REVIEW FROM THE VAULT: SHARKWATER (2006)

Enjoy this review from the vault – I originally wrote this article in the middle of 2008 – god I have been doing this for ages, anyways, I am trying to get all the articles (I do not now hate) off my old site and here you have it. The one thing I remember about this film is that besides the remarkable amazement at how passionate he is about saving sharks was how egotistical Rob is, there are a LOT of shots of him, a very self indulgent docco, but still a well made docco – enjoy and have a great day………………………..Salty.

For filmmaker Rob Stewart, exploring sharks began as an underwater adventure. What it turned into was a beautiful and dangerous life journey into the balance of life on earth.
Driven by passion fed from a lifelong fascination with sharks, Stewart debunks historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas.
Filmed in visually stunning, high definition video, Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world’s shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

 

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SHARKWATER – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW FROM THE VAULT


 

In an effort to protect sharks, Stewart teams up with renegade conservationist Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Their unbelievable adventure together starts with a battle between the Sea Shepherd and shark poachers in Guatemala, resulting in pirate boat ramming, gunboat chases, mafia espionage, corrupt court systems and attempted murder charges, forcing them to flee for their lives.
Through it all, Stewart discovers these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the earth’s history of mass extinctions, they could easily be wiped out within a few years due to human greed.
Stewart’s remarkable journey of courage and determination changes from a mission to save the world’s sharks, into a fight for his life, and that of humankind.

I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful film. Rob Stewart basically is the shark whisperer. There is one scene in the film where he is standing on the bottom of the ocean hugging (PRETTY MUCH) a shark. He is just holding it. Amazing. The cinematography is the main character except for the self indulgent Rob Stewart. Admittedly it is a remarkable film but I think there was a bit too much Rob. He is lucky he is a good looking lad and the camera doesn’t do him any damage. I have read many complaints about his egoistic ending but I thought it was beautiful and not many people can look good free-diving in Speedo’s on the bottom of the ocean with massive sharks all around.

 

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SHARKWATER – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW FROM THE VAULT

 

Sharkwater Awards

* Canada’s Top TenToronto International Film Festival
* People’s Choice Atlantic International Film Festival
* People’s Choice Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival
* Best Documentary Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival
* Spirit of Independents AwardFt. Lauderdale International Film Festival
* Special Jury Award Hawaii International Film Festival
* Best Musical Composition France World Festival of Underwater Pictures
* Prix Planete Thalassa France World Festival of Underwater Pictures
* Best of the Festival Palm Springs International Film Festival
* Best International Doc Beverly Hills Hi-Def Festival
* Best HD Feature AFI Dallas International Film Festival
* Audience Choice Award for Best FeatureGen Art Film Festival
* Grand Jury Award for Best FeatureGen Art Film Festival
* Peter Benchley Shark Conservation Award Shark Research Institute
* Special Jury Award15 Short Film Festival – Charlotte, NC
* Must-See Award (Category: Wake-Up Films)Telluride Mountain Film Festival
* Hero of Conservation – Water Category Conservation for the Oceans Foundation
* Top Ten Films Cambridge Film Festival
* Jameson Audience Award for Best International Documentary Encounters South African Int’l Doc. Festival
* Best Documentary Film – Nominee Critics Choice Awards
* Animal Action Award International Fund for Animal Welfare
* Best Documentary Directors Guild of Canada
* Best Of The Festival Santa Barbara Ocean Film Festival
* Best Sound – Nominee Golden Reel Awards
* Best Documentary – Nominee Genie Awards
* Best Environmental Film of 2008 National Ocean Film Festival Alliance
* Best Feature Documentary – Nominated (ceremony March 29/2008) Genesis Awards

 

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SHARKWATER – THE SALTY POPCORN REVIEW FROM THE VAULT

 

The film is an amazing eye opener, the premise of the film is that sharks aren’t what you imagine from Jaws, it doesn’t help hearing in the news once a month of the attacks taking place on the coast of Australia or the tales you hear from Sth Africa. BUT Rob explains that and most survivors of a shark attack will tell you the same thing. It was not the sharks fault – I was in its territory. Once you see the devastation taking place because of the Asian delicacy of shark fin soup you will feel sick to your stomach. Sharks are massive and they mutilate there fins off after catching them on giant stringed out fishing lines about 60km long then throw the rest of the body back in the water. The amount of sharks they are decimating is phenomenal. I have read some points of view that suggest that hunting down the illegal fishermen is probably not the correct way to go about it and the best way to go about it is via shame, as with PETA and the harassment of the people who demand the goods. If we educate the people who find it such a delicacy maybe we would have more luck than by hunting down the poor fisherman being offered $200- a pound of shark fin. But it was great viewing watching them ram a fishing boat.

Most of the filming takes place in Guatemala and Costa Rico but I really would like to see Rob swimming with the sharks off Western Australia, don’t know if they would be up for a hug. The imagery in this film will blow your mind and the story is a plea for help for a species that does not have Greenpeace helping them out, IT ALSO HAS SOME GOOD ACTION. I recommend it for family viewing and compulsory young people watching. Educate!!!! $13- Out this week in Australia on a limited release, hunt it down!!!

If you would like to help out the cause please visit the amazingly well done website:

SHARKWATER WEBSITE

 

4 Pops