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The Real Sanctum
Movie Sanctum
February 4, 2011

A film centred around the do-or-die efforts of a group of cave divers.


The $30 million-budgeted Sanctum was directed by Alister Grierson and shot in 3-D with the input of co-producer James Cameron, whose previous hits include the 3-D Avatar and Titanic.

The film, which opens on 4 February, follows the trials of a team of cave divers who enter a large, remote cave system in Papua New Guinea.

They struggle with raging currents and an unknown terrain as they try to find a way out of their potential tomb after a tropical storm unleashes floods.

The film is both action thriller and rites-of-passage movie, a centrepiece partnership involving cave divers Frank McGuire (Richard Roxburgh) and his son Josh (Rhys Wakefield).

The cast is fundamentally Australian, exceptions including Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd who plays the project’s financier.

Sanctum was shot in Queensland, Australia, using a Warner Bros studio with dry-cave sets and a further cave system structure in a flooded tank.

Filming employed 3-D techniques which Cameron used to produce Avatar.

Sanctum‘s co-producer/co-writer Andrew Wight and co-writer John Garvin are both highly experienced divers and trainers in open-circuit, rebreathers and cave diving.

Their experience was invaluable in bringing a sense of diving reality to the film.

The film and Garvin’s contribution to it feature in the February issue of DIVER magazine.

Furthermore, John Garvin will be talking about the making of Sanctum at the London International Dive Show (LIDS 2011) and TEK 2011 conferences, both at the ExCeL Centre on 26/27 March.


Map of caves:





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