Sonic Sea [20163609dct]
SONIC SEA is a 60-minute documentary about the devastating impact of ocean noise pollution on whales and other marine life. It was produced by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Imaginary Forces, in association with International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Diamond Docs, and presented by Discovery. SONIC SEA was narrated by Rachel McAdams. The film has played a significant role in raising public awareness about a global problem few even knew existed, and it is already influencing ocean noise policy and technology on local, national and international levels. SONIC SEA begins with Ken Balcomb, a former U.S. Navy officer and acoustics expert who solved a tragic mystery involving a mass stranding of whales in the Bahamas, and forever changed the way we understand our impact on the ocean. The film is the first to document Balcomb's historic, multi-year battle with the Navy (chronicled in The New York Times best-seller and PEN Literary Award-winning book, WAR OF THE WHALES) and the first film to present a full picture of the harm being done to numerous species of marine mammals and fish by naval sonar, industrial shipping, and seismic exploration for oil and gas. In the darkness of the sea, whales depend on sound to mate, find food, migrate, raise their young and defend against predators. But over the last century, human activity has radically transformed the ocean's delicate acoustic habitat, challenging the ability of whales and other marine life to prosper and survive. SONIC SEA offers solutions and hope for a quieter ocean, and underscores that the ocean's destiny is inextricably bound with our own. SONIC SEA features the musician, human rights and environmental activist Sting, in addition to the renowned ocean experts Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Paul Spong, Dr. Christopher Clark and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Each of them brings expertise, credibility and passion to the film. Despite SONIC SEA's tough stance toward the U.S. Navy, the film also features two former top Navy officials: the Hon. Steven Honigman, former Navy General Counsel, and William J. Parker, a former Navy commodore. They provide perspective and balance, and their willingness to participate is a testament to the film's even-handed treatment of its subject. Sting and Ms. McAdams both help make the film accessible to a broader audience. Ms. McAdams? narration conveys her own sense of wonder, empathy and loss. Sting shares personal stories about his relationship to the sea and the toll excessive noise exposure has had on him. He helps the audience relate to the sonic experience of whales and adds weight to the film's moral center. SONIC SEA achieves something rare by engaging audiences emotionally, visually and aurally, while telling a complex scientific story with balance and factual precision. It has opened the eyes and ears of millions of people, moved them to tears (as Ms. McAdams said even the rough cut did for her), and inspired thousands to get involved in realizing solutions. NRDC and IFAW have used the film to mobilize targeted public support against Atlantic seismic exploration and Gulf of Alaska naval training, and to pressure the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to release, in June 2016, a long-awaited Ocean Noise Strategy. The film has also helped launch promising partnerships to reduce shipping noise in the U.S. and Canada, including with General Electric and the New England Aquarium (in Boston), and the Port of Vancouver (in British Columbia). SONIC SEA premiered on Discovery Channel and Animal Planet as part of the Discovery Impact series in May 2016 and later was broadcast by Discovery Network in dozens of countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Russia and the United Kingdom. It has been an official selection in over 30 film festivals and has won nine awards. SONIC SEA has had over 200 screenings at aquariums, museums, seaports, government and military bodies (including at the U.S. Naval Academy!), universities, educational, cultural and community groups. A 20-minute cut has screened across Europe and North America for tens of thousands of ocean enthusiasts as part of the International Ocean Film Tour. The film was written by Mark Monroe (The Cove, Before the Flood, Racing Extinction), scored by the Grammy-winning composer Heitor Pereira (Minions, It's Complicated), and directed and produced by Michelle Dougherty, a top commercial director, and Daniel Hinerfeld, an award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker. SONIC SEA has succeeded beyond expectations in raising awareness and changing policy. It represents an unusually effective partnership between NGOs and commercial media companies working together for the common good.