Best Documentary Feature winner “The Cove” filmmakers, from left, Ric o’Barry; louie Psihoyos; Paula DuPre’ Pesmen and Fisher Stevens backstage during the 82nd annual academy awards at the Kodak Theatre in hollywood, Ca on Sunday, march 7, 2010. (Photo by Richard D. Salyer / ©a.m.P.a.S.)
With an estimated billion viewers around the world watching the 82nd Academy Awards held in Los Angeles, March 7, 2010, a film about the exploitation of dolphins “The Cove” (Roadside Attractions – Oceanic Preservation Society Production) won as Best Documentary Feature.
Directed by Louie Psihoyos, The Cove is the name for a sleepy lagoon off the coast of Taiji, Japan, where risky covert filmmaking by an adventurous documentary crew revealed shocking and well protected secrets of a multi-billion dollar industry that produces dolphins for entertainment and also allegedly sold as whale meat.
According to Academy transcripts, the filmmakers spoke backstage about relating the film to the recent tragic death of a trainer by a whale at Sea World.
Psihoyos said that these incidents highlight what the film is all about.
“There’s never been a wild dolphin, and an orca is a wild dolphin, in the history of man known to be killing a human being in the wild,” said Psihoyos. “And you have one killer whale, who’s been known for killing only whales, killing three human beings in one lifetime. If anything, this teaches us that these animals don’t belong in captivity.
Richard O’Barry, a former dolphin trainer including “Flipper”, added that it is not widely known that two Sea World dolphins have also killed two trainers in the last two months. He said the best way to change things is to not buy a ticket for a dolphin show.
“That is the solution,” said O’Barry. “The government is not going to fix this problem. The consumers have all the power.”
With the film scheduled to begin screening in Japan in April 2010, the filmmakers said the Academy Award would add leverage to the credibility of the film – nullifying the industry and public officials who deny that dolphins are no longer slaughtered to be passed off as whale meat.
The film is not “Japan bashing” said Psihoyos, who called it a love letter to the Japanese people – as someone who has suffered mercury poisoning from eating the wrong kind of fish.
“Burma VJ” (WG Film/Mediamente/Kamoli Films) was also nominated in the same category. Director Anders Østergaard offered a clear glimpse of Myanmar’s violent protests of September 2007, when monks took the streets. He was able to do what mainstream media could not by putting small video cameras in the hands of locals who brought hem to undercover journalists where the video was smuggled out and broadcast via satellite.
The HBO film “China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” is nominated in the Best Documentary Short Subject category. The award went to “Music by Prudence” and filmmakers Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett.
The 82nd Academy Awards, Scientific and Technical Awards were handed out on February 20, 2010.
Hiro Sakai and Masaaki Miki were on hand to accept the Scientific and Engineering Award for the design and development. The award went to FujiFilm Corporation, and specifically, Ryoji Nishimura, Masaaki Miki and Youichi Hosoya for the design and development of Fujicolor ETERNA-RDI digital intermediate film, which was designed exclusively to reproduce motion picture digital masters.
The Fujicolor ETERNA-RDI Type 8511/4511 digital intermediate film has thinner emulsion layers with extremely efficient couplers made possible by Super-Nano Cubic Grain Technology. This invention allows improved color sensitivity with the ability to absorb scattered light, providing extremely sharp images.
The ETERNA-RDI emulsion technology also achieves less color cross-talk for exacting reproduction. Its expanded latitude and linearity provides superior highlights and shadows in a film stock with exceptional latent image stability.
All quotes and description of on and off stage content and statements is Copyright 2010 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and used by permission.