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Mystery of the Nile

Opens Friday, February 18, 2005 at Blockbuster IMAX® Theater

The Epic Story of the First Expedition down the World’s Greatest and Deadliest River

A New IMAX® Theatre Film from Orbita Max and MacGillivray Freeman Films

January 6, 2005, Fort Lauderdale-- Join this emotional and historic expedition and be the first to travel the entire length of the Nile—the longest river in the world—from source to sea. Face whitewater rapids, dodge crocodiles and hippos, explore exotic landscapes, view the sacred tombs of Egypt, and understand the cultural links between the Ethiopian, Sudanese and Egyptian civilizations. Mystery of the Nile opens on February 18, 2005 at Blockbuster IMAX® Theater, located at the Museum of Discovery and Science in downtown Fort Lauderdale. This film is locally sponsored by Maroone, an AutoNation company.

Racing through a rugged gorge as large as the Grand Canyon, the Mystery of the Nile expedition offers an adventurous journey through a world few have ever seen. The film will take audiences on a rugged expedition down the river and through crocodile-infested waters, enormous waterfalls, giant rapids and breathtaking lakes. Join Pasquale Scaturro, his expedition partner, Gordon Brown, and their team as they track the river's path through some of the most gorgeous and unpredictable terrain in the world.

Mystery of the Nile explores intriguing connections between the ancient civilizations of Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, and it also examines the environmental issues facing the Nile region today. The Nile is celebrated for its exotic beauty and rich history—the upper region of the Nile has a history as long as the river itself. For thousands of years, many unique cultures have depended on the river for survival. It sheltered ancient civilizations that stretched for 3,000 miles, from Alexandria on the Mediterranean Sea to the heart of Ethiopia, the source of the Blue Nile. Along the Nile, many different cultures coexist with spectacular and unique sites, such as the eleven rock Churches of Lalibela.

On April 28, 2004, the team of intrepid explorers was the first in history to conquer all 3,260 miles of the world’s greatest river in a single descent from its source in the Ethiopian highlands to the Mediterranean Sea.

Traveling by raft and kayak, the team spent 114 days navigating the Blue Nile’s treacherous gorges in Ethiopia, the flat, desert plains of war-torn Sudan, and the bustling port cities of Egypt, before reaching their final destination. Along the way, they faced nearly insurmountable challenges—the world’s most dangerous rapids, gunfire from armed bandits, arrests by local militia, blinding sandstorms, exposure to malaria, and the relentless heat of the fierce desert sun—all while documenting their journey with an IMAX camera and two video cams.

This epic journey is the subject of a new large format film, Mystery of the Nile, from Orbita Max and Academy Award®-nominated filmmakers MacGillivray Freeman Films. It was directed and written by Spanish filmmaker Jordi Llompart in his large format film debut, and produced by Llompart and veteran large format filmmaker Greg MacGillivray (two-time Oscar®-nominee, The Living Sea, Dolphins, Everest). Mystery of the Nile features an international squad of adventurers, each with a personal mission. The team includes: expedition leader Pasquale Scaturro, a geophysicist and experienced guide who has climbed Mt. Everest three times and has run many of Africa’s toughest rivers; his expedition partner, Gordon Brown, a renowned kayaker and Emmy Award®-winning cinematographer, is one of few people who have kayaked through extreme whitewater rapids with the giant IMAX camera rigged to a kayak; Dr. Mohamed Megahed, one of Egypt’s top hydrologists who has come to study the changing environmental reality of the river that is so important to his country and family; Saskia Lange, a journalist who is compelled by the human and spiritual dimensions of the journey; Myriam Seco, a Spanish archaeologist sometimes dubbed “the female Indiana Jones” who leads the team on visits to the region’s pyramids; and Michel L’Hullier, an adventure photographer who hopes to capture the spirit of the river and its people with his camera lens.

With the dazzling immediacy of IMAX photography, Mystery of the Nile brings the expedition’s bold voyage to life with unmistakable realism. Audiences will feel like they are riding shotgun on the team’s 16-foot rafts as they crash through the rapids in Ethiopia’s remote desert canyons. They will feel the intense heat as the team traverses the desert shores of Sudan on their way to Khartoum where the Blue Nile merges with the White Nile to form the Nile proper. They will witness the human struggle inherent in such an arduous journey and watch as the crew overcomes feelings of fear and frustration. But more than just a chronicle of a groundbreaking expedition, Mystery of the Nile also reveals a wondrous region that is host to abundant historical, cultural and natural treasures, where a connection to the ancient past informs our understanding of the rapidly changing future.

“The Nile is the most magnificent river in the world,” said Scaturro, who has written a book about the expedition with co-author Richard Bangs (Mystery of the Nile will be published by Putnam in February 2005). “No other river can compare. And no other river in the world is as closely associated with a particular culture and society as is the Nile. Without the Nile there would be no Egypt, no pharaohs, no pyramids.”

Adds producer Greg MacGillivray: “The expedition down the Blue Nile and Nile will fill audiences with awe. Pasquale and his team overcame enormous hurdles to complete their bold mission. It reminds me of the almost insurmountable challenges our Everest team faced in 1996. As with that

film, Mystery of the Nile brings back to the rest of us a very human, very moving story about determination and cooperation, all through the visceral realism of IMAX photography.”


The mission of the Museum of Discovery and Science is to provide experiential pathways to lifelong learning in science for children and adults through exhibits, programs, and films. Founded in 1976 as The Discovery Center, the nonprofit facility serves approximately 400,000 visitors each year. Major operational support for the Museum is provided through generous support by Leadership Guild members including: American Express, City Furniture, JM Family Enterprises, Inc., Sun-Sentinel and Wachovia.

The Museum is open seven days per week (including Thanksgiving and Christmas); Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. with extended IMAX hours on Friday and Saturday evenings. General admission prices are $14 for adults; $13 for seniors; $12 for children 3 to 12. Children under 3 are free. A General Admission Ticket includes admission to the Museum exhibits and one IMAX® film. The Museum of Discovery and Science is located downtown at 401 SW Second Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33312. For more information about the Museum, visitors should call (954) 467-MODS (6637) or visit our web site at


The Blockbuster® IMAX® Theater owned and operated by the Museum of Discovery and Science, opened in 1992. The 300-seat theater is a showcase of state-of-the-art motion picture technology. The Blockbuster® IMAX® Theater features a 60 ft. x 80 ft. screen and a 15,000 watt digital sound system that delivers six discrete channels of clear sound through 42 speakers. The IMAX® projector’s 15,000 watt Xenon bulb projects images of unsurpassed brilliance and clarity onto the five-story-high screen. Both 2D and 3D films are shown in the theater. 3D films are viewed using electronic headsets. The IMAX® experience is an unparalleled fusion of sight and sound. For show times, visitors should call 954-463-IMAX (4629) or visit our web site at

Media Contact: Theresa Waldron 954.713.0901 email:
Laura Nipe 954.713.0904 email:

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Museum of Discovery and Science / Blockbuster IMAX Theater - 401 SW 2nd Street, Fort Lauderdale FL 33312. Phone 954-467-6637
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