On December 19 at 6:30 pm, the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema is hosting the Toronto premiere of writer/director John Hopkins’ NFB documentary Bluefin as part of Hot Docs’ Films Changing the World Series, which brings together must-see docs revealing staggering new perspectives and stories. Hopkins, winner of the 2017 Wildlife Award at San Francisco’s International Ocean Film Festival as well as Best Atlantic Filmmaker at the Lunenburg Doc Fest for Bluefin, will be in Toronto for the Q&A following the screening.
Following success on the International Festival Circuit with 19 Official Selections, Hopkins is thrilled his film is doing so well after filming for five years out at sea off North Lake, Prince Edward Island. With stunning cinematography, the filmmaker unravels the unsettling mystery of why normally wary bluefin tuna no longer fear humans. Astonished fishermen and scientists offer conflicting explanations as to why the tuna are turning into pets. The powerful creatures, which reach up to 15 feet in length and swim faster than torpedoes, are so strangely friendly and abundant now they will literally eat out your hand.
Says Hopkins, “Bluefin will turn everything you thought you knew about these incredible giants on its tail. It’s really the first film that sees an ocean fish as the wild animal it is, a thousand-pound warm-blooded giant with gills which wholesales at up to a million dollars."
Bluefin features dazzling slow-motion underwater cinematography of tuna designed by the film’s Director of Photography John Hopkins, and filmed in partnership with cinematographer Christopher Ball. Hopkins' film also features National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry and New York Times Best Selling author and ecologist Dr. Carl Safina. The lead NFB producer was Annette Clarke, with story editing by Emmy Award Winner and ex-NFB producer Peter Starr, while Toronto’s Denis Takacs edited.
Hopkins has won over 20 Canadian and international awards. His documentary films and work as Director of Photography have been broadcast on CTV, CBC, Bravo, Arte, TVO, Documentary Channel, and Discovery Channel. In addition to winning awards in San Francisco and Lunenburg, Bluefin was recently nominated for 2017 Best Feature Documentary at the Raindance Festival in London UK, a Golden Sheaf at Yorkton, and had its US Premiere at the prestigious 2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival competing in the Social Justice and Reel Nature Categories. Bluefin’s Asian Premier Opened the See and Sea Festival in Busan, South Korea.