Bugs! wins 2003 Best Large Format Film Award at LFCA Conference in LA

Toronto, May 20, 2003 – Bugs!, narrated by Oscar® winner Dame Judi Dench, was voted the 2003 Best Film at the festival of new films for IMAX and other large format cinemas during the Large Format Cinema Association Conference just wrapped in Los Angeles. The film is a live-action nature drama filmed in awe inspiring, totally immersive 3D. Shot on location in Borneo and in a purpose-built studio in Oxford, England, Bugs! explores the dramatic and savage lives of a praying mantis and a beautiful butterfly. The 40 minute feature combines incredible footage with cutting-edge IMAX technology to deliver a fantastically entertaining and enlightening experience about the little guys in life.

Bugs! beat off stiff competition from 10 other IMAX films entered in the festival to win the coveted LFCA prize including James Cameron’s Ghosts of the Abyss (playing out of competition at Cannes), industry veteran Greg MacGillivray’s Coral Reef Adventure, Pulse a Stomp Odyssey and SK’s other Large Format entry Straight Up! Helicopters in Action.

Producers Phil Streather and Alexandra Ferguson and Executive Producer (from England based Principal Large Format) Jonathan Barker were on hand to accept the award. Says Streather, “We are hugely pleased about this award; after 3 years hard labour it’s wonderful to feel that pat on the back from your own industry!” Barker (who is also the film’s distributor and CEO of Toronto-based SK Films Inc.), says, “We are delighted to be able to bring this film to audiences worldwide with the incomparable Judi Dench to guide them on this journey into the tiny world of bugs on the giant screen.”

Bugs! is the first large format 3D feature to have had significant UK financing, in this instance by The Film Consortium in association with Film Council, and the UK Film and TV Production Company Plc, and marks an important step forward for large format production in the UK for it’s largely UK crew.

The 40-minute film, which features nearly 40 insects, was shot on location in the jungles of Borneo and in the UK, where a microcosm of a tropical rainforest was replicated in the studio for extreme close-ups. Director Mike Slee (IMAX® 2D films Wildfire – Feel the Heat, Legend of Loch Lomond), who co-wrote the script with Abby Aron, shot the film from a bug’s perspective.

Slee surrounded himself with an outstanding team of visual masters including Technical Oscar-winning Specialist Photographer, Peter Parks of Image Quest 3-D, who designed and built new systems’ equipment to shoot insects in extreme close up, and Director of Photography Sean Phillips, the world’s leading stereographer and 3D cinematographer.

The participating IMAX theatres are: The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History; the Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, @Bristol in the UK; the Pacific Science Center in Seattle; and Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas

The presenting sponsor of the film is Memphis, Tennessee based Terminix, the world leader in protecting homes and businesses from termites and pests. Says Steve Good, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Terminix: “We’re thrilled with the success of Bugs! We’re great supporters of the idea of insects living in their natural environment outside of people’s homes. We are very proud to be part of a film that offers such tremendous educational and entertainment opportunity.”

The producers of Bugs! are Phil Streather (IMAX® 2D films Legend of Loch Lomond, Wildfire-Feel the Heat) and Alexandra Ferguson (Legend of Loch Lomond, Wildfire-Feel the Heat), with Jonathan Barker (Into the Deep IMAX® 3D, Straight Up! Helicopters in Action IMAX® 2D), Simon Relph (Hideous Kinky), and UKFTV’s Peter Fudakowski serving as Executive Producers. Tim Wellspring (Legend of Loch Lomond) is the Associate Producer.

Bugs! is produced by Principal Large Format in association with Image Quest
3-D, co-produced by the UK Film and TV Production Company Plc, financed with The Film Consortium in association with the Film Council. The film is presented by Terminix and distributed to the worldwide network of IMAX and other large format theatres, by SK Films Inc. of Toronto, Canada.

Bugs! is rolling out during the course of 2003 and 2004 to IMAX and other large format theatres, market by market around the world. Watch for local listings!

For further information contact:

Julie Johnston, SK Films, Toronto
Tel: 416-363-1411; Email: juliej@shaftesbury.org

Phil Streather, Principal Large Format, England
Tel: +44 (0) 1371 813 301; Email: phil@plf.cc

Mia Bays, The Film Consortium, England
Tel: +44 (0) 7770 594 682; Email: mbays.tfc@civiliancontent.com