If you are attending HIFF 2018, you may be drawn to a specific production about the extinction of sharks. If you would like to know more about the production Sharkwater Extinction and the overall causes Rob Stewart championed, look no further than the official webpage of Sharkwater Extinction https://www.sharkwater.com/.
Rob Stewart was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and began photographing underwater subjects when he was thirteen. He earned his bachelor degree in Biology, and it would be fair to say he developed a passion for the ocean at an early age, in fact, becoming a Scuba Diving instructor by the age of eighteen.
At the age of twenty-two, while diving in the Galapagos Islands, he witnessed fisherman firsthand illegally and indiscriminately killing the same sharks he traveled to photograph. During one of this dives on this adventure he and his dive partner were swept away by currents and lost at sea. While he was drifting further and further out to sea he silently thought to himself, if rescued… he would certainly take the opportunity to tell the story of his experiences with sharks & their global importance.
He kept his promise to himself by producing three films that have certainly changed the way the global population sees the importance of ocean conservation. He adored all things aquatic but his passion without a doubt was saving the shark population.
Rob often told the story of his first interaction with a shark; he was nine years old swimming in the ocean and a shark approached him; the shark and Rob made eye contact and the shark swam away in fear. He attributed this first interaction to his fearless attitude toward sharks. At age twenty-two Rob embarked on a mission to bring awareness to the plight of the declining shark population through a film.
Four years and twelve countries later the movie Sharkwater was complete. The film was produced not free of unimaginable health challenges to include: the West Nile Virus, tuberculosis, dengue fever and flesh eating disease. Rob lived to keep his promise to embark on telling the world of his relationship with sharks and the global importance of their presence.