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Premiering live on Facebook: SANCTUARY

Premiering live on Facebook: SANCTUARY A stunning short film by Aristo Risi about the fight to protect marine sanctuaries on the NSW South Coast.

Starring Laura Wells, Paul West, Prof. David Booth and passionate members of the South Coast community.

Join at 8pm on Wednesday the 10th of March for this exclusive screening. https://www.facebook.com/savebatemanssanctuaries

Celebrities, scientists, Indigenous leaders, and locals come together in short film to support South Coast marine sanctuaries

In an evocative new short film – a diverse group of celebrities, Indigenous leaders, scientists, and locals have come together to speak out about the NSW Government’s move to scrap marine protections on the NSW South Coast.

Sanctuary, set for release on March 10, captures the raw beauty of South Coast marine sanctuaries and the critical role they play to the community. The film features Paul West, ABC broadcaster and host of River Cottage Australia ; Laura Wells, science communicator, model and environmental activist; Wally Stewart, Walbunja man and Native Title Claimant ; David Booth, Professor of Marine Ecology, along with a host of local business owners and stakeholders.

The film highlights how the NSW Government’s decision in 2019 to allow fishing in six Batemans Marine Park sanctuary zones has impacted the environment and the community.

Laura Wells said, “The South Coast marine environment is just stunning, but it’s under threat. The NSW Government began removing marine protections in 2019, and it’s looking to scrap even more. Sanctuary puts this issue into the spotlight and allows the South Coast community to share stories about how these decisions affect them”.

Paul West said, “When the Government allowed fishing in the sanctuaries there was no consultation of the local community, and they didn’t speak to the marine park’s own advisory committee – it was a political move that had everyone blindsided. A lot of people down here were very disappointed by the decision and they want their voices heard… This movie gives them a platform”.

Walbunja man and South Coast Native Title claimant Wally Stewart said, “My community is not happy with the removal of sanctuary protections. As Native Title claimants over these waters, the Government has a responsibility to consult, but they made this decision without telling us and without any recognition of the status of our Native Title claim. These waters are an integral part of our claim."

Bill Barker, local marine conservationist said, “The South Coast is pretty isolated – so we hope the film will help bring this issue to the attention of the broader public. There’s a struggle going on down here, the government is going backwards with its environmental policy, it’s affecting us, and people need to know about it”.

Sanctuary Director and National Geographic award winning photographer Aristo Risi uses a combination of underwater and coastal cinematography along with the voices of the community to convey Sanctuary’s story.

Aristo Risi said “The South Coast marine environment is just stunning, so I wanted to let the imagery speak for itself. The locals care about it so much, so we’ve just let them tell the story in their own words. It’s heartfelt, informative, and beautiful – when the story is so captivating and the imagery is that magnificent, it makes my job easy”.

Sanctuary premiers live online at 8pm on March 10. Link to Premier event https://www.facebook.com/savebatemanssanctuaries/posts/224046852753090