IMAX films have ranged from diving on the Titanic to working on a shuttle mission in space. And, as with those films, the new Sharks 3D feels so realistic that you could be there as a diver, tempted to reach out and touch the animal coming toward you and brushing by.

Great white sharks, whale sharks and hammerheads feature. So do manta rays and other creatures such as dolphins, sea lions, turtles and fish. The film, presented by Jean-Michel Cousteau, aims squarely at getting the viewer to enjoy and understand the creatures. An appreciation of their value as animals to be conserved follows naturally.

The films purpose is to lead people to think differently, and ultimately positively, about sharks, director Jean-Jacques Mantello said at the films recent British launch at Bristols Harbourside IMAX Cinema, attended by HRH Prince Michael of Kent.

As many fellow conservationists have said before, we protect only what we love. Therefore, we first need to understand what sharks are really like before there can be a change in public perception. Then perhaps we will begin to protect them.

Sharks 3D is playing in the US and in South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. In Britain, it is already running at Bristols Harbourside IMAX Cinema and opens on 11 February at Londons Science Museum IMAX 3D Cinema, Birminghams ThinkTank IMAX Cinema, and Bradfords NMPFT (National Museum of Photography, Film and Television) IMAX Cinema.

Related links
Sharks 3D website