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“Grand Canyon Adventure 3D” opens March 14th at IMAX

Film Combines Striking Scenery with Timely Water Conservation Message

Chattanooga, Tenn. (February 29, 2008) -  The recent drought plaguing the Southeast and political struggles over water may be new to this region, but water supply issues are nothing new to more arid regions of the world. In fact, many people are on the brink of a global water crisis. A new 3D film coming to the Tennessee Aquarium’s IMAX Theater promises to lead audiences on a thrilling adventure focusing on our most precious resource – fresh water.

MacGillivray Freeman Films, producers of the blockbuster hit “Everest,” will make a splash with their first 3D film for IMAX Theaters, “Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk.”  This giant screen film combines exhilarating river-rafting action on America’s most iconic river with family fun and the grandeur of the Grand Canyon. It’s also an engaging story of how ordinary people can make a difference for our parched planet –
one that is running out of clean, fresh water so fast that the United Nations estimates that 40% of the world could face life-threatening shortages by the year 2050. 

Taking audiences on this illuminating rafting trip are two environmental heroes: world-renowned river advocate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and celebrated author/anthropologist/explorer Wade Davis, accompanied by their daughters—Kick Kennedy and Tara Davis—for whom this journey will become a moving rite of passage.  They are guided by Shana Watahomigie, a member of the Havasupai tribe and the first Native American to become a National Park Ranger and river guide.  A stirring score featuring songs and music from the Grammy Award-winning Dave Matthews Band sets the mood for this adventure that explores the spiritual, artistic and life-sustaining powers of water—and makes crystal clear that each of us must do our part to better manage this crucial resource for the future. 

“Safe fresh water is a human right like clean air, yet more than one-fifth of the world’s people suffer without adequate clean water,” says Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who recalls going down the Colorado just a few decades ago with his own father.

“My hope is that ‘Grand Canyon Adventure 3D: River at Risk’ will remind the world that restoring our waterways and conserving fresh water are important, not just in developing nations but here at home.  The quality and survival of our civilization will depend on it.” 

“In our film, the Colorado River becomes a metaphor for global water issues, revealing how interconnected our rivers, water supply and human actions really are,” says the film’s two-time Academy Award-nominated producer/director Greg MacGillivray.  “A river trip is one of those amazing life events where you’re ripped out of your daily routine and inspired to see the world in new ways.  With IMAX 3D images, we’re able to put the audience even more into the action and let them participate in every twist and turn.” 

The vital urgency for people around the world to address the water crisis comes to the fore as the explorers make their way down the Colorado, itself a prime example of a mighty and hallowed river that has been altered by excess and inefficient use.  The Colorado once flowed freely across 1,400 miles, from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Today, however, the lower half of the Colorado no longer consistently reaches the sea, and the river, which is a source of water and power to 25 million Americans, is literally shrinking due to a severe drought cycle now facing the American Southwest. Researchers predict this so-called “mega-drought” could last into the next century, threatening to wreck havoc among the seven states that depend heavily on the river’s water.  

With the earth’s population soaring, far too many people have found themselves without daily access to water. From the American West to Africa, aquifers are tapped out, waterways have been dammed into extinction and wetlands have turned to deserts. The result is that more than a staggering 1.5 billion people—one in five on the planet—have been left thirsty, while 5 million people a year tragically die due to water-borne illnesses.

“The least we can do is try to create a world where everyone can have a glass of fresh drinking water,” adds MacGillivray. “If this film allows more people to feel a deeper respect for rivers and water everywhere, then we will have accomplished what we set out to do.”

“Grand Canyon Adventure 3D” premieres at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater on Friday, March 14th in anticipation of World Water Day on March 22nd.


The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural world. Admission is $19.95 per adult and $12.95 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $8.50 per adult and $6.00 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $25.95 for adults and $17.95 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to join.

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