THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES
In the remote Faroe Islands, inhabitants have hunted seabirds and pilot whales for millennia. An isolated culture based on food and folklore, the Faroese built their traditions around survival. "In the past, nature was giant and humans tiny ... and now it's the other way around." Soaring aerial cinematography shows a community, historically dependent upon and devoted to nature, losing connection with the natural world. Native sea birds are disappearing and a local doctor discovers that marine pollution is making the whale meat toxic. Suddenly, their ancient way of life may have an expiry date. A surprise visit from celebrity animal rights activist Pamela Anderson and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society injects a perceived cultural imperialism and ignorance into an already complex debate involving health, identity, environment, and human and animal welfare issues. The Islands and the Whales takes a stimulating sideways approach to the loss of environment and traditional beliefs.
Winner, Grand Jury Prize DOC NYC
Nominee for Best documentary, BAFTA Scotland
Winner, Best Emerging Filmmaker HOTDOCS
Winner Best Film, Wild and Scenic Festival
Winner Best Documentary, Irvine International Film Festival
Winner Best Documentary, Reykjavik IFF
Mike Day is a cinematographer, director and producer from Scotland. Originally trained as a lawyer, Mike made the transition into film in 2009 when he headed off into the Scottish Outer Hebrides on a boat with a camera and met the Guga Hunters of Ness. The resulting documentary was commissioned by the BBC and screened internationally. Mike then went on to be one of EDN’s 12 for the Future, and one of 10 to watch in The Filmmaker Magazine. Supported by Sundance Institute, San Francisco Film Society, Creative Europe, Creative Scotland, Wellcome Trust, and the Danish Film Institute Mike then made the feature documentary, The Islands and the Whales in the Faroe Islands, released in 2016 the film has gone on to win awards and a BAFTA Scotland nomination and is due for UK release in 2017.