MFF to Distribute ‘Secrets of the Sea’ and ‘Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit’

New films from award-winning filmmakers Howard and Michele Hall and Jonathan Bird will take audiences into new worlds under the sea and into outer space

September 15, 2020 (Laguna Beach, CA) — MacGillivray Freeman Films (MFF) is pleased to announce it has acquired the worldwide distribution rights to Secrets of the Sea and Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit, two exciting new giant screen films from renowned underwater filmmakers Howard and Michele Hall and Jonathan Bird.

Secrets of the Sea is the fifth giant screen film produced by Howard and Michele Hall, following their previous four blockbuster hits Into the Deep, Island of the Sharks, Deep Sea 3D and Under the Sea 3D, which combined have grossed more than $250 million in worldwide ticket sales. For Secrets of the Sea, the Halls partnered with award-winning filmmaker Jonathan Bird, whose giant screen film Ancient Caves was released by MFF earlier this year. With the same spectacular cinematography that fans of the Halls have come to expect, Secrets of the Sea takes viewers under the ocean for a close-up look at some of the ocean’s strangest and most extraordinary creatures and demonstrates the critical importance of marine bio-diversity by showing the astonishing ways marine species interact with each other and their environment. Secrets of the Sea is slated to premiere in all formats in Spring 2022.

Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit is a 20-minute film directed by Jonathan Bird that gives a fascinating look into the high-tech world of astronauts and how they train to work in space. The film reveals how NASA uses underwater environments here on Earth to simulate life in space during astronaut training. Viewers will witness current ISS Commander Chris Cassidy as he works in a giant underwater facility in Houston alongside a full-sized mock-up of the International Space Station and they will join astronaut Jeanette Epps as she lives and trains underwater with fellow astronauts at the Aquarius Reef Base off the coast of Florida. Epps is scheduled to fly to space next year where she will become the first female African American astronaut to visit the ISS. Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit will be available in October 2020 in digital 2D. Watch the trailer here.

“These two new films from Howard and Michele Hall and Jonathan Bird do what giant screen films do best: they take you into incredible new worlds and surprise you with remarkable visuals, inspiring stories and fascinating information,” said Patty Collins, Director of Global Sales at MFF. “We couldn’t be more excited about both projects and can’t wait to work with our theater partners to bring them to global audiences.”

“We are thrilled to work with MacGillivray Freeman Films again following our collaboration on Coral Reef Adventure, and we’re excited to be back in the giant screen industry,” said producers Howard and Michele Hall. “Secrets of the Sea is a showcase of all the best footage we’ve captured over the past 10 years and from recent expeditions for the film to Mexico, Philippines, California Channel Islands and Maine, where we teamed up with Jonathan to film unique marine life behaviors. We’re extremely proud to introduce our fans to new and ever more curious ocean life.”

Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit is the first giant screen space film to focus entirely on NASA’s astronaut training program in underwater environments on Earth, and will come as a nice surprise to space fans who think they’ve seen it all,” says director Jonathan Bird. “At 20 minutes, it’s also the perfect film to show during the pandemic as its shorter length allows more time for theater cleaning between shows.”

MacGillivray Freeman Films will present a rough cut of Astronaut: Ocean to Orbit and a production clip from Secrets of the Sea during the GSCA’s 2020 Virtual Conference from September 22 to 24. Other MFF projects included at the Virtual Conference are Into America’s Wild, Ancient Caves, Everest: The Director’s Cut, Ireland and Koala.

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