GSCA Achievement Awards

The GSCA 2018 Achievement Awards were presented the evening of Friday, September 21, at the Westin hotel in Chattanooga, Tennessee, during the GSCA 2018 International Conference and Trade Show in Chattanooga.  IMAX Corporation, sponsor of the awards gala, presented the IMAX Maximum Image Awards during the ceremony as well.

Toni Myers

Outstanding Achievement Award

A visionary and pioneering filmmaker, Toni Myers has graced the giant screen cinema industry since its beginning as editor, writer, producer, director, and even sometimes narrator. Her celebrated, multiple award-winning filmography includes A Beautiful Planet (2016), Hubble 3D (2010), Under the Sea (2009), Deep Sea (2006) Space Station 3D (2002), Mission to Mir (1996), L5: First City in Space (1996), Destiny in Space (1994), Journey to the Planets (1993), Rolling Stones: At the Max (1991), Blue Planet (1990), The Dream Is Alive (1985), Hail Columbia! (1982), Nomads of the Deep (1979), Ocean (1977), and North of Superior (1971), one of the very first films made in the IMAX format. Throughout her entire career she has been mentored and encouraged by Graeme Ferguson, co-inventor of IMAX and founder of the IMAX Space Unit. Prior to her IMAX films, she edited television drama and music films, working with some greats of the 1960s—including John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Santana—and her music background has strongly influenced her filmmaking, especially her groundbreaking editing style.

Toni’s films are not only artistically and educationally significant but also commercially successful at theaters in museums and science centers around the world. Through her collaborations, including with the exceptionally talented underwater team of Howard and Michele Hall and many astronaut crews, she has taken millions of people deep under the sea and to the farthest reaches of space to the origins of our galaxy. In the process, Toni has inspired generations to care more about our planet and beyond. It’s impossible to watch her films and not feel a lump in your throat at the beauty in the universe. She was able to show the world for the first time what it’s really like to be in space, and astronauts Tom Jones, Susan Helms, and Terry Virts all credit her and the early IMAX space films for inspiring them to pursue space exploration and become astronauts.

Equally important to her long list of credits and achievements is how Toni is regarded in the industry. Humble, warm, and gracious, with an incredible work ethic, she is universally admired and respected. The late Jonathan Barker and his wife Wendy MacKeigan, both longtime friends of Toni’s, endorsed her nomination shortly before Jonathan’s death with a letter to the GSCA Executive Committee. They wrote that “Toni is one of the great pioneers of the IMAX world…and her body of work is truly astonishing. Toni’s winning personality, passion, and perseverance are her trademarks. She is a Renaissance woman, ahead of her time, both artistic and practical—a unique left-brain, right-brain thinker—liked and admired by all.”

Jonathan Barker

Outstanding Achievement Award

In the past, GSCA has presented just one Outstanding Achievement Award each year; however, the industry lost a remarkable man who made countless contributions to the giant screen industry and to GSCA itself when Jonathan Barker passed away on July 5. All previous chairs of GSCA endorsed honoring Jonathan with a posthumous Outstanding Achievement Award this year.

Producer, distributor, and industry leader, Jonathan was the CEO of SK Films, which he founded 20 years ago with his wife Wendy MacKeigan and Bob Kerr, co-founder of IMAX Corporation. Under his leadership, SK established a presence as one of the stalwarts of the industry. With over three decades of award-winning film and television experience, Jonathan was a world leader in 3D film production and distribution, specializing in IMAX®/giant screen films that combine human drama and natural history discoveries. He executive produced, produced, and/or distributed a wide array of some of the industry’s most significant films in the past two decades. Titles include Into the Deep (1994); Oscar-shortlisted film Bugs! (2003); Flight of the Butterflies (2012), which achieved the only ever clean sweep of the GSCA Awards, won Best Immersive 3D/Large Format Film at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, and is one of the most successful and acclaimed giant screen films of this decade; the award-winning Amazon Adventure (2017); Backyard Wilderness (2018); and the upcoming films Turtle Odyssey and Volcanoes.

Prior to creating SK Films, Jonathan began his passion for giant screen films during his tenure running the worldwide film business at IMAX, where he developed the blockbuster IMAX 3D film T-Rex, oversaw the production and distribution of a number of the IMAX space films, David Attenborough’s Survival Island, and the hugely successful 3D film Into the Deep. Through his dedication and tireless devotion to presenting the highest quality giant screen films, millions of people of all ages across the world have been inspired by his films.

Jonathan was also one of the small group of leaders who oversaw the creation of GSCA when GSTA (Giant Screen Theater Association) merged with LFCA (Large Format Cinema Association) in 2006. He continued his service as one of the most active and influential leaders of the association to his final day.

Backyard Wilderness

Best Film-Short Subject
Best Film for Lifelong Learning
Best Cinematography
Best Visual Effects
Big Idea

Pictured here are Amber Hawtin, Andrew Young, Myles Connolly, Susan Todd, Michael Male, Wendy MacKeigan, Tory Hines, and Tyler Mifflin. Film credits: Susan Todd, Producer/Director; Andrew Young, Producer/Director, Cinematography; Jonathan Barker, Executive Producer; Sean B. Carroll, Executive Producer; Stephen Apkon, Executive Producer; Michael Male, Cinematography; Visual Effects by Lincoln Athas, Southbay, The Molecule, Machineyes, A Precess Media Division; Produced by Arise Media and Archipelago Films; Distributed by SK Films. The Big Idea was awarded for the “It’s not just a film—it’s a movement” aspect of the marketing campaign.

America’s Musical Journey

Best Sound Design
Best Original Score

Pictured here are Producer Shaun MacGillivay and Director Greg MacGillivray. Film Credits: Supervising Sound Editor Andrew DeCristofaro, score by Steve Wood.

Dunkirk: The IMAX Experience

Best Film-Feature Length

Pictured here are Brett Fellman, and Patricia and David Keighley, IMAX Corporation. Film Credits: Christopher Nolan, Director. Produced by Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan, Syncopy, and Warner Bros. Distributed by Warner Bros.

IMAX Melbourne

Best Theater Marketing Campaign
Big Idea

Pictured here are Kate Piasecka and Richard Morrison. The Best Theater Marketing Campaign was awarded for Melbourne’s “20 Years of IMAX” campaign, and the Big Idea was awarded for the partnership they established with Sichuan Airlines to promote the film Pandas.

IMAX Corporation for Pandas

Best Marketing Campaign by a Distributor

Pictured here is Chase Martin, IMAX Corporation

IMAX Victoria in the Royal BC Museum, America’s Musical Journey

Best Film Launch by a Theater

Pictured here are Paul Wild and Marie Zirk from IMAX Victoria in the Royal BC Museum

Discovery Place, The Year of the Engineer Program

Best Educational Program

Pictured here is Joanie Philipp from Discovery Place in Charlotte, North Carolina

Andrew Oran and the Team at FotoKem

Big Shoe Award

The Big Shoe recipient is selected by GSCA staff to recognize exemplary volunteers. Pictured here are GSCA Executive Director Tammy Barrett, Andrew Oran, and GSCA Membership and Communications Director Kelly Germain.

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