Follow the harrowing winter journey of polar photographer Joshua Holko as he seeks to capture eye-level images of illusive polar bears of the Arctic.
Interview with Writer/Director Abraham Joffe
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I am naturally drawn to capturing stories that bring strong conservation messages to an audience. I have also a strong affinity with the ocean, so meeting Eric Cheng and discovering his mission to demystify some of the oceans' most feared species really appealed to me.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
I think its really important for all of us to respect our oceans and all its lifeforms, including those species that are historically demonised. Sharks would have to be the ultimate feared species - yet most of what people fear comes from ignorance. We hope Eric's journey is a captivating one. Engaging films shouldn't preach their messages, so we were careful to first and foremost work to produce a captivating film.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
Naturally with any documentary project, you will never end up exactly where you set out to at the beginning. As a director you must be open to let the story evolve and be open to change. We had planned to make the Orca shoot in Norway a larger segment of the film, but due to challenges faced in the field we decided to use that shoot as a powerful opener to Eric's film instead.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. A short 2minute segment of Eric + Jim petting tiger sharks in the Bahamas went viral on Facebook resulting in over 23million views in just a couple of weeks. People's views on sharks were challenged and in most cases their negative beliefs shattered. Shark species around the world are under massive pressure, so its so important to educate the public to their beauty and importance to the ocean's overall health and stability.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Even though I have dived for over 20 years, I had never spent time in the water with the species we did during this shoot. So I too was moved and inspired by the work of Eric + Jim. I am certainly more of a marine predator advocate than I used to be.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Our hope is that this film gives people a chance to look marine predators in a new way. Our planet faces enormous environmental issues - everything from climate change, overfishing, plastics and polluted waterways. Education is the key.
Would you like to add anything else?
By far the toughest period of shooting was the time spent off the West coast of Norway capturing the magnificent Orcas. The winter conditions were brutally cold, down to minus 20, even minus 30 at night. We had the pressure of working with only 3-4 hours of twilight each day, and gloomy frigid waters. An incredibly difficult shoot to pull together, but we did manage some fantastic moments were we could capture wild feeding behaviour.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
We are in the middle of a third series of Tales by Light as well as a new series on the Big Cats of the Masai Mara. Both series to be released later in 2018.
Interview: January 2018
We Are Moving Stories supports new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Tales by Light: Misunderstood Predators
Director: Abraham Joffe
Producer: Abraham Joffe (Untitled Film Works) Jason Mclean (Canon Australia)
Writer: Abraham Joffe
Key cast: Eric Cheng + Jim Abernethy
Social media handles:
Made in association with: Canon Australia
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? Netflix