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Jerusalem: The IMAX 3D Experience

JER Film Stills 007_Damascus_Farah.091784

Experience one of the most historically significant and culturally diverse cities in the world without getting on a plane — the striking imagery and immersive effects of IMAX 3D will bring you into the heart of the city in the  film Jerusalem.

Daniel Ferguson — who directed, wrote, and produced the film — studied religious theology in university. “I had never really found anyone to have an intelligent conversation about religion with,” he said. But after taking some religious studies courses with some “very cool professors”, Ferguson realized how fascinated he was by the study of religion. He’s now worked on several film projects and when approached to work on this one, was delighted by the opportunity to tell a story of Jerusalem that took an approach beyond the usual references to political conflict.

The film was not an easy one to make; it took over three years, 12 trips, and plenty of negotiation with religious and political authorities in the city to make. Ferguson says it was difficult to get access to some of the sites they wanted to film, but timing — and being able to make several trips to Jerusalem, a diverse, collaborative crew and the persuasive power of the IMAX brand all contributed to their ability to get the shots they needed to tell the story.

While the film certainly depicts the traditions of Muslim, Christian, and Jewish religions, it doesn’t advocate for any religion and it does a good job of taking an apolitical approach. It’s more of a human interest story, showcasing some of the customs, rituals, traditions, and lifestyles that take place daily, and during special religious occasions, throughout the city. Travel buffs will love the stunning footage and sweeping aerial views of the city — a rare sight, since planes are not allowed to fly in the airspace over Jerusalem.

Fans of the popular show Sherlock will recognize the British-accented voice of the narrator: Benedict Cumberbatch guides viewers through the film with explanations and insights of the footage. When Cumberbatch isn’t narrating, three teen girls from Jerusalem lead us through the important practices and rituals that are a part of their daily and annual routines. The result is an honest, informal perspective that presents Jerusalem as it is to these young women, rather than how it is perceived to be by any outside party.

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Ferguson and Cumberbatch in post-production.

Jerusalem 3D is the first film to be shown in the newly renovated digital IMAX theatre at the Telus World of Science — Edmonton. Visit www.telusworldofscienceedmonton.com for a list of daily showtimes. IMAX films cost $8.50 – $12.95, and are discounted when General Admission to the rest of the exhibits is purchased.

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