FRIDAY FEATURE: Celebrate #TigerDay And IMAX Big Picture™ With 5 Inspiring Environmental Messages From Past IMAX Documentaries
Jul 29, 2016

Andrew Stewart | Manager, Corporate Communications 

Happy Friday, IMAX fans!

Did you know? Today is International Tiger Day—the anniversary of the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit first held in 2010 to raise awareness for tiger conservation.

(Now you do!)

Aside from being just a fun (albeit random) fact—not to mention an important day for tigers #TigerDay—this day carries a special connection to the very first IMAX film, Tiger Child, which premiered at the 1970 Expo in Osaka, Japan.

In light of this special connection, and the rich history of environmental messages served up in our vast catalogue of IMAX documentaries, I thought it would be fun to highlight five films with deep environmental and economical meaning and how they relate to our recently announced signature corporate responsibility (CSR) program IMAX Big Picture™.

For those of you who don’t know, the signature program is a partnership launched in March between IMAX and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) that focuses on environmental, societal and economic issues facing our world today. More specifically, IMAX will work with UNEP on creating dialogue around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Read more about them here.

An important SDG—“Life on Land”—encourages the protection of wildlife by taking urgent action to end poaching and trafficking of protected species. To help celebrate #TigerDay, IMAX and UNEP encourage you to join the cause and help free tigers from poachers and save them from endangerment.

Take the pledge and find your species here

Now, on to the films:

1) A Beautiful Planet — The newest IMAX documentary—and the latest from legendary director Toni Myers—features scene after scene of breath-taking images, but the most important takeaway is the film’s focus on varying Big Picture issues, ranging from the California drought to the startling visualization of wealth and politics represented by borders separating countries such as North and South Korea. Global Goal 10: Reduce Inequalities: By 2030, progressively achieve and sustain income growth of the bottom 40% of the population at a rate higher than the national average.

2) To the Arctic — This 2012 IMAX documentary, narrated by Meryl Streep, may feature some of the cutest polar bears ever to grace a glacier, but their plight as described in the film is anything but cute. Faced with the deadly challenges of shrinking ice caps, the featured bears struggle more than ever to provide for their young. Global Goal 13: Climate Action: Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning.

3) Island of Lemurs: Madagascar — Like in To the Arctic, IMAX’s Island of Lemurs: Madagascar (2014) features some pretty cute critters, lemurs; but they too are faced with the danger of extinction. This time by deforestation. Island of Lemurs follows the tireless scientist Dr. Patricia C. Wright on her mission to help save the lemurs. Global Goal 15: Life on Land: By 2020, promote the implementation of sustainable management of all types of forests, halt deforestation, restore degraded forests and substantially increase afforestation and reforestation globally.

4) Journey to the South Pacific — In Journey to the South Pacific (2013), IMAX audiences travel to the lush tropical islands of remote West Papua—home to more than 500 species of coral and 2,000 species of sea life, making it the most diverse marine ecosystem on earth. The film’s narrator Cate Blanchett called the film “a celebration of a unique island culture that has developed a special relationship with its ocean environment.” Global Goal 14: Life Below Water: By 2020, conserve at least 10% of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information.

5) Fires of Kuwait — One of the most iconic IMAX documentaries, Fires of Kuwait, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary in 1993, was shot on location in Kuwait following the country’s liberation in 1991. The film highlights the heroic measures of men and women who fought to extinguish and control more than 600 sabotaged oil well fires in the aftermath of the Gulf War. Thanks to this global firefighting effort, the fires were put out in nine months, years ahead of initial predictions, saving the earth from wide-spread climate changes. It’s an historic event and an epic film! Global Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production: By 2030, achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.

All five films are remarkable, inspirational glimpses into our world then and now. Make sure to check with your local IMAX museum or science center for availability and showtimes.

Also, be sure to check back with, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for upcoming exciting IMAX Big Picture™ news!

And Happy #TigerDay!