Baffin Bay is home to 90% of narwhals on earth as well as their defender: Mayor Jerry Natanine. One man fighting for the rights of his community, their ancestral way of life, and for the narwhals that he has come to love in the face of oil exploration that threatens the entire ecosystem.
“A deaf narwhal is a dead narwhal.” –Nader Hasan, Attorney for Inuit Rights
In the frigid Arctic of Baffin Bay a sensitive biodiversity exists that the legendary narwhal calls home. In this remote and forbidding environment, drastically changing due to global warming, the Inuit that depend upon hunting the narwhal for their existence are battling against big oil exploration that uses seismic cannons that threaten to destroy the marine ecosystem.
The small Inuit hamlet of Clyde River, led by their conservation minded Mayor Jerry Natanine and his narwhal hunting cousin Sandy Kautuq, are championing the future of the narwhal by fighting the Canadian government for their ancient rights. But this summer the survey ships, with their deadly cannons, will begin blasting the waters of Baffin Bay with ear-splitting noises in their search for Arctic oil.
Jerry must rally Sandy and his community, as well as the world, to the aid of the narwhal before it’s too late for the hamlet’s survival, and the ancient narwhal becomes a myth.
Jerry Natanine – Jerry Natanine, nicknamed “the Matthew McConaughey of the North” by the Greenpeace Canada team, is the Inuit Mayor of Clyde River, Baffin Bay and the lone defender of Nunavut culture. An imposing figure at over six and a half feet tall, his large brown eyes twinkle when he smiles, and his perfectly manicured mustache puppets the curves of his lips laughter. Passionate, committed, and overwhelmed by all the support that has buoyed around him, Jerry speaks with a conviction born of native knowledge and is open and tender when subjects touch his heart, like that of the plight of the narwhal and the future of his people.
Sandy Kautuq – Sandy Kautuq, Jerry’s cousin and deputy mayor, is a hunter by trade. Of average height and build, Kautuq always wears a brimmed hat pulled low over his forehead, is soft spoken but confident. He spends his days according to the seasons, hunting elk and caribou in the winter, ducks and geese in the fall, fish in the spring, and narwhal in the summer. Kautuq is also a member of the Clyde River Search & Rescue squad.
Warren Bernauer – A PhD candidate in Inuit Resource Extraction Rights, Bernauer has been advising and working with Jerry for the past two years on how to assert his native rights in the case of Clyde River vs. the National Energy Board. An ardent advocate, Bernauer’s past focus has been with Uranium ore extraction in Inuit lands. This case was so compelling, as well as Jerry’s appeal for assistance, that he helped add Greenpeace Canada to the Clyde River Solidarity Network and with the subsequent hiring of attorney Nader Hasan as representation.
Captain Paul Watson – One of the first members of Greenpeace and Founder of Sea Shepherd, Watson is the star of the Discovery Communications Animal Planet show Whale Wars. He is an ardent champion of cetaceans and sea-life all over the world and oftentimes takes unprecedented direct-action against those he views as breaking national and international law. Having rammed and sunk countless vessels, from illegal shark finning operations to Japanese Whaling ‘Research’ ships, the Sea Shepherd organization is one of the most widely recognized, and controversial, ocean conservation groups.
Farrah Khan – A Greenpeace Canada Arctic Campaigner, Khan is a knowledgeable and committed proponent for both the future of the arctic and the Inuit people that call it home. A former documentary film producer, Khan came to Greenpeace in order to enact policy change in the nations surrounding the arctic and their effects on climate change.
Professor Mads Peter Heide Jørgensen – Senior professor at the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, Professor Jørgensen is widely published in scientific journals for his research on Arctic cetaceans and climate change. Formerly a visiting scientist at the National Marine Mammal Laboratory in the US, now Prof. Jørgensen spends much of his time in the field tracking narwhals off the coast of Greenland with his colleague Dr. Laidre.
Sherrie Cronin has worked with seismic data for the past thirty- three years. She holds a B.S. from Colorado School of Mines in Geophysical Engineering and worked as a seismic interpreter and manager at three oil companies (Tenneco Oil, Union Pacific Resources and Anadarko Petroleum) before turning to consulting in 2007. She has spent time on seismic acquisition boats as well as with land acquisition crews.
