Press Release from Nixco
Wayfare Entertainment and FilmNation announce today that Wayfare will finance and FilmNation will handle sales of SANCTUM, a 3-D underwater action movie utilizing 3D technology first pioneered by James Cameron for his 3D IMAX documentaries and TV specials (GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS).
Australian producer Andrew Wight, a long time Cameron collaborator, will produce the film and Australian helmer Alister Grierson (KOKODA) will direct. James Cameron will serve as executive producer along with Wayfare principals Ben Browning, Michael Maher and Peter Rawlinson. FilmNation’s Aaron Ryder is co-producer.
In 1988, Wight had led an expedition to explore and dive a remote cave system hidden beneath the Nullarbor Plain in Australia. During the course of the expedition, a freak storm suddenly materialized, collapsing the cave entrance and leaving 15 souls trapped deep under ground awaiting a terrible fate. A rescue mission was mounted and miraculously, all the members of the team survived. Wight recounted this extraordinary story in his documentary film, ‘Nullarbor Dreaming’.
The experience left an indelible mark on him and ultimately inspired him to suggest a fiction film on this subject to James Cameron.
The script was written by John Garvin and Wight and follows a father and his teenage son as they navigate a treacherous cave-diving exploration gone wrong. Casting is underway and filming will begin late 2009 in the Queensland/Gold Coast region of Australia. The film will be shot using the Cameron/Pace Fusion Camera system that Cameron used to shoot AVATAR.
Notes Ben Browning of Wayfare Entertainment “The idea of partnering on this exciting project with a team that is not only deeply knowledgeable about underwater exploration and cave-diving but also at the forefront of this groundbreaking 3-D technology made this an easy decision for Wayfare.”
FilmNation will represent all international sales on the project and introduced the film as part of their slate at the 2009 Cannes market. The deal was brokered by CAA on behalf of the filmmakers.