Sanctuary in the Sea Film
October 20, 2010
The Academy is currently the only venue in the world where you can watch Sanctuary in the Sea: A Gulf of the Farallones Experience. Directed by ocean cinematographer Bob Talbot, this short film contains stunning footage of whales, sharks, sea lions, and other marine life inhabiting the waters of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, located just off the coast of San Francisco.
The 18-minute film begins with a shot of a great white shark—powerful, large, and gliding slowly toward the camera. After this dramatic introduction to sanctuary wildlife, audiences meet urchin diver-turned-conservationist Ron Elliot. Though he used to make his living harvesting urchins off the sea floor without regard for their long-term sustainability, he experienced a change of heart after learning about the diversity and history of the sanctuary. Through Elliot’s voice, the film recounts the history of human exploitation in the area, and the Gulf of the Farallones’ subsequent healing after being designated a National Marine Sanctuary. Sweeping aerial shots and footage of Elliot diving among sea lions and staring down great white sharks contribute to this emotional and impactful film experience.
Sanctuary in the Sea is playing in the Academy’s Forum Theater until early spring 2011. Pick up your show passes on Level 2. Show times are every half-hour.
After watching the film, visitors can continue their exploration in a new display within the Academy’s climate change exhibit. Located underneath the 87-foot-long blue whale skeleton, the display features specimens, audio stations, a panoramic “telescope,” and a live webcam of the Farallon Islands, a group of rocky peaks in the middle of the Gulf of the Farallones. The islands are home to the largest seabird colony in the continental United States.