The Cove PSA – My Friend Is…

The Cove

The Story

The Cove exposes the slaughter of more than 20,000 dolphins and porpoises off the coast of Japan every year, and how their meat, containing toxic levels of mercury, is sold as food in Japan and other parts of Asia, often labeled as whale meat. The majority of the world is not aware this is happening.

The Solution

The focus of the Social Action Campaign for The Cove is to create worldwide awareness of this annual practice as well as the dangers of eating seafood contaminated with mercury, and to pressure those in power to put an end to the slaughter.

The Results

It’s been working. The film has been making waves since it premiered last year. Critical praise and audience awards worldwide have focused international attention on Taiji and the annual dolphin drives off the coast of Japan. Under intense pressure, Taiji called for a temporary ban on killing bottlenose dolphins in 2009. The film, originally rejected at the Tokyo Film Festival, was eventually shown due to public outcry, and has appeared in theaters in Japan. Residents in Taiji are being tested for mercury poisoning, and for the first time Japanese media are covering the issue.

But the effort needs to continue. On September 1, the six-month dolphin hunting season opened again, and fishermen in Taiji plan to take to the cove despite international pressure. Experts say education, awareness and persistence are needed to eventually turn the tide.

1.4MM people have signed the petition to end the slaughter, but this is just the beginning. The hunt still goes on. Find out what you can do to help.


About the film

The filmmakers

Louie Psihoyos (Director)
Louie Psihoyos (rhymes with Sequoias) has been widely regarded as one of the top photographers in the world. He was hired directly out of college to shoot for National Geographic and created images for the yellow-bordered magazine for 18 years. His ability to bring humanity and wit to complicated science stories carries over to his filmmaking. An ardent diver and dive photographer, he feels compelled to show the world the decline of our planet’s crucial resource, water.
He has been on contract for Fortune Magazine and shot hundreds of covers for other magazines including Smithsonian, Discover, GEO, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, Sports Illustrated and Rock and Ice. His work has also been seen on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Television and the History Channel. Museums and private collectors around the world have sought Psihoyos’ photography.
With Jim Clark, he created The Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS), in 2005. The non-profit organization provides an exclusive lens for the public and media to observe the beauty as well as the destruction of the oceans, while motivating change.
With his first film, The Cove, he has touched many with his unflinching view of a dark subject. The eco-thriller has won Audience Awards at Sundance, Newport Beach and Toronto’s HotDocs, as it sweeps through the festival circuit.

Fisher Stevens (Producer)
Fisher Stevens is an actor, director and a producer. He has appeared in over 40 stage productions including the Tony award winning Torch Song Trilogy, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Carousel. He also co-founded Naked Angels Theater in New York, which is still producing plays after 20 years. He has appeared in over 50 Motion Pictures and Television programs including The Flamingo Kid, Short Circuit 1 and 2, The Marrying Man, Hackers, Reversal of Fortune and on television a regular on CBS’s Early Edition, Friends, Law and Order and just produced and starred in the upcoming pilot for NBC The Grean Teem. In 1996 along with John Penotti, Fisher founded GreeneStreet films where he produced or executive produced over 15 films including 5-time Acadamy Award nominated, In The Bedroom, Swimfan, Uptown Girls, A Prarie Home Companion and the critically acclaimed documentary Once in a Lifetime. Last year he produced and co-directed the Independent Spirit Award winner for best documentary Crazy Love.

Paula DuPré Pesmen (Producer)
Paula DuPre Pesmen has worked for more than 16 years as an Associate Producer for filmmaker Chris Columbus and 1492 Pictures. During that time, she was a part of many successful feature film projects. In 2005, Paula took a sabbatical from her film career to found a non-profit, There With Care, which supports families with critically ill children. During her time as the Associate Producer on the first three Harry Potter Films, she was inspired by over 65 families of critically ill children through a program she started with director Chris Columbus welcoming them to the Potter sets for their wish.
Duringhersabbatical, Paula also began working as a producer with Oceanic Preservation Society in her hometown of Boulder with director Louie Psihoyos to bring his vision to the screen through his moving and beautiful film project.
Paula’s film credits include: Rent, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Monkeybone, Bicentennial Man, Stepmom, Jingle All The Way, Nine Months, Mrs. Doubtfire, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

Olivia Ahnemann (Co-Producer)
Olivia Ahnemann has been a documentary film and television producer for more than 11 years. Her television credits include programs for PBS, National Geographic, Discovery, The Outdoor Life Network, and Travel Channel. Olivia has been part of several independent films. Nama Productions’ Enlighten Up!, which recently premiered at the 2008 Maui Film Festival, Behind the Scenes of Warren Miller’s Higher Ground for Warren Miller Entertainment, and several others. Currently she is producing a feature length documentary for the Oceanic Preservation Society, which is due to premier in January 2009.

