007 to the rescue of …whales, and more shoots!

Former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan has boldly appealed to President Obama to help put an end to illegal whaling, reports CBS.  Brosnan paid for and appears in an “Save the Whales Now” advertisement, in which he reminds the President of his promise, whilst a candidate for the White House, that he was going to stop illegal whaling.

The “Save the Whales Now” campaign is a joint effort by the following organisations: Humane Society of the United States, The International Fund for Animal Welfare, The Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Ocean Alliance.   It encourages viewers to call the President personally, by providing a telephone number.  The Brosnan ad can be viewed here.

Halle Berry, Oscar-winning actress, and Oliver Martinez are currently in Cape Town, to shoot “Dark Tide” in Simonstown.  Berry plays the role of a diving instructor who comes face-to-face with sharks on a deserted island in the movie, reports the Sunday Times.   Local marine professionals have been retained by the producers, to provide support, whilst a local team of stunt co-ordinators has also been hired.   Filming has taken place in Simonstown harbour and at Seal Island.   The production company has set up its base at Seaforth Beach in Simonstown.

Commenting on the making of the movie, shark conservationist Alison Kock of Save Our Seas Foundation told the Sunday Times that they decided to not get involved and assist the producers, after they had seen the script, and it appeared to be a “shark attack” movie, a thriller in which the actors fight off a shark attack.  Her society’s mandate is to present the positive side of sharks, especially given shark attacks in False Bay generally, and specifically in Fish Hoek at the beginning of the year, when Lloyd Skinner died from being attacked by a Great White Shark.

A fascinating project is that of an Australian movie “Whale Like Me”,which film-maker Malcolm Wright is making.  Wright does not support the catching of whales by the Japanese, and came up with the idea of a documentary, in which the Japanese and the conservationists opposed to whaling swop roles, a “walk a mile in my shoes” type of movie, reports The Australian.  Wright will be living with a whaling family and join a whale hunt off the coast of Japan, while whalers will live with him in the Cook Islands and will swim with humpback whales in the area.

Wright says of his novel documentary: “The key to the film is reconciliation and the way we see reconciliation is walking a mile in each other’s shoes.  My standpoint is we have to now shift from a moratorium on sustainability grounds to a moratorium on ethical grounds, and at least have an international exchange of ideas and come to a conclusion of some sort”.   Hideki Fuji, a Japanese film-maker working on the project challenges the anti-whaling sentiment, asking how whaling and eating whales is different to “the harvesting of other animals for human consumption”.   Wright worked with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson, and hopes to get his movie released in cinemas.  Filming is planned to start this month.

Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com

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