Award-Winning Documentary "The Cove" Debuts in Sedona 9/1

Film Festival Presents Critically-Acclaimed Oscar Hopeful

Producer to Attend and Host Q&A

The Sedona International Film Festival is proud to present the debut of the award-winning, critically-acclaimed documentary “The Cove” on Tuesday, Sept. 1. There will be two screenings of the film at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres. The film kicks off the festival’s four-week “What’s Up, Doc?” Documentary Series featuring award-winning documentaries from festivals around the world.

“The Cove” is taking the world by storm and quickly becoming one of the best reviewed films of the year. The documentary garnered more than 30 top audience choice awards from prestigious film festivals around the globe, including Sundance. Roger Ebert rates the film four stars and calls it a “certain Oscar contender.” The New York Times says “The Cove” is “an exceptionally well-made documentary that unfolds like a spy thriller – one of the most audacious and perilous operations in the history of the conservation movement.”

Producer Fisher Stevens will be in Sedona to present “The Cove” and host Q&A discussions following both screenings.

“The Cove” Movie Trailer – CAPTIVATING!

In a sleepy lagoon off the coast of Japan lies a shocking secret that a few desperate men will stop at nothing to keep hidden from the world. At last, the truth of “The Cove” comes to the fore in an act of covert filmmaking that turns a documentary into a gripping action-adventure thriller – and a heart-pounding call for help from the world’s oceans.

“The Cove” begins in Taiji, Japan, where former dolphin trainer Ric O’Barry has come to set things right after a long search for redemption. In the 1960s, it was O’Barry who captured and trained the 5 dolphins who played the title character in the international television sensation “Flipper.” But his close relationship with those dolphins – the very dolphins who sparked a global fascination with trained sea mammals that continues to this day – led O’Barry to a radical change of heart. One fateful day, a heartbroken Barry came to realize that these deeply sensitive, highly intelligent and self-aware creatures so beautifully adapted to life in the open ocean must never be subjected to human captivity again.

This mission has brought him to Taiji, a town that appears to be devoted to the wonders and mysteries of the sleek, playful dolphins and whales that swim off their coast. But in a remote, glistening cove, surrounded by barbed wire and “Keep Out” signs, lies a dark reality. It is here, under cover of night, that the fishermen of Taiji, driven by a multi-billion dollar dolphin entertainment industry and an underhanded market for mercury-tainted dolphin meat, engage in an unseen hunt. The nature of what they do is so chilling – and the consequences are so dangerous to human health – they will go to great lengths to halt anyone from seeing it.

Undeterred, O’Barry joins forces with filmmaker Louie Psihoyos and the Ocean Preservation Society to get to the truth of what’s really going on in the cove and why it matters to everyone in the world. With the local Chief of Police hot on their trail and strong-arm fishermen keeping tabs on them, they will recruit an “Oceans Eleven”- style team of underwater sound and camera experts, special effects artists, marine explorers, adrenaline junkies and world-class free divers who will carry out an undercover operation to photograph the off-limits cove, while playing a cloak-and-dagger game with those who would have them jailed.

The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery that adds up to an urgent plea for hope.

Director Louis Psyihoyos, one of the world’s most sought-after photographers and a co-founder of the Ocean Preservation Society, first encountered – or rather didn’t encounter – Ric O’Barry while attending a marine conference at which O’Barry was supposed to be a keynote speaker. When O’Barry was banned at the last minute by the event’s sponsor, Sea World, Psihoyos’ curiosity was piqued. What he couldn’t have known is that this curiosity would lead him to seek out O’Barry, and eventually compel him to undertake an incredible filmmaking adventure – as he and his crew used high-tech military grade equipment, bold free divers and a fearless sense of urgency to carry out a perilous underwater shoot that was entirely under cover.

He could not have foreseen that his crew would, in the process, expose not only the hidden truth about dolphin hunts but also a major human health hazard, government corruption, the declining state of our oceans and one man’s emotional battle for redemption.

“Hollywood could hardly have contrived a more dynamic scenario,” raves David Edelstein from National Public Radio. Mary Pols from Time Magazine says “The Cove… puts Hollywood capers like Mission: Impossible to shame.” And Kenneth Turan with the Los Angeles Times calls the film “a powerful and effective piece of advocacy filmmaking.”

Producer Fisher Stevens, who will be in Sedona to present “The Cove”, is also an accomplished director. Stevens has appeared in more than 40 stage productions including the Tony award-winning Torch Song Trilogy, as well as more than 50 films and television programs. He will host a Q&A discussion following both screenings.

The title sponsor for the event is Go Electric, Sedona Electric Vehicles; the supporting sponsor is Vora Financial. The series is also made possible by a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Sedona.

“The Cove” will be shown at Harkins Sedona Six Theatres on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $10, or $8 for Film Sedona members, and will be available starting at 3:00 p.m. that day in the Harkins lobby. Cash or checks only. Film Sedona members can purchase tickets in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office, 1785 W. Hwy. 89A, Suite 2B, or by calling 282-1177.

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One thought on “Award-Winning Documentary "The Cove" Debuts in Sedona 9/1”

  1. I'm so glad that The Cove will be showing in Sedona! I saw the trailer a while ago and it looks really good. It's pretty cool that the producer will be doing Q&A sessions, as well. I'm definitely excited to see the film! Hopefully it will cause people to take notice of the issues presented in The Cove.

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