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Island filmmaker John Hopkins wins best feature documentary at California Film Awards

A tuna’s skull on a beach in a scene from John Hopkins’ National Film Board documentary “Bluefin” that won the 2017 Best Documentary Feature at the California Film Awards. SUBMITTED PHOTO
A tuna’s skull on a beach in a scene from John Hopkins’ National Film Board documentary “Bluefin” that won the 2017 Best Documentary Feature at the California Film Awards. SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Guardian

Prince Edward Island filmmaker John Hopkins’s acclaimed National Film Board documentary, “Bluefin” continues to land international accolades.

The film was a hit 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,” he said in a recent news release.

“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, he says.

“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.”

 

P.E.I. filmmaker John Hopkins has been “blown away” by how well his film has been received worldwide. SUBMITTED PHOTO
P.E.I. filmmaker John Hopkins has been “blown away” by how well his film has been received worldwide. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Hopkins says “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. 

“We need to stop blaming others, and finally look at our part in this and put the brakes on now or see it all go the way of the cod.”

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, Hopkins said in the news release. 

“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 is Feb. 2. Other screenings will include the Big Sky Documentary NFilm 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.

 

 

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