Geneva, 27 August 2019 – This evening will see the Swiss premiere of Chasing the Thunder, which is being screened on the margins of the World Wildlife Conference – CITES CoP18 – at the Palexpo Convention Centre. The audience will experience compelling high-seas action in this anti-poaching documentarythriller, which is part of the larger “Ocean Warriors” series on Discovery’s Animal Planet network. The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with former Interpol officer Alistair McDonnell.
27 August 2019
Room A.B.C. at 17:15
Palexpo Convention Centre
Chasing the Thunderis about the damage to our oceans caused by out-of-control illegal fishing on an industrial level perpetuated by brazen international poachers. Poaching is a high-stakes criminal enterprise, and this documentary presents the Sea Shepherd’s epic 110-day, 10,000-mile chase of theThunder, considered the world’s most notorious poaching vessel. Across two seas and three oceans, the marine activists hunted the fugitive fishing ship through massive ice floes, storm-tossed seas, a near collision and violent clashes until the Thunder dramatically sank, burying the evidence of its crimes on the bottom of the sea.
Chasing the Thunder was one of the films submitted to the World Wildlife Day 2019 Film Showcase. World Wildlife Day 2019 celebrated “Life below Water: for people and planet”, focusing on the conservation and sustainable use of marine species. World Wildlife Day is the day CITES was signed in 1973. The global celebration is coordinated by the CITES Secretariat together with UN system organizations.
Over three billion people depend on marine and coastal biodiversity for their livelihoods. Today, ocean life is under severe pressure, ranging from climate change to pollution, the loss of habitats and the overexploitation and illegal harvesting of marine species.
Chasing the Thunder is about the damage to our oceans caused by illegal fishing on an industrial level perpetuated by brazen international poachers. Poaching is a high-stakes criminal enterprise. The documentary presents the Sea Shepherd’s epic 110-day, 10,000-mile chase of the Thunder, considered among the world’s most notorious poaching vessel.
CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero said: “The sustainable use of marine species and the fight against illegal trade in CITES-listed marine species are high on the agenda of the ongoing CITES conference. The CITES Secretariat is pleased to support the screening of Chasing the ThunderduringCoP18.”
“The film is an essential illegal fishing eco-thriller that has screened globally in hundreds of cities around the world to sold-out audiences and continues to win international awards,” said Film Director Mark Benjamin of Brick City TV.
“Illegal fishing not only threatens the survival of marine species and the ecosystems they depend on, but it also deprives local and coastal communities of their livelihoods. This award-winning documentary shows us in a very vivid and graphic way how illegal harvesting operates and how some brave and dedicated people risk their lives to stop this organized crime,” added Higuero.
CoP18 is confirming that the 183 Parties to CITES are increasingly turning to CITES to help ensure sustainability in our oceans and marine species, and in doing so to support the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.
Awards won by this documentary include “Best Series Award” at Jackson Wild (2018), “The Impact Award” at EarthXFilm, the “Environmental Advocacy Award” at Ekotopfilm in Slovakia, and the “Best Documentary” award at the Rivera Film Festival. It was also honored as a finalist in the UN World Wildlife Day event. Currently the film is on an International Ocean Film Tour reaching over 140 cities.