New Rob Stewart Film Debuts At TIFF

The Revolution To Change The World Begins Underwater

 An edited version of this story appears in this month's Diver Magazine
 Revolution is a new big brain movie for divers who care about the planet. Underwater filmmaker Rob Stewart premiered the full-length film in early September at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Already Revolution is doing what Stewart wants it to do – change the world.
The movie captured the People’s Choice Award Documentary  (Runner-Up) in his hometown and was Documentary Winner at last month’s Atlantic Film Festival.  It will be screening at Festivals for the next few months before getting theatrical release in Canada in March 2013.
Revolution is the true-life eco-crusade that the Toronto diver found himself leading, half way through making the movie.  The film, originally meant as a shark conservation film – a follow-up to his acclaimed 2006 SHARKWATER documentary – ended back on land and morphed into something much much bigger.
It took eight years in total, a million dollars, the support of friends and fellow eco-warriors to make Revolution. This film takes viewers through 15 countries over a four year adventure as Rob Stewart discovers that it's not only sharks that are in grave danger – it's humanity itself.

Stewart and his team are filming in New Guineau
“The movie picks off from where SHARKWATER leaves off,” Stewart told Diver Magazine. “In fact Revolution opens using footage that didn’t get into SHARKWATER. We are diving in the Galapagos Islands, and we have drifted away from our boat. We have strayed too far from our boat. We are floating away and night is coming.”
Shades of the thriller Open Water.  “ We used this footage as a metaphor for the movie – it is to get audiences gasping at our plight – and the world’s plight.  We have our moment of terror floating away (with schooling hammerheads down below).  We have no idea what to do.”
Stewart got his camera into a shark finning centre
Stewart does get rescued and for awhile goes back underwater to making a documentary about saving the world’s coral reefs, halting shark fining and bringing endangered species back from the brink. But, two or three years into the project Stewart came up for air and released there were mammoth problems facing mankind. 
“It is bigger than the oceans,” he explained. “To tell the biggest story of all (the impending destruction of the planet) required us to go out of he water, you know, and show people that it is all about saving the evolution of life.”
Stewart opens his film: Toronto International Film Festival - photo by Weit
From the coral reefs in Papua, New Guinea and deforestation in Madagascar to the largest and most destructive environmental project in Alberta, the new movie documents that all of society’s actions are interconnected and that environmental degradation, species loss, ocean acidification, pollution and food and water scarcity reduces the Earth's ability to house humans.
Stewart asks “how did this happen, and what will it take to change the course that humanity has set itself on?”
The filmmaker wants millions to see Revolution.  After it comes off the film festival circuit and finishes its theatrical run, he plans to post Revolution on the Internet and use Social Media tools to direct young people to see the film.
And after that? “We are doing Sharks and Snakes, a 3-D, IMAX large format movie,” said Stewart. “ And then I’d like to take a bit of breather!”

Prop from Stewart's first movie, SHARKWATER, was recycled and used at the TIFF after-party for the movie launch - photo by Stephen Weir


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