Imax Partners With United Nations to Promote 3D Doc 'A Beautiful Planet'

A Beautiful Planet IMAX Trailer Screen Shot - H 2016
Courtesy of YouTube/IMAX

The giant-screen exhibitor will help the UN protect the environment as the Jennifer Lawrence-narrated 3D documentary gets set to open on April 29.

Imax is building buzz for the upcoming 3D documentary A Beautiful Planet, narrated by Jennifer Lawrence, by teaming with the United Nations' environment program to protect the planet.

The giant-screen exhibitor on Wednesday unveiled a Big Picture initiative to work with the UN's environment agency to promote a sustainable world. Imax CEO Richard Gelfond told a panel discussion at the USC Imax Theater in Los Angeles that people everywhere are naturally resistant to calls to action around the environment.

But Imax's immersive experience can encourage positive change, he said. "When you look at the big screen and see it yourself, that brings a different feeling," Gelfond said during a panel that was streamed online.

"You don't have to hit them on the head. That issue is apparent to everyone," he added. Imax's Big Picture initiative includes launching a series of educational screenings and charitable premieres to showcase some of the company’s sustainability-related films produced over four decades, and a competition for young filmmakers to make movies about environmental change.

Lawrence Bender, producer of the Oscar-winning environmental doc An Inconvenient Truth, told the panel movies need to connect emotionally to secure much-needed environmental change. "I got to see firsthand how a movie can educate, inspire and create a movement," Bender told the USC audience.

The Davis Guggenheim-directed doc grossed nearly $50 million worldwide and helped propel Al Gore, its narrator, to a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

A Beautiful Planet, directed by Toni Myers, features exclusive footage of the planet that was shot from space to capture its beauty.

Imax's Gelfond also talked about another upcoming 3D documentary, an adaptation of Donovan Hohn's 2011 book Moby Duck by Born to Be Wild writer-producer Drew Fellman.

The project will chronicle the environmental impact after a ship in the north Pacific headed from China to the U.S. loses a cargo container filled with 28,800 rubber-duck bath toys, which eventually float around the world on oceanic currents, lost at sea, with some being randomly picked up by beachcombers.

"We can tell a really compelling environment story, and talk about the ocean's currents, in a way that will be a lot more accessible than if told while on a panel," Gelfond said.