Three students, passionate about documentary filmmaking, wildlife conservation, and marine biology, are setting out to South Africa to make a film about Great White Sharks. Their goal is to spend 2-4 weeks in Cape Town – Great White Shark mecca, participating in an eco-conservation program that aims to help with the conservation of marine life in the area.
They will film their time assisting scientists with shark tagging, beach cleanup, and eco-tourism, recording the entire process in order to reduce the stigma surrounding this threatened species. The documentary will focus on changing the misconceptions regarding these sharks, the journey that the filmmakers endure, and the overall experience as a whole, placing an emphasis on their growth as conservationists and filmmakers.
The ultimate goal of this film is to shed light on the struggles that sharks face, such as poaching, finning, and habitat loss; and through this, garner sympathy and interest for the animals and their conservation. Most importantly, they hope to inspire the modern generation to ditch technology and dive into wildlife conservation.
Since Jaws came out in 1975, sharks have had a horrible reputation in society. The lack of care for these animals has made the species decline in numbers. In reality, sharks only kill about 4.2 people a year and out of the 500 species of sharks, only 12 are dangerous to humans. Today many Asians cultures eat shark fin soup because they believe the fins taste good and have healing properties. This demand for fins has caused some species to nearly go extinct. More than 70 million sharks a year are killed for their fins. The process of finning is inhumane as well. Fisherman bring a shark onto the boat, cut off all of it’s fins while it’s still alive, and then kick the body back into the water because it has no value to them. Sharks have to keep moving to survive so they eventually drown because the lack of oxygen through their gills. If we continue these acts sharks will soon go extinct. They are keystone species so without them there will be terrible consequences in our oceans. We hope to give sharks a voice through our documentary.