IMAX Victoria is bringing in a selection of old favourites and new epic features for the six-week festival, which last year drew in about 49,000 viewers.

Theatre director Paul Wild said people still come to IMAX for one main reason: the experience.

“Just that big screen, and the clarity of images, and just taking you away for 40 or 45 minutes and really putting you there,” Wild said. “I think people still really enjoy it.”

As cinemas switch to digital format, seeing actual film projection is becoming somewhat of a novelty too, especially 70mm. Although IMAX has opened screens in many commercial movie theatres, including SilverCity Victoria and Cineplex Odeon West Shore, those screens are still significantly smaller than the mainstay IMAX Victoria and use digital projectors.

Wild said most people in the industry agree that despite digital projection being cheaper and easier to use, and the technology for it ever improving, it still doesn’t look as good as film.

“One of the attributes of IMAX productions has always been high resolution and the clarity,” Wild said.

One day, as technology improves, IMAX Victoria will make the switch (albeit reluctantly, said Wild), but for now prints for the festival, all in 70mm film, are being brought in from as far away as Ontario, Oregon and Kentucky.

Sharks features up-close encounters with Great Whites, Hammerheads and other species of the great predator as audiences follow a team of ocean explorers observing sharks in their natural habitats throughout the oceans of the world.

Salt Spring Island filmmaker David Douglas’ Academy Award nominated Fires of Kuwait returns, taking viewers into the centre of the out-of-control oil fires that burned following the Persian Gulf War. The film follows the work of firefighters to quell the blazes after retreating Iraqi troops set fire to more than 600 oil wells.

“It was really a powerful film. It was just staggering,” said Wild of Fires of Kuwait. “You could almost feel the heat coming off of the screen. It was very, very amazing.”

Also opening with the festival is Mysteries of the Great Lakes, a journey through the headwaters of Lake Superior to the edge of Lake Ontario, and all the nature, landscapes and history in between.

Returning to IMAX Victoria, due to popular demand, is Everest, the dramatic true story of a team of climbers trekking to the top of the world’s tallest mountain.

Super Speedway puts audiences in the driver’s seat of an Indy car as they zip through the world of championship auto racing. On board cameras capture the cars in action, as Michael Andretti and his Newman/Haas racing team vie for the championship.

Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees runs wild as it follows the famous field researcher and the subject of her studies. The film looks at Goodall’s over 40 years of work with chimps at Gombe Park on Lake Tangayka in Africa and peeks into the daily lives of chimp families.

For more information visit imaxvictoria.com.

Just Posted

Western Speedway racing legend ‘The Flying Plumber’ turns 98

Dave Cooper recalls car crashes, his first win, and more

Second puppy killed by poisonous mushrooms in Victoria

Springer spaniel puppy died after consuming mushrooms in Fairfield neighbourhood

Driver charged in Central Saanich pedestrian’s death appears in court

Victim Kim Ward, 51, died on scene at the August 2018 crash

Langford homeowner helps West Shore RCMP catch car thief

The homeowner grabbed the suspect until the police arrived moments later

Nuisance tree will remain on perimeter of Fireman’s Park

Council re-affirm pledge to protecting healthy tree canopy

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Woman, 24, faces life-altering injuries after being dragged 4 blocks by vehicle in Vancouver

A gofundme account says the woman will have to undergo multiple complex surgeries

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Most Read