Thursday, June 11, 2009

"OceanWorld" to hit U.S. shores via Disneynature (Reuters)

LOS ANGELES/LONDON (Hollywood Reporter) - "OceanWorld 3D," an underwater film that promises to be the first feature-length nature documentary filmed and released in 3-D, has signed a distribution deal with Disneynature, a unit of Walt Disney Studios devoted to nature films.

Disneynature has acquired North American and Mexican distribution rights to "OceanWorld," in a deal that marks its first collaboration with 3D Entertainment, a company founded in 2001 to produce story-driven 3-D experiences for audiences of all ages.

The film, in which viewers are guided by a sea turtle from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia to Mexico's Roca Partida Island, is the result of seven years of production, 25 international expeditions and 200 hours of 3-D footage shot in the wild.

"OceanWorld," a presentation by Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the legendary ocean explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, was directed and produced, respectively, by veteran filmmakers Jean-Jacques and Francois Mantello. They have made such water-themed movies as "Sharks 3D," "Ocean Wonderland 3D" and "Dolphins and Whales 3D: Tribes of the Ocean."

The 85-minute film premiered at the Cannes festival last month. It will be released theatrically in France and Russia in August; its North American unveiling will come later.

Disneynature's first film, "Earth," opened in April in the U.S. and has grossed more than $106 million worldwide.

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