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'Bluefin' headlining Projections in the Plaza in Charlottetown until the end of September

John Hopkins’ NFB documentary “Bluefin.” - Bluefin/Square Deal Productions photo
John Hopkins’ NFB documentary “Bluefin.” - Bluefin/Square Deal Productions photo - Contributed

The acclaimed documentary “Bluefin” has been selected to headline the Projections on the Plaza outdoor series this summer in Charlottetown.

The event, put on by Discover Charlottetown in partnership with the Confederation Centre of the Arts, drew over 10,000 visitors last year.

Since its release, Island filmmaker John Hopkins’s “Bluefin” has been selected for 24 international film festivals, was awarded the 2017 Grand Winner and Best Documentary Feature at the California Film Awards, the 2017 San Francisco International Ocean Film Festivals Wildlife Award and the 2016 Best Atlantic Filmmaker Award at Lunenburg DocFest.

“I am thrilled Bluefin is being honoured with this high-profile screenings series. It’s incredible to see 1,000 lbs bluefin tuna - at IMAX size- on the Centre’s wall… Although huge, they’re gentle and would never harm you. All they want is a herring “treat.” They think and feel like pets do, and they’re far from a “dumb fish.” It’s brutal what we’re doing to these large mature bluefin spawners.”

Hopkins says “Bluefin” is a mystery story.

In making the film, he’s often observed “normally wary bluefin tuna being hand-fed by fishermen out of sheer desperation for survival. They’re in a vulnerable state to be caught because we’ve taken their food away - herring and mackerel - for lobster bait or for roe sushi.”

He added, that when the herring stocks collapsed in the fall of 2017 off of P.E.I there was nothing left for the tuna to eat.

Recently it was discovered that the high abundance of tuna seen in the Gulf, before the stocks disappeared, were European bluefin rather than the local western species.

“My film shows that we had a second chance after bluefin disappeared completed from P.E.I a decade back in the 1970s and 1980s from overfishing but we blew it. How often do we get a second chance in life?”

“Bluefin” has been picked up by Hulu, and is available on iTunes, GooglePlay, Amazon Prime, Vimeo Plus and Sony PlayStation.

“Bluefin” was written, directed and shot by John Hopkins and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. It screens every Tuesday, beginning July 18, at 10:15 p.m. until the end of September.

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