If you’re a mountaineering type, here’s some dead exciting news for you. MacGillivray Freeman Films, independent producer and distributor of original giant-screen 70mm films, are re-releasing its blockbuster giant-screen documentary Everest in February 2022 in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the production company’s historic filmmaking expedition; an expedition that captured the first-ever IMAX images from the top of Mount Everest (aka the highest mountain in the world).
Backed by Polartec and Milliken, the film has been digitally remastered in 16k resolution (it’s going to look absolutely mint, in other words). The critically-acclaimed film was first released back in 1998 and has since earned more than $152 million in worldwide ticket sales, making it the highest-grossing giant-screen documentary of all time.
“The critically-acclaimed film was first released back in 1998 and has since earned more than $152 million in worldwide ticket sales”
Narrated by the Academy Award nominee Liam Neeson, the man who says “I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you” in Taken, and featuring the music of George Harrison, Everest is the dramatic true story of a team of four climbers who ascended Mount Everest just days after fellow mountaineers and friends died in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. The film is a story of hope, strength and triumph in the wake of tragedy. It is, in many ways, about the power and resilience of the human spirit as much as it’s about climbing big mountains.
“Everest captured the world’s imagination when it was released nearly twenty-five years ago, and this new edition will allow a new generation to be inspired by the film’s emotional story of human triumph over adversity,” said producer and director Greg MacGillivray. “With the very latest in 16k digital scanning technology, the film will look as if it was filmed yesterday, with spectacular sharpness, clarity and contrast in the images. Audiences will feel like they are there on the summit, standing on the top of the world.”
“Everest is an important part of giant-screen filmmaking history”
To prepare the film’s pristine new 16k digital images, the MacGillivray Freeman post-production team is using the same film scanner that was custom-made for the filmmakers of Apollo 11 to digitise NASA’s 70mm archival footage from its mission to the moon.
“Everest is an important part of giant-screen filmmaking history,” said Shaun MacGillivray, president of MacGillivray Freeman Films. “Its unprecedented success brought a new audience to giant screen theaters and introduced them to the powerfully immersive experience of these large-format films. We’re excited to share this new digital version with a whole new audience.”
“Polartec, at its core, is the outdoors. In the forty years since we invented technical fleece and beyond, our fabrics have been a key part of the outdoor experience,” says Steve Layton, president of Polartec. “We were a sponsor twenty-five years ago, and to be a global presenting sponsor for the anniversary release of Everest means a great deal.”
“The story of hope and the resilience of the human spirit is one that will resonate throughout history,” says Chad McAllister, executive vice president, Milliken & Company, and president, Milliken’s Textile Division. “We at Milliken are proud to help bring this stunning film to global audiences, aligning with our purpose to positively impact the world around us for generations to come.”
The MacGillivray Freeman film crew was filming on the mountain when the historic storm of 1996 claimed the lives of eight climbers, a tragedy that became an international news story and which was chronicled in Jon Krakauer’s best-selling book Into Thin Air. The filmmakers became a key part of rescue efforts to save other lives on the mountain.
Everest’s release in 1998 was the largest rollout ever for a large-format film and shattered all previous giant-screen theatre attendance records. Less than one year on from its release, it became the fastest-grossing giant-screen documentary film in history. Everest is produced by Greg MacGillivray, Alec Lorimore and Stephen Judson and co-directed by MacGillivray, Judson and David Breashears.