Movie Night in Canada: Mark Leiren-Young on Sharkwater

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      In our countdown to National Canadian Film Day on April 20, we're running Movie Night in Canada posts to get people thinking about domestic films.

      Well, to be more specific, we're asking film professionals what their recommendations are for obscure, forgotten, or overlooked Canadian cinematic gems to watch.

      One of the Georgia Straight's contributing film writers, Mark Leiren-Young, previously gave us a recommendation we posted in December for Latitude 55°.

      Leiren-Young, who is also a screenwriter and playwright, is so enthusiastic about Canadian film that he gave us another pick.

      Mark Leiren-Young

      "I love the First Weekend Club's, so I’d really like to send people to their site to discover some classic and modern Can Con," he says.

      For those who aren't aware, Canada Screens is a Canadian VOD service run by the First Weekend Club, an organization that helps promote Canadian films.

      Leiren-Young's choice this time around is the documentary Sharkwater by Toronto's Rob Stewart (Revolution). It's probably not as obscure as the other titles in this series but it's still undoubtedly worthy of attention.

      The film explores the chasm between the media-generated image of sharks as monstrous, savage, human-hungry creatures and the reality of how this stereotype has been exploited to pursue their destruction, which, in turn, is upsetting the balance of the sea food chain.

      Here's what Leiren-Young had to say about the film:

      Because I’ve been living with the whales—I’m making two docs about orcas—I’d love to steer people towards Rob Stewart’s Sharkwater—a movie that not only shattered myths about sharks, but helped take shark fin soup off menus around the world. There haven’t been many movies—ever—that have made a genuine impact on public policy. Sharkwater has. 

      Here's the trailer to take a peek at what the documentary is like:

      Handily enough, the film can also be viewed at Canada Screens.

      Stay tuned, true-north believers, as more Canadian film recommendations will be coming your way in the days leading up to National Canadian Film Day.