CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Prince Edward Island filmmaker John Hopkins’s acclaimed National Film Board documentary “Bluefin” continues to land international accolades. The film made a big splash as a grand winner and recipient of the 2017 Best Documentary Feature at the California Film Awards this month in San Diego.
The California Film Awards recognizes world cinema that represents the forefront of aesthetic, critical and entertainment standards in contemporary independent filmmaking and screenwriting, honouring new and cutting-edge American and foreign independent films.
Writer/director Hopkins reports “Bluefin” now has 22 international film festival selections.
“I’m blown away about how well my film has been received worldwide.”
“Bluefin” has hit a strong public concern the world over that humanity has hit its limits with the over-exploitation of nature and fragile wildlife.
“We’ve hit the breaking point, and my film vividly gives you a sense, through this extraordinary story about giant bluefin tuna appearing to be so starving, these days, they are willing to cast aside their natural fear of humans and be vulnerably hand-fed by fishermen in open ocean.
“We lost the cod through neglect, greed, and fisheries mismanagement. We’re about to lose the rest of what’s out there. Herring stocks, which feed tuna, whales, sharks, dolphins, and commercially important lobster, have already collapsed off North Lake, P.E.I., where I filmed my documentary and since my film was released,” said Hopkins.
“We need to stop blaming others, and finally look at our part in this, and put the breaks on now or see all go the way of the cod, permanently… We need to think for ourselves on this, and truly protect what's left for future generations.
“As taxpayers who underwrite the public cost of fisheries, we all have a stake in this. Aside from a serious blow to our economy, on a personal basis, it will be our fishing communities and families who will lose the most,” he added.
A worldwide VOD release of “Bluefin” through U.S. distributor Gravitas Ventures and the NFB in Canada, is coming soon, with a total subscriber reach of over one billion.
“Bluefin” is being invited back to Toronto Feb. 27 for a private “Fish Talk” screening and panel with celebrity chef Ned Bell and OceanWise, targeting the food industry and issues of seafood sustainability and fisheries. Upcoming screenings include a run by Cinema Politica and NFB Movie Nights at public libraries across Canada. It’s New England premiere at the New Jersey Film Festival takes place Feb. 2. Upcoming screenings also include the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival Feb. 18 in Montana.
Islanders have a chance to see “Bluefin” on Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Montague Rotary Library as part of the NFB of Canada Movie Night series.
About the filmmaker and the film
Facts about John Hopkins
- John Hopkins has won over 20 Canadian and international awards.
- His documentary films and work as director of photography have been broadcast on CTV, CBC, Bravo, Arte, TVO, Documentary Channel, and Discovery Channel.
- He wrote, directed and lensed the NFB feature documentary “Bluefin,” released in 2016
- Grew up and lives in Prince Edward Island
- Produces documentaries and TV commercials through his company Square Deal Productions Atlantic Inc.
Facts about film “Bluefin:”
- Won Lunenburg's Best Atlantic Filmmaker Award and 2017 San Francisco International Ocean Film Festival Wildlife Awards.
- Nominated for 2017 Best Feature Documentary at Raindance Festival in London, UK
- Had its U.S. premiere at the 2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival competing in the Social Justice Category
- It is 53 minutes long