Two Edmonton filmmakers’ fascination with tiny primates is now on display in a big way in a new IMAX documentary that explores the lives of lemurs living on the island of Madagascar.

"I hope that Edmonton audiences, like all audiences, I hope that what they take away is an appreciation for the lemurs, for just what fascinating quirky animals they are," said Dylan Reade.

Reade was a broadcast student at NAIT in the mid-80s when he first became interested in working on IMAX films. He went on to continue his studies in Ontario.

He joined up with Edmonton-born director David Douglas to shoot the documentary on Madagascar's lemurs. The team spent two months in the African country, shooting footage of the creatures.

“This film was a lot of fun to work on … Madagascar is an incredibly beautiful and diverse country,” he said.

The 3D shoot had its own unique challenges, Reade says. In addition to the usual problems working in a remote area, he says it was the first time an IMAX film has been shot with a digital camera.

He says he hopes the film will bring more attention to the ecological dangers that the lemurs face; they’ve been described as one of the most endangered species on earth.

“These animals, their natural habitat is being encroached on. It is becoming a concern,” Reade says.

The filmmakers unveiled a sneak peek of the film on home soil, with 100 people in Edmonton seeing the film in the newly-renovated IMAX theatre at the TELUS World of Science Wednesday night.

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar opens opens to the public Friday.