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Great Lakes Article:

A dramatic journey through the Great Lakes
The Times
ROB EARNSHAW
May 12, 2009

The Great Lakes are being seen as they never have before courtesy of a new film celebrating Earth's greatest freshwater ecosystem.

"Mysteries of the Great Lakes," a $6 million Canadian-made, giant-screen film made its Northwest Indiana premiere Wednesday night at Portage 16 IMAX.

Produced by Science North and sponsored by the Ports of Indiana, "Mysteries" won the top Remi Award at the 42nd Annual WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, one of the oldest and largest film and video competitions in the world.

Although the Portage viewing was strictly a one-night engagement for invited guests, the film is currently being shown throughout the Great Lakes region (including Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry) and will continue to be distributed around the world.

Although "Mysteries" opens to the strains of Gordon Lightfoot's "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," the film's focus is not that ship's historic 1975 Lake Superior sinking but rather the re-introduction of the lake sturgeon.

"The dominant creature of the lakes (that) reigned for over 10,000 years," narrator Gordon Pinsent says.

The movie follows a biologist and his quest to re-introduce the sturgeon to "its rightful place among the living treasures of the Great Lakes." Along the way, the story takes its audience on a voyage above and below the inland seas, from Niagara Falls, where an IMAX camera captures the action while suspended over the edge of the falls, to the Slate Islands, home to the largest remaining woodland caribou herd in the Great Lakes region.

A timely film, "Mysteries" also touches on renewed interest on health of the lakes, the role of shipping to commerce and the millions of people who rely on its water.

"This is an exciting film, it does some amazing things for the Great Lakes," said Jody Peacock, director of corporate affairs, Ports of Indiana. "It promotes them from an environmental standpoint, from a business standpoint, and it really shows all the different facets of these treasures that are right in our own backyard. Sometimes we take them for granted -- and they're just amazing."

Michel Tosini, executive vice president for Federal Marine Terminals, Inc., one of the film's sponsors, believes "Mysteries" will raise awareness of how corporate companies actually have an environmental conscience.

"Companies in general have gotten together and put some actions in place to try to save the lakes and actually have contributed to the return of the great sturgeon in the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes system," Tosini said.

"Because that's what it's all about."

WHAT: "Mysteries of the Great Lakes" at 10 and 11:40 a.m., 1:20 and 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 11:40 a.m., 1:20 and 3 p.m., Sunday, through Oct. 8
WHERE: The Omnimax Theater, Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
FYI: MSICHICAGO.ORG. Visit Web site for prices for the film and museum general admission.

 

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