Mark Monroe (Writer)
Mark Monroe wrote the critically-acclaimed Miramax/ESPN documentary “Once in a Lifetime: The Extraordinary Story of the New York Cosmos.” Directed & edited by Paul Crowder (editor of “Dogtown & Z-Boys” and “Riding Giants”), the film was released worldwide in theaters July 2006 and garnered Mark a W.G.A. nomination for “Best Documentary Script”, January 2007. Mark also wrote “Amazing Journey: The Story of the Who”, produced by Spitfire Pictures and VH1 Films. This documentary premiered at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival and is distributed worldwide by Universal Pictures. Currently, Mark is directing the feature documentary “Morning Light”. Produced by Roy Disney the doc depicts one of the youngest teams to ever attempt the arduous TransPac sailing race from Los Angeles to Hawaii. “Morning Light” will be released theatrically by The Walt Disney Company October 17th, 2008.
Mark’s first original narrative screenplay, “The Fourth Day of Christmas”, was chosen as a finalist at the Austin Film Festival and his short film, “Mutzie’s Wedding”, which he produced, directed and edited, won the Audience Award for Best Documentary Short at the Austin Film Festival.
Mark started out as a journalist writing the nightly news for CNN. He’s produced more than 50 hours of documentary-style television, including programs for Discovery, The Learning Channel, Fox Sports Net, Lifetime & The Outdoor Life Network.

Geoffrey Richman (Editor)
Geoffrey Richman is the award-winning editor of Murderball and Sicko, the 2006 and 2008 Academy Award nominees for Best Feature Documentary. For his work on Murderball, Geoffrey won the first-ever Special Jury Prize for Editing at the Sundance Film Festival, where the film also won the Audience Award for Best Documentary. The following year, Geoffrey returned to Sundance with a film he edited, God Grew Tired of Us, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award. Other credits include The Order of Myths, Peter and Vandy, If I Didn’t Care, 21 Up America, and documentary and reality programming for a variety of networks including Showtime, Discovery Channel, TLC, Oxygen, The Food Network, and PBS.

J. Ralph (Music)
J. Ralph has no formal training and does not read or write a single note of music. Drawing no distinction between art and commerce he relies solely on intuition and experimentation to create his music.
A self-taught composer, recording artist and producer from New York City, his professional career began at 22 with the signing to the prestigious Lava/Atlantic Records by label president Jason Flom. In what was one of the biggest record deals ever granted to a new artist.
J. Ralph’s first album MUSIC TO MAUZER BY took over a year to record and was released February 23rd 1999. A musical Rorschach test, it was sonic blender of rock, hip-hop, mariachi, electronic, blue eyed soul, funk, and classical. Notable music critic Charles M. Young considered the album “truly an important debut.”
Weeks after the release, amidst critical acclaim and MTV billing him the next big thing in pop music, J. Ralph disappeared into a self-imposed exile. He took refuge in an abandoned vaudeville theater in lower Manhattan, where he constructed a sonic laboratory and carried out a full-scale excavation of what he calls “the orchestra’s universal language.” Five years later he emerged with, the Illusionary Movement’s of Geraldine and Nazu; an orchestral memoir recorded with a 75-piece orchestra, featuring players from the New York and Czech Philharmonics. Master film composer Carter Burwell conducted and arranged the first two chapters Untitled 17 and Where the Day Takes You. Released in an unprecedented artist direct deal with Barnes and Noble, the store sold every single copy.
J. Ralph is the founder of the award winning music production company and scoring collective, The Rumor Mill. Intent on conquering corporate America 30 seconds at a time, they create scores, songs and musical identities for films, artists, and brands. The Rumor Mill is considered by the advertising industry an authority on tastemaker music and counts most of the fortune 500 companies as their clients. Internationally recognized, they have won every top honor and award. Their music has been featured in the biggest televisions advertising events in the world including The Olympics, The Academy Awards, The Grammys, The Emmys, The World Series and The Super Bowl.
Mr. Ralph believes the orchestra is the ultimate medium boundless in philosophy and universal in scope. His most recent film scoring credits are the award winning Philippe Petit Documentary Man On Wire and The Cove. He is the only composer ever to win two consecutive A.I.C.P. awards and his scores are included in the Museum of Modern Art’s Permanent collection of film and video in New York City.
Michael Scalisi (Associate Editor)

Miles Hubley (Assistant Editor)

Tom White (Assistant Editor)