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LAist Interview: Rob Stewart, creator of Sharkwater

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In a year of great documentaries, Sharkwater resides in the very top tier. It is a passionate advocacy film about the immense slaughter of sharks currently going on in the world's oceans. Sharks are caught in 60-mile long lines, have their fins cut off and then are simply dumped back in the ocean to rot. I recently had the opportunity to speak with the film's writer, director and narrator, Rob Stewart.

You originally started out planning to shoot more of a pure documentary about sharks in the wild. Can you talk about the moment when you decided to go in a different direction?

Basically I was trying to make a beautiful, underwater art film and in order to get to the most shark-infested waters in the world I teamed up with Sea Shepherd. Three weeks into shooting we collided with a fishing boat and were charged with attempted murder in Costa Rica, and we started filming ourselves to keep ourselves out of prison. I guess, five weeks into shooting we still hadn't been underwater yet. We'd just filmed ourselves running from countries and running from mafia rings and all that. So by the time I came back from that shoot, I had virtually no shark footage, but I had this crazy human drama.