San Diego, CA—The world’s largest living wonder is coming to the giant screen when the new documentary Great Barrier Reef makes its West Coast premiere at the Fleet Science Center on Friday, July 6, 2018. Narrated by acclaimed Australian actor Eric Bana, the film celebrates one of the planet’s most beautiful and biodiverse ecosystems as well as the “citizen science” movement, where volunteers help researchers gain a more comprehensive understanding of the natural world.

With stunning images shot exclusively for the giant screen, Great Barrier Reef gives audiences an up-close view of the fascinating creatures that live on the reef. Audiences will enjoy playful encounters with Dwarf Minke whales, thousands of migrating green sea turtles and their hatchlings, a Maori Wrasse named Wally whose epic photo-bombing skills have made him a local legend, a male seahorse giving birth and fluorescent corals whose kaleidoscopic colors are especially vivid when viewed at night.

Great Barrier Reef follows young underwater photographer and reef native Jemma Craig on an expedition to document the work being done by volunteers, researchers and citizen scientists to better understand and protect the reef and its inhabitants. Viewers will visit the Great Barrier Reef’s first sustainable eco-resort on Lady Elliot Island—where Peter Gash has rehabilitated the remote cay from devastation caused by mining in the late 1800s—and the Fitzroy Island Turtle Rehabilitation Center, where dedicated volunteers nurse injured sea turtles back to health. Audiences will see the cutting-edge coral husbandry research being conducted at the Australian Institute for Marine Science—where scientists are studying the impact of long-term environmental changes and developing hardier corals that will survive—and meet citizen scientists who are helping scientists track the health of the reef.  

Great Barrier Reef is an epic adventure into an incredibly vibrant, living world where we tell the story of the reef from the perspective of people who have an intricately close relationship to it,” said film director Stephen Amezdroz. “We follow researchers and volunteers who work and study on the reef and who are leading the efforts to ensure the Great Barrier Reef has a healthy future. We hope the film inspires people to get out and explore nature and become engaged in conservation efforts no matter where they live.”

“Getting to know nature by being there is the first step towards wanting to take care of it,” says Jemma Craig. “We want to inspire kids to think ‘I can have a positive effect on the world.’”

“A primary theme of Great Barrier Reef is conservation and appreciation of our natural landscapes,” said Steve Snyder, President and CEO of the Fleet Science Center. “We hope that our visitors will all leave the film with a renewed appreciation of the wonders of nature and the importance of preserving them.”

“Nature has the power to bring us together—and seeing it in an immersive, giant screen experience makes it seem even bigger than life,” says film producer Matt Downey.  “Everyone is connected to the reef in some way, and we want people to leave the theater feeling inspired to get involved in conservation and be part of the solution.”

Great Barrier Reef is a December Media film produced in association with Slattery Family Trust, Biopixel, Soundfirm, Film Victoria and Screen Queensland, and is distributed by MacGillivray Freeman Films. This is the fourth giant screen film from December Media, following its trio of giant screen films that explore the origin and evolution of planets: Hidden Universe, The Search of Life in Space and The Story of Earth. Great Barrier Reef is executive produced by Emmy®-award-winning producer Tony Wright and Stuart Menzies, produced by Matt Downey and directed by Stephen Amezdroz. The film features a musical score by Dale Cornelius.

Great Barrier Reef is family friendly and has a running time of 40 minutes.  

Great Barrier Reef is available for public screenings, school and group reservations or private screenings. For school or group reservations, please contact the Client Services Department at (619) 238-1233 ext. 806 or

Those who would like to arrange a private screening of the film are welcome to contact the Special Events Department at (619) 685-5729 or

Tickets for public screenings are on sale now at the Fleet ticket counter and at

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Media Interviews

To schedule a special press screening of Great Barrier Reef or an interview with a representative from the film or the Fleet Science Center, please contact Fleet Science Center Communications Manager Karla Nafarrate at (619) 685-5743 or

The Fleet is pleased to have Great Barrier Reef’s Director of Photography, Richard Fitzpatrick, available for interview in conjunction with the film.

Richard Fitzpatrick

Cinematographer and Marine Biologist

Richard Fitzpatrick is an Emmy awarded cinematographer specializing in 6K video systems as well as being a qualified marine biologist specializing in sharks. He has shot more than 50 films for clients such as the BBC, National Geographic and Discovery Channel and is renowned for filming complex behavioral sequences, including high speed, time lapse, motion control and underwater. Richard has also shot many presenter-led programs and, being able to switch quickly between topside and underwater filming while using many tools, he gives high production value on fast pace shoots.

Extreme environments are no problem with Richard having filmed all over the world from the deserts of outback Australia to the jungles of the Amazon to snow-covered Alaska. In over 15,000 hours underwater he has filmed in the crystal clear coral gardens of the Great Barrier Reef, the murky waters of the Amazon, and everything in-between. In the process he has won numerous international awards.

Before filming, Richard was as a marine biologist in public aquariums, including the Maui Ocean Centre in Hawaii, and at the Oceanworld in Manly and the Reef HQ at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Townsville, both in Australia. This gives him a unique perspective on the animals he films and an instinct for capturing the perfect shot.

Founded in 2013 by Richard Fitzpatrick and IT entrepreneur Bevan Slattery, Biopixel is one of the largest biological studios in the world based at James Cook University in Cairns, where many of the complex behavioral sequences for the BBC Great Barrier Reef series were filmed. For more info on Richard’s projects, please visit


You're invited to the premiere!

Members of the media are invited to the Fleet Science Center to celebrate the premiere of our new film, Great Barrier Reef, on Thursday, July 5, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. We will have a reception from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m., with the premiere screening of the film beginning at 7:15 p.m. and a dessert reception immediately after the film at 8:15 p.m. Refreshments will be served during both receptions.

If you and a guest would like to attend the premiere party for Great Barrier Reef, please RSVP via the Eventbrite link below. Space is limited. Please RSVP by Monday, July 1.

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Additional Links

For more information on the Great Barrier Reef film, visit:

For a current film schedule, please visit:

Press photos are available here:


About December Media

December Media is one of Australia’s most experienced film and documentary producers. Based in Melbourne, the production company has more than 20 years of experience producing drama, documentary, educational and award-winning live action and animated children’s drama for the screen. December Media brings a wealth of development, financing, production and co-production experience as well as having extensive network, distribution and financing relationships across the globe.