Tuesday 17 December 2013

Documentary Tackling Shark Finning Seeks Crowdfunding Help

The ocean has fallen foul to the ravages of human appetites including whaling, excessive fishing draining stocks, and the practice of corralling dolphins for captivity or food as depicted in the chilling documentary The Cove. Philip Waller's documentary, Extinction Soup looks to expose yet another slice of oceanic savagery, shark finning. Writer, producer and director Waller is looking for funds through crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo to cover post production costs for a film that looks set to highlight and bring about legal changes to curb shark finning, a practice that could have devastating effects on the environment.

Shark finning is the practice of capturing sharks and sawing off their fins before casting the now mutilated sharks back into the ocean. The fins are usually sold to restaurateurs to be used into he delicacy that is shark fin soup. The sharks carcasses are discarded back into the ocean dead or alive, with many going days even weeks dying painfully from their wound. It is estimated that around 70 million sharks per year are mutilated and killed for this dish despite being illegal in many parts of the world. Californian filmmaker and adventurer Philip Waller has teamed up with activist and shark swimmer Stefanie Brendl to make Extinction Soup. On board to help bring this important project to the masses is producer Sidney Sherman, whose own success with crowdfunding saw the short film Reboot come to life, and Reboot alumnus Travis Aaron Wade serving as co-producer. The team are hoping that the film will expose practice to a worldwide audience and educate as well bring pressure to the world's governments to bring about effective legislative changes to end shark finning.

Filming has completed thanks to self-funding by the filmmakers but requires a lot of post production work. The funds being raised through IndieGoGo will be used to cover this cost. The sum of $30,000 is being sought to produce the film's music, graphics and titles, audio mixing as well as licensing costs, and none of it will be used to compensate the filmmakers. If the campaign is successful then the makers are aiming for Extinction Soup to be released around May 2014.  To date the campaign has raised over $25,000 but with less than ten days left till the deadline the race is on to find the remanding funds.

In return for their pledge donors will be in line for various rewards starting from the usual thanks and acknowledgments from the filmmakers to digital downloads and DVD copies of the finished film, signed and exclusive merchandise. Those with over $1,000 to invest will receive the usual rewards plus producer, creditors as well as invitations to festival screenings. For the top end investors, i.e. $10,000 or more, they will be flown to Hawaii for a free shark tour courtesy Stefanie Brenda. It should be noted however that this will mainly be for US investors. Most importantly however investors can feel satisfied in helping bring an important film to fruition, one that aims to significantly reduce this cruel practice or even bring it to a halt through a global legal intervention. For more information and to make a donation please visit the campaign's IndieGoGo crowdfunding page. 

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