Science Museum film to play at this year's Omnifest

  • Updated: January 6, 2011 - 10:51 PM
A Science Museum of Minnesota production is one of five films that will be shown as part of Omnifest, the popular mid-winter film festival that begins Friday and runs through Feb. 17 at the museum.

What: Called one of "the most immersive films" in the Omnitheater's 33-year history by Mike Day, the museum's senior vice president, "Tropical Rainforest" took staff seven years to create. It was the eighth big-screen feature made by the St. Paul museum. The film takes viewers deep into the jungles of Costa Rica, French Guiana, Malaysia, Central America and the Amazon Basin, and introduces them to gaudy frogs, exotic flowers and giant insects, all while exploring the rainforests' evolutions and rapid decline. "From start to finish, we put you inside the forest and you travel through 400 million years of history," Day said.

The other films: Omnifest will be the last local opportunity to see "Hubble," which shows the Atlantis STS-125 crew performing some of the most difficult feats in NASA's history and reveals some of the most stunning scenery captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. The lineup also includes the deep sea adventure, "Sea Monsters," the Ernest Hemingway classic "Old Man in the Sea," and "Wild Safari," in which viewers encounter rhinos, elephants, leopards and other wild animals as they take a 3,000-mile journey through the African wilderness in an open-air vehicle.

Schedule: "Tropical Rainforest" will be screened at 4 and 8 p.m. weekdays with additional showings at 11 a.m. Saturdays and Sunday. The film will be shown in rotation with the others, all of which will be shown twice daily.

History: Omnifest "started as an experiment" in 1999, Day said. But because of its popularity, Omnifest became an annual event eight years ago. It's now one of the museum's most-attended events. During Omnifest's six-week run, more than 100,000 people are expected to catch at least one film. That translates to more than 300 sold-out shows in the 350-seat theater, Day said.

Tickets: They are $8 for adults, $7 for children with a 15 percent discount on each additional film viewed on the same day. For information, call 651-221-9444 or go to www.smm.org/omnifest.

TIM HARLOW

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