The creative forces of Oscar-winner James Cameron and New Zealander Andrew Adamson have converted the aerial theatre of Cirque du Soleil into a 3D film.
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away - shot in New Zealand and Las Vegas - was written and directed by Oscar-nominated Adamson whose previous credits include the Shrek and Narnia movies.
Avatar and Titanic director Cameron, now a New Zealand resident with two Wairarapa farms, was executive producer for the project.
After the film premiered at the Tokyo International Film Festival, a reviewer in The Hollywood Reporter said it delivered a "feast of surreal beauty and moments of breathtaking wonder".
With the acrobatics linked by a love story narrative, "cinema-goers catch each slap of the aerialists mid-air hand grasps and every droplet of water splashed".
Cameron marvelled at the majesty of the human form in action during the shooting.
"Their death-defying acts require such incredible skill and nerve - we felt it was so important to show the cabling, everything supporting that human ability," he told reporters in Florida ahead of the film's United States release on Friday.
Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away will be in New Zealand cinemas from February 21.