Manta Ray of Hope and Now, More than Ever, SharksCount, two short documentary films from the shark conservation organization Shark Savers, have been nominated as finalists in the 2012 BLUE Ocean Film Festival.
Part of a six-day event that includes a Conservation Summit discussing the latest science and issues in ocean conservation, the BLUE Ocean Film Festival celebrates films that inspire people to protect our oceans. The nominations were announced on Sunday with a group of prestigious marine conservation leaders, including oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer in residence, and Jean-Michel Cousteau.
Manta Ray of Hope was selected in the ‘Best Short Film’ category, and Now, More than Ever, SharksCount was selected in the ‘Best Digital Interactive Campaign’ category, highlighting Shark Savers’ citizen science program, SharksCount. SharksCount inspires and empowers recreational divers to log their shark sightings to help create a baseline of shark populations and aid in local conservation. The SharksCount film has also been an official selection for the ‘Beneath the Waves Film Festival’, and the Miami Wildlife Conservation Film Festival.
Samantha Whitcraft, executive producer, writer and director of Now, More than Ever, SharksCount, says she is honored that her first film has been selected: “To me, the BLUE Ocean Film Festival is like the Oscars for the Oceans!”
The Manta Ray of Hope film was produced for the Shark Savers and WildAid campaign of the same name, and exposes the Manta and Mobula gill raker trade by showcasing the devastating impacts on these vulnerable animals. The companion report, “The Global Threat to Manta and Mobula Rays” was the first-ever comprehensive review of the destructive fishing and consumption of mobulids, and has been an integral step forward in efforts to increase protections for Mantas and Mobulas.
A third Shark Savers film, Befriending Giants, which tells the inspiring story of how local fishermen learned to co-exist with and protect their local population of whale sharks, also received an Honorable Mention in the Best Short Film category.