GSCA Achievement Awards

The GSCA 2016 Achievement Awards were presented the evening of October 4 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto during the GSCA 2016 International Conference and Trade Show. IMAX Corporation sponsored the evening and also presented its Maximum Image Awards during the ceremony. All photos by Richard Hoffmann for GSCA unless otherwise noted.

Graeme Ferguson

Outstanding Achievement Award

The Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) is very pleased to announce that renowned filmmaker and IMAX co-inventor and co-founder Graeme Ferguson is the recipient of its inaugural Outstanding Achievement Award. Mr. Ferguson will accept the award at the GSCA Achievement Awards on the evening of Tuesday, October 4, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto.

Toronto native Graeme Ferguson was the driving artistic force behind IMAX. For Expo ’67 in Montreal, Ferguson directed the multi-screen, multi-projector film Polar Life, which viewers watched while seated on a central rotating turntable in the middle of 11 screens. The film was so successful that Ferguson, along with fellow filmmaker Roman Kroiter, had the idea of creating a movie theater with a similar immersive experience but with a single giant screen using only one projector. To achieve that, Ferguson and Kroiter recruited high school friend and businessman Robert Kerr, and engineer William Shaw, also a high school friend, to develop the camera, projection system, and theater configuration. Their IMAX (Maximum Image) system debuted at Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan, with the first-ever IMAX film, Tiger Child. With a 15 perf/70mm film frame that was nearly 10 times larger than conventional 35mm film, the bright, clear, steady, and giant images resulted in a revolutionary immersive theater experience.

Ferguson has continued to make giant screen films throughout his career as director, producer, writer, and cinematographer, and his films have been seen by millions of people around the world. He was instrumental in getting IMAX cameras into space and fueling the dreams of would-be astronauts. Susan Helms credits the film The Dream Is Alive for inspiring to become an astronaut, and she appears in the IMAX documentary Space Station 3D.

Ferguson’s IMAX filmography includes Tiger Child (1970), North of Superior (1971), Circus World (1974), Man Belongs to Earth (1974), Snow Job (1974), Ocean (1977), Hail Columbia! (1982), The Dream Is Alive (1985), Blue Planet (1990), Journey to the Planets (1993), Into the Deep (1994), Destiny in Space (1994), L5: First City in Space (1996), Mission to Mir (1997), Space Station 3D (2002), Deep Sea 3D (2006), Under the Sea 3D (2009), Hubble 3D (2010), and A Beautiful Planet (2016).

“We are so honored to present the first GSCA Outstanding Achievement Award to Graeme Ferguson,” says GSCA Executive Director Tammy Seldon. “He has inspired an entire industry and countless viewers around the world for decades.”

“We respect and thank him for his artistic vision and passion,” says GSCA board member Diane Carlson of Pacific Science Center. “Simply put, without Graeme Ferguson, we would not have the industry we now have.”

“From the time I entered the giant screen industry I have admired Graeme,” says GSCA Board Chair Gordon Stalans of the Tennessee Aquarium. “The films he has brought to our audiences are outstanding and impactful. But even more than his work product, I admire the way Graeme goes about conducting his business in a quiet, humble way but with the unwavering determination to do the job and do it right. That is the mark of a true giant in any industry.”

National Parks Adventure

Best Film-Short Subject
Best Cinematography
Best Sound Design
Best Original Score
Best Marketing Campaign by a Distributor

Pictured here are Chip Bartlett, Bob Harman, Dona Harman, Lori Rick, Mary Jane Dodge, Jason Paul, Meghan MacGillivray, Shaun MacGillivray, Greg MacGillivray, Barbara MacGillivray, and Shauna Badheka. National Parks Adventure is produced and distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films. Directed by Greg MacGillivray. Cinematography by Brad Ohlund, Greg MacGillivray, Doug Lavender, Michael Brown, Shaun MacGillivray, Robert Walker, Jason Sturgis, and Nick Savander. Sound design by Andrew DeCristofaro, MPSE; Ken Teaney, CAS; Marshall Garlington; Michael Payne, MPSE. Original score by Steve Wood. Marketing by Lori Rick, Mary Jane Dodge, Shauna Badheka, and Jeff Girard.

A Beautiful Planet

Best Film for Lifelong Learning

Pictured here is Toni Myers. A Beautiful Planet is produced by IMAX Corporation and Toni Myers, and directed by Toni Myers.

Space Next

Best Visual Effects

Pictured here is Tina Ratterman, BIG & Digital. Space Next is produced by Afterglow Studios, directed by Luke Ployhar, visual effects by Afterglow Studios, and distributed by BIG & Digital.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: An IMAX 3D Experience

Best Film-Feature Length

Pictured here is Gina Glen, Senior Manager, Film Distribution. Star Wars: The Force Awakens: An IMAX 3D Experience is produced Lucasfilm Ltd. and Bad Robot Productions, distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture, and directed by J.J. Abrams.

Cincinnati Museum Center, National Parks Adventure

Best Film Launch by a Theater (tie)

Pictured here is Dave Duszynski, VP of Featured Experiences and OMNIMAX at the Cincinnati Museum Center.  The marketing team responsible for the campaign included Jenna Kehrt, Cody Hefner, Maria Dehne, and Dave Duszynski.

Tennessee Aquarium, National Parks Adventure

Best Film Launch by a Theater (tie)

Pictured here are Gordon Stalans, CFO, and Cindy Todd, Chief Marketing and Branding Officer. The team responsible for the campaign included Cindy Todd, Thom Benson, Jill McCain, Meredith Roberts, Shelby Wade, Karen Estes, Janie Shipley, and Shannon Colbert.

Hollywood Megaplex PlusCity, Austria

Best Theater Marketing Campaign

Pictured here are Mario Hueber and Harald Grabner.

Montreal Science Centre, Living in the Age of Airplanes

Big Idea Award

Pictured here are Julie La Roche, Sophie Morin, and Isabelle Biron. Montreal Science Centre was given this award for its resourcefulness in bringing new audiences to the theatre. Having zero budget to promote the film, the marketing team was able to create a successful campaign and film launch by partnering with organizations in the aviation industry.

James Neihouse, ASC

Big Shoe Award

Pictured here are GSCA Communications and Membership Director Kelly Germain, James Neihouse, and GSCA Executive Director Tammy Barrett. The Big Shoe award recipients are selected by GSCA staff to recognize exemplary volunteers who are not GSCA board members.

Maximum Image Awards, Presented by IMAX

Bugs! 3D

Hall of Fame Award

Pictured here is Bugs! 3D producer Phil Streather. Bugs! 3D was produced by Principal Large Format, Image Quest 3-D, and the UK Film and TV Production Company. Executive producers Jonathan Barker, Peter Fudakowski, Simon Relph. Produced by Phil Streather and Alexandra Ferguson. Distributed by SK Films. The IMAX Hall of Fame Award goes to a giant screen film that is at least 10 years old and is selected by vote of the IMAX theater network.

David Booty, IMAX Melbourne

Chief Quality Officer Award of Distinction

Best IMAX Booth

  • Cineworld Broughton and IMAX, Broughton, UK
  • Hollywood Megaplex Plus City & IMAX, Pasching, Austria
  • Zhejiang Wandi & IMAX, Lishui, China

Honorable Mentions

  • 360 Kuwait & IMAX, Kuwait City, KW
  • Cineworld Sheffield & IMAX, Sheffield, UK
  • Kinepolis Brussels & IMAX, Brussels, BE