“Coral Reef Adventures,” a 2003 documentary co-produced by AU’s Producer-in-Residence Chris Palmer, was shown Wednesday at the Natural History Museum. It was one of 106 films featured at the 13th annual Environmental Film Festival, which ran from March 10 to Sunday.
In the film, Hall’s dedication to marine life led him 350 feet into the ocean, where he used an IMAX camera to record new species of plants and animals.
Hall and his wife and fellow explorer, Michele, were part of an ocean exploration team that had set out on a 10-month journey across the world to examine why coral reefs off the island of Fiji were dying.
Coral reefs have thrived for more than 60 million years, according to the film. These tiny ocean animals make up the largest living structures on the planet. For years, doctors have used calcium carbonate, which makes up the skeleton of the reef, as medicine.
But one quarter of all coral reefs die every year because of logging, pollution, ocean warming and overfishing, according to the film.
The documentary was created to raise awareness about coral reefs and to explain how vital they are to the earth’s ecosystem, according to a mission statement on the film’s Web site.
“Coral reefs are among the world’s most important, yet endangered ecosystems,” Palmer said in a press release on the film’s Web site.
“Coral Reef Adventures” was the highest-grossing documentary of 2003, earning more than $24 million, according to the release.
Irish-born actor Liam Neeson narrated the film, and the soundtrack featured songs from Crosby, Stills and Nash, the Fiji Cultural Group 2002 and Bob Brozman.
Palmer, who joined the AU faculty in August 2004, has received an Oscar nomination and two Emmy awards for his work on wildlife.
At the screening, he was also praised by students. The documentary was very educational, according to AU graduate student Katherine Torres.
Palmer’s next project is an IMAX film about fresh water called “Water Planets.”