MacGillivray Freeman Films to Release Director’s Cut of ‘Everest’

June 11, 2020 (Laguna Beach, CA) — MacGillivray Freeman Films, the world’s foremost independent producer and distributor of original giant-screen 70mm films, announced today the upcoming February 2021 release of a special director’s cut edition of Everest, honoring the 25th anniversary of the mountain’s historic storm of 1996. The original critically-acclaimed film is the highest-grossing giant-screen documentary of all time, earning more than $152 million in worldwide ticket sales.

Narrated by Academy Award® nominee Liam Neeson, 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, showing audiences the true power and resilience of the human spirit.

Produced and directed by Greg MacGillivray, with co-directors Stephen Judson and David Breashears, the Everest director’s cut will feature exclusive new footage and will be digitally remastered in 16k for an 8k digital release.  

Everest captured the world’s imagination when it was first released nearly twenty-five years ago, and this new director’s cut will allow a new generation to be moved by the film’s emotional story of human triumph over adversity and what it’s like to stand on the top of the world,” 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.”

To prepare the film’s pristine new 16k digital images, MacGillivray Freeman is using the same film scanner that was custom-made for the filmmakers of Apollo 11 to digitize 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 version with a whole new audience.”

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 sensation chronicled in Jon Krakauer’s best-selling book Into Thin Air. The MacGillivray Freeman filmmaking team became a key part of rescue efforts to save other lives on the mountain.

Everest’s original release in 1998 was the largest and fastest network-wide rollout ever for a large-format film, shattering all previous attendance records. Less than one year from its release, it became the fastest-grossing giant screen documentary film in history.

About MacGillivray Freeman Films

MacGillivray Freeman Films is the world’s foremost independent producer and distributor of giant-screen 70mm films with 45 films for IMAX® and giant-screen theaters to its credit. Throughout the company’s 50-year history, its films have won numerous international awards including two Academy Award® nominations and three films inducted into the IMAX Hall of Fame. MacGillivray Freeman’s films are known for their artistry and celebration of science and the natural world. It is the first documentary film company to reach the one-billion-dollar benchmark for worldwide box office. For more information about the company, visit

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