Dr. Martin Nweiaa is a National Geographic Expeditions Council Grantee and Harvard School of Dental Medicine professor that has focused his research into what he calls, ‘The most fascinating tooth in the animal kingdom;’ the narwhal’s tusk. The initiator of the Narwhal Tusk Research project in 2000 that theorized that the tusk was actually a sensory organ and studied a series of narwhals in the wild during 7 field expeditions with 60 other scientists with fascinating results.
Our crew of filmmakers and creative believe in the power of story to change minds, touch hearts, and facilitate change. We create films that entertain, engage, and make people care about the world.
Ian Q. Rowan, Director/Producer: A writer and filmmaker, Rowan has always been close to the ocean. He grew up with the whales of the Pacific Ocean and the dolphin of the Caribbean on a sailboat in central America with his family until he was twelve. A graduate of Vassar College, Rowan has since traveled the world seeking out stories that intrigue and images that evoke, but ultimately transcend, the foreign. Rowan’s writing and photography has appeared in Men’s Journal and Vice Magazine. He has previously worked with Academy Award winning documentarian Cynthia Wade. Rowan is currently a director and producer with Black Powder Works, creating music videos, short comedic films, commercials and impact oriented content for non-profits.
Vanessa Bergonzoli, Producer: Bergonzoli, an Award-winning producer has managed all stages of production, supervising large crews and international shoots for film, TV, news media, and contemporary art. Three of her most recent projects garnered award recognition: The HBO, Academy Award Nominated documentary Mondays at Racine (2013), the CLIO winning commercial Selfie (2014) for DOVE, and the Emmy Award winning Sesame Street special, Growing Hope Against Hunger (2011). Bergonzoli is a graduate from Emerson College in Boston and received her Master of Arts in Media Studies from The New School University in New York.
Andrew Falk, Director of Photography: An expert in Arctic Filming, Falk has previously filmed narwhals while he was the DP on Polar Bears 3D, A National Geographic feature documentary that won a Canadian Academy Award for Best Cinematography. Falk has extensive survival, mountaineering, & underwater film training. His credits include feature docs like; Unceded Lines, American Made Movie, Warehoused, Enchanted Kingdom 3D, Jerusalem IMAX 3D, and the large format feature Samsara.
Jeremy Hansen, Aerial Photography: Hansen is an accomplished filmmaker, editor, and aerial photography hexacopter pilot. He has been working in film for over a decade and recently became a partner at Black Powder Works.
Raul Gasteazoro, Executive Producer: Founder of Black Powder Works, a multi-media production company with offices in Los Angeles and New York City, Gasteazoro produces broadcast commercials for Fortune 500 corporations, inspirational creative shorts, non-profit impact focused spots, international music videos, as well as short and feature films.
Casey Unterman, Executive Producer: Head of Production at Black Powder Works, Unterman overseas a multi-million dollar commercial film production house, their clients, projects, and staff.
Ryan Costa, Editor : Professional film editor Costa has over a decade in the industry, cutting commercials, independent short films, and documentaries. He is currently a full time in- house editor for Ogilvy & Mather.
Catherine Hartwell, Producer: A veteran producer, Hartwell’s recent work include’s the Netflix series Cooked with Michael Pollan and Years of Living Dangerously, a documentary series that explores climate change’s social impact on cultures around the world.
Zeke O’Donnell, Editor: Senior Editor at FLUID, O’Donnell crafts broadcast commercials for SAMSUNG, Seventh Generation, and Travelocity as well as SNL Shorts, and music videos for Lonely Island and other artists. O’Donnell directed, shot and has edited a short documentary film about whales and will be co-editing ‘The Narwhal’s Wake’ as well as advising during the production and artistic direction of post-production.
Max Botkin, Writer: President and Founder of Tasty Pictures, Botkin is a Los Angeles based scriptwriter. His most recent project ‘What Happened to Monday,’ a dystopian science fiction film directed by Tommy Wirkola, starring Glen Close and Noomi Rapace. Botkin will be consulting and advising on crafting the story arc, the narration, and the script.
Niore Iqalukjuak, Still Photographer: Clyde River resident photographer and Hunters & Trappers Association manager, Iqalukjuak will be joining our team while on location during the Inuit hunt of the narwhals. An accomplished photographer, his photographs have appeared in Vice Magazine, Iqalukjuak will be documenting the production