An online Greenpeace Africa documentary about the struggles of the Kalk Bay fishing community in Cape Town, entitled Gutted has been selected for the Kaduna International Film Festival in Nigeria – its fourth international film festival so far.
The documentary was produced during the organisation’s Ocean Treaty campaign, launched in September last year, calling for the United Nations to protect a third of the world’s oceans.
It highlights the struggles faced by small-scale fishers in the province due to unfair regulations favouring industrial fishing over local communities whose livelihoods have been destroyed, as result. Many of these fishers have been turned into criminals for carrying their family trades in the absence of stringent fishing licenses.
“It was important for us to highlight how corporate interests are destroying the very fabric of society – and leading to the rapid deterioration of fishing communities on the Cape Flats,” said Angelo Louw, documentary producer. “The harder the government makes it for small-scale fishers to get fishing licenses, the worse things are going to get.”
Local and international recognition
The short film was previously shortlisted for the Melkbos Short Film Festival, where it received special mention, as well as the First-Time Filmmaker Sessions in New York City. It is also pending review in several other film festivals, both locally and international.
Since the documentary’s release, the issue has garnered the interest of international media, having recently featured in an episode of Vice News’s online documentary series, Black Market.
“I am very proud that we have been able to spark a conversation of this magnitude. I am especially proud that an issue spanning the entire course of our democracy has finally come to light, and cannot longer be ignored,” Louw said.
Louw encouraged the public to watch and continue to share the documentary, found on Greenpeace Africa’s YouTube channel, to continue the conversation until government responds, and to raise even more awareness.