On October 6, 2012, Susan Rockefeller’s short film, Mission of Mermaids (“MOM”), screened at the Hamptons International Film Festival as part of the ninth annual New York Women in Film and Television “Calling the Shots” showcase.
As many of you know, Gina Bradley is a life-long mermaid, dear friend of Susan’s, and an ocean conservationist. As such, the issues surfaced in MOM resonate with her deeply.
MOM also marks Gina’s big screen debut (and my bet is this won’t be the last time). Gina appears in numerous scenes, both as an activist and a SUP’er.
As a photographer and the Director of Marketing and Business Development for Panoptic Online Marketing, I had the good fortune of tagging along with our client Gina to provide photo documentation of this momentous event.
Following the screening of the films, Gina headed up on stage to join the remarkable group of talented women filmmakers and “shot-callers” to represent MOM in the Q&A panel.
MOM –- Susan’s love letter to the ocean and to the mythical and mysterious mermaid creature — has successfully generated much-needed awareness around ocean conservation issues and inspired many to take action.
Also ultra-impressive is that Susan remained carbon footprint-conscious even in creating the film. She utilized existing footage wherever possible and took the bus with her kids to her local beach to shoot new scenes.
For those of you who have not had the opportunity to see MOM, here are the film’s main messages:
Our oceans are being over-fished. Due to inadequate regulation on fishing, 90% of the fish we love to eat, including tuna, swordfish, marlin, halibut, skate and flounder, have been fished out!
Marine ecologists site over-fishing as one of the biggest threats to marine ecosystems. Our appetite for and consumption of fish far exceeds the ocean’s ecological limits and ability to naturally replenish the food supply, and we are causing profound and irreparable changes to our oceans. Our top predators, whose abundance is seen as a key indicator of ecosystem health, are disappearing.
Plastic constitutes 90% of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface! There are 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile! Why, you ask? There is a saying: like diamonds, plastic is forever.
Plastic does not biodegrade. It only breaks down into smaller pieces, which are eaten by marine life or wash up on our beaches. The North Pacific Gyre off the coast of California is home to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest ocean garbage site in the world.
My take-away from the film (and paraphrasing a quote from Susan), is that despite the enormity and complexity of the issues, there are real ways to get involved and start making difference. As they say, let’s think globally and act locally!
The easiest way to do your part right now is to begin to cut down on your usage of single-use and disposable plastics such as water bottles and plastic bags.
Reduce your carbon footprint and take the pledge created by the Plastic Pollution Coalition.
Here’s what to do:
- Use Pyrex glass containers instead of plastic Tupperware.
- Carry a glass or stainless steel water bottle or mug with you that you can refill with beverages.
- Bring your own cloth bag when you go shopping.
- Refuse disposable plastic bags and straws.
There are so many viable alternatives to plastics; check out this complete list of replacement items: http://plasticpollutioncoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/HotOrNot.pdf.
As mermaids we all need to rejuvenate and replenish and so do our oceans.