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Bluefin’ set for Toronto premiere

John Hopkins’ NFB documentary “Bluefin.” - Bluefin/Square Deal Productions photo
Next week, the Toronto premiere of writer/director John Hopkins’ NFB documentary “Bluefin” will be part of Hot Docs’ Films Changing the World Series. -Bluefin/Square Deal Productions photo - Submitted

Five-year spanning documentary unveils mystery surrounding tuna

HUNTER RIVER – Acclaimed documentary “Bluefin” will have its Toronto premiere at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema as part of the Hot Docs’ Films Changing the World Series on Dec. 19.

The series brings together must-see documentaries revealing staggering new perspectives and stories.

John Hopkins, the writer and director of “Bluefin”, the National Film Board documentary, won the 2017 Wildlife Award at San Francisco’s International Ocean Film Festival as well as Best Atlantic Filmmaker at the Lunenburg Doc Fest. He will be in Toronto for a Q & A after the screening.

Following success on the international festival circuit with 19 official selections, Hopkins in thrilled to see his film doing well after filming for five years out at sea off North Lake, P.E.I.

Using cinematography, the filmmaker unravels the mystery of why the normally wary bluefin tuna no longer fear humans. Astonished fishermen and scientists offer conflicting explanations as to why the tuna are turning into pets.

The creatures, which reach up to 15 feet in length and swim faster than torpedoes, are so friendly and abundant they will now eat out of a person’s hand.


John Hopkins, writer/director of the documentary film, “Bluefin.” -Bluefin/Square Deal Productions
John Hopkins, writer/director of the documentary film, “Bluefin.” -Bluefin/Square Deal Productions


“Bluefin will turn everything you thought you knew about these incredible giants on its tail. It’s really the first film that sees an ocean fish as the wild animal it is, a thousand-pound warm-blooded giant with gills which wholesales at up to a million dollars,” said Hopkins.

“In making my film, I witnessed a modern oceanic ‘last of the buffalo hunt.’ I was shocked by what I discovered. In the end, Bluefin says as much about the tragic state of the human condition as it does about the tuna. We’ve seen Blackfish, The Cove and Sharkwater. Tuna have been completely off our radar. We are wired to think of them only as food, not extraordinary wildlife. It’s time we finally understood what we are actually eating.”

Cinematographer Christopher Ball, who also worked on the project, added, “The public has never seen images of giant bluefin, like they will see in my film. I wanted to capture them in an epic way to give these intelligent animals the appreciation they deserve, but which has so tragically eluded them.”

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