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Adventures in Wild California

Encounter the wilds of California as you sky surf over San Diego at 150mph, ride down a 25-foot wave at Maverick’s, snowboard the Sierra’s highest peaks and drop 130 feet into the center of a giant Sequoia! From the tallest mountain in the continental United States, to the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere, to the world's biggest kelp forest, you'll be amazed and inspired by California's incredible outdoor places on the giant screen. When it comes to giant waves, surfers the world over think of Hawaii's fabled North Shore of Oahu. Imagine their surprise when Jeff Clark discovered and rode a new California spot every bit as awesome— and dangerous. Discover California’s natural and man-made wonders in this wild film.

Adventures in Wild California explores the vast beauty, landscapes, and creative spirit that make this state and its people unique. Meet adventuresome individuals like Steve Sillett, a biologist studying life in the canopies of California’s giant redwood trees; Sue Campbell, an otter aquarist whose job is to help introduce orphaned sea otter pups back into the wild; skydivers Troy Hartman and Joe Jennings; and two ironworkers who perform the upkeep on the Golden Gate Bridge high above the waters of San Francisco bay.

California has long been renowned for its glitter, glamour and radical lifestyles. Adventures in Wild California goes beyond that to reveal the ways in which the landscape inspires and interacts with the open spirit of the state—in places such as Big Sur, Death Valley, Yosemite National Park, Monterey Bay, Lake Tahoe and the awesome surf-break at Maverick’s. In California’s vast landscape there is a world of misty giant forests, the magical Sierra Nevada mountain range, 600 miles of rippling, life-teeming coastline—and a place inhabited by extreme adventurers, devoted scientists and talented athletes, who keep pushing the limits of what is possible for humans to achieve in nature. 

Produced and directed by large-format cinematographer Greg MacGillivray, Adventures in Wild California has received critic and audience acclaim since its 2000 release. In addition to adventure and vivid landscapes, the film also delivers a strong environmental message. “Adventures in Wild California is the incredible story of how a beautiful, wild geography inspired some of the most inventive human thinking and lifestyles in history,” says director Greg MacGillivray. “The film is not just an ode to California’s obviously spectacular natural wonders—it also gives a really strong reason to save those wonders because they are a major influence on this unique, forward-thinking culture. When you see first hand what is possible in the mountains, skies and seas of California, you get a real sense of how a wild landscape informs a wilder imagination.” Don’t miss this limited opportunity to take an unexpected journey into a wild place where nature and imagination reign.

Written by Mark Krenzien. Produced by Greg MacGillivray, Mark Krenzien and Alec Lorimore. A MacGillivray Freeman release (2000). Unrated. Running time: 40 min


“Adventures in Wild California lives up to its title…amazing footage!”

—E! Entertainment Television


At last, a documentary-style IMAX film…that takes full advantage of the spectacular scale and vibrant visual experience of the format.”

—Fresno Bee


By showcasing the natural and man-made wonder of California, veteran naturalist-filmmaker Greg MacGillivray (Everest) successfully zeros in on the sense of awe and the optimism that have attracted so many transients here over the decades and have also inspired the few risk-takers among us.

* * * * (Four stars out of four)”

—Sacramento Bee