April 24, 2023—Oceanic Films, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, and SK Films announce the release of their upcoming documentary, Blue Whales: Return of the Giants 3D, the inspirational story of blue whales and their journey to recovery. Narrated by the award-winning actor Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars), and scored by Academy Award- winner Steven Price (Gravity), the film is set to open in giant screen theaters and museums on May 25, 2023. The film was produced by Oceanic Films with major funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and is the third collaboration between SK Films and HHMI Tangled Bank Studios (Amazon Adventure and Backyard Wilderness).
Blue whales are the largest animals ever to have lived, bigger than any dinosaur, yet we know surprisingly little about them. Blue Whales: Return of the Giants 3D will entertain audiences of all ages and transform our understanding of these iconic creatures as we experience their spectacular feeding habits, their awesome long- distance communication, and their tender mother-calf bonds. The film follows two scientific expeditions: one, a high-risk mission to find a missing population of blue whales, not seen in 50 years off the Seychelles Islands in the Indian Ocean; and the other, to join Diane Gendron, the “Blue Whale Whisperer,” in Mexico’s Gulf of California, where she and her team eavesdrop on whale conversations and explore the important role these remarkable animals play in the health of our oceans.
“We are so thrilled to be bringing Blue Whales: Return of the Giants to audiences,” says Hugh Pearson, Director and Producer, Oceanic Films. “I have a lifelong passion for blue whales that borders on obsession and what better way to share the story of these mysterious ocean giants, than life-size, on the giant screen. And in 3D.”
“This movie is incredibly uplifting and powerful,” says narrator Andy Serkis. “Everyone assumes that because blue whales are the largest mammals on the planet, we should know a lot about them, but in fact that’s not the case. Learning what scientists are trying to do, to understand their behaviors, has been a real education for me. We need to find out more about creatures like these, because they inspire us to have hope. The film is a wonderful marriage of storytelling, fact-giving, and entertainment.”
“As a studio dedicated to sharing inspiring stories about life on Earth, we are delighted to invite audiences into the magical ocean world they inhabit, through the film, the app, and the surrounding educational materials,” said Head of HHMI Tangled Bank Studios and biologist Sean B. Carroll. “The story of the blue whales’ rebound from near extermination is good reason for hope for many other threatened species.”
Wendy MacKeigan, Executive Producer and global distributor, SK Films says, “SK is immensely proud to be part of
this talented team who persevered to bring, for the first time ever, a giant screen film on blue whales.”
The film is accompanied by an outreach campaign with educational materials produced by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios and the California Science Center. The suite of resources, made possible by NSF funding, targets families and classrooms for young learners aged 8-10. Activities include Whale Beats, an interactive game where you can create your own musical masterpiece using sounds from the natural world, and an immersive AR experience where users can “swim” alongside life-size blue whales (available now to download in the iOS App Store). Video resources include three Virtual Field Trips and accompanying hands-on activities, all available in English and Spanish, that bring the science from real whale research expeditions into an accessible format and inspire students to engage with local nature and conservation efforts.
Blue Whales: Return of The Giants will open globally in select giant screen and IMAX Theaters on May 25, 2023.
Click here to watch the trailer and explore the interactive materials: BlueWhalesfilm.com
Oceanic Films specialize in making wildlife films at sea, telling dramatic and engaging stories from above and below the waves. We have a deep understanding of the oceans and passion for telling stories about marine wildlife and the many challenges facing the health of our seas today. Oceanic Films was established by Hugh Pearson, an EMMY and BAFTA award-winning director and world leader at producing and directing ocean wildlife films; Hugh has a degree in Marine Biology and over two decades experience filming at sea.
About Tangled Bank Studios
HHMI Tangled Bank Studios is a mission-driven production company that crafts films that inspire awe and wonder where science is a lens for making sense of our world. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the studio, a vision of biologist and studio head Sean B. Carroll, is uniquely positioned to shine a light on some of the most significant scientific challenges and breakthroughs of our time. Recent films include Emmy Award-winners The Serengeti Rules and The Farthest – Voyager In Space; Emmy-nominated Nature’s Fear Factor and My Garden of a Thousand Bees; Peabody Award-winner Inventing Tomorrow; and Oscar-nominated All That Breathes, the only documentary to win best documentary at both Sundance and Cannes. To extend the reach and impact of each film, the studio leads educational and public outreach efforts in partnership with mission-focused organizations. For more information, please visit www.tangledbankstudios.org.
About SK Films
SK Films is a multiple award-winning content provider and a global leader in the IMAX®/Giant Screen industry. SK works across various genres and platforms, including theatrical, television and digital media, with a special emphasis on creating high impact natural history and science related content. SK has a reputation as one of the most accomplished and respected producers and distributors supplying 3D, 2D and Dome products to IMAX and other Giant Screen theaters worldwide, with a mission to entertain and inspire audiences and immerse them in the awe and wonder of the natural world we live in. For more information, please visit SKFilms.ca.
Source: SK Films