“THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH…IS EARTH ITSELF” is the stunningly simple and profoundly accurate premise of the spectacular Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival and Expositions (JVAFF). France’s most feted film festival for the past 15 years, and an internationally celebrated event for those passionate about cinema, adventure, exploration, discovery and natural preservation, JVAFF will herald its upcoming 2007 debut in the New World with a gala Oct. 6th launch event at Los Angeles’ Shrine Auditorium, the site of next year’s full-blown, 2-week festival. The launch itself lives up to JVAFF’s “greatest show” standards with a program that includes actor Malcolm McDowell hosting and special awards going to film legends Harrison Ford andGeorge Lucas and primatologist Jane Goodall.
The Jules Verne Adventures organization was founded in Paris in 1991 by filmmakers/explorers Jean-Christophe Jeauffre and Frédéric Dieudonné as a nonprofit organization dedicated to exploration, discovery and education and a collective mission to honor and preserve the natural bio-diversity of the planet. JVAFF was conceived to inspire and enlighten the human spirit about the mysteries and wonders of the universe with unprecedented spectacle, style and passion. Since 1992, the festival has taken place annually in Paris at the Grand Rex, the largest movie theatre in Europe. It’s only fitting, then, that the Oct. 6, 2006 preview/launch and the inaugural U.S. presentation of JVAFF in 2007 are to take place at L.A.’s world famous, 6,000+ seat Shrine Auditorium, North America’s largest stage. At this year’s launch on 10/6, this magnificent proscenium stage will be formally renamed the “Jules Verne Stage” after the legendary explorer and JVAFF’s namesake. In the great tradition of the naming and launching of ships as they embark on great adventures, the Jules Verne Stage’s naming will be accompanied by a Mumm’s Cordon Rouge Champagne toast.
On 10/6, the evening’s trio of honorees will each receive a “Special Jules Verne Award” (SJVA), created to cite artists and explorers whose work and actions have encouraged the spirit of adventure, imagination and open-mindedness. Jane Goodall, primatologist/anthropologist, U.N. Messenger of Peace, Officer of the Legion d’Honneur and founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, will receive the “Lifetime Achievement” SJVA. Legendary filmmaker George Lucas, whose epic feats include the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” film series as well as the pioneering company Industrial Light & Magic, is to be honored with the “Imagination Achievement” SJVA. Golden Globe winning actor Harrison Ford will take home the SJVA “Spirit Of Nature” honor.
Also on the program for the extraordinary 10/6 JVAFF preview/launch is a salute to the classic 1933 version of “King Kong,” in which Kong takes his first steps in what is meant to be a New York City theatre — but is actually the Shrine Auditorium. Legendary motion picture special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen will be on hand for the tribute. The evening will also mark, and be closed by, the U.S. premiere of the documentary film “EXPLORERS: From the Titanic to the Moon,” starring Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron and astronaut Buzz Aldrin, veteran of Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing. Cameron and Aldrin are Honorary Presidents of the non-profit Jules Verne Adventures USA, established in California in 2005 on the occasion of theJules Verne centennial celebration.
The week following the gala launch, the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica will host four days of exploration, adventure and wildlife documentary and adventure movies from Thursday, October 12 through Sunday, October 15. Among the highlights are: “Karen Blixen: Out Of This World,” spotlighting the adventuress and “Out Of Africa” author; “The Little Buddhas And The Tigers,” filmed in the heart of the Thai jungle; the evening film premiere of “Devil’s Island” and the Oscar-nominated 1973 feature “Papillon,” and a 40th anniversary celebration of “Star Trek.” The Aero is located at 1328 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica, CA; tickets may be purchased through their box office, please call 310.260.1528. For a complete schedule, visit www.adventure-festival.com.
As remarkable as the October 6, 2006 preview and launch of JVAFF in Los Angeles promises to be, it is only a small taste of what will be experienced during the full two-week festival at the Shrine in October 2007. Get in on the excitement now, and get a glimpse of next year’s epic adventure with filmmakers, movie stars, scientists, explorers, environmental specialists and educators. Celebrating the human need for discovery and accomplishment, and building awareness about the wonders, and fragility, of our planet, JVAFF is the greatest of shows through which to discover, explore and dream.
Tickets for the October 6th event are available to the public through Ticketmaster (213.480.3232) and ticketmaster.com.
For more information log onto www.adventure-festival.com