With enthusiastic local support, exposure at film fests and an Indiegogo fund-raising campaign underway, the documentary film This Living Salish Sea is gaining support and momentum. Sunshine Coast filmmaker Sarama is working full-time to complete his film which will bring the beauty of and the potential threats to the Salish Sea to the screen for all to see. This is not a commercial film, but a documentary film from the heart to help save the Salish Sea.

Sarama has traveled to the tar sands in Alberta, gone to rallies and meetings on the proposed oil and gas pipelines and thermal coal shipments, interviewed scientists, fishermen and First Nations elders and filmed the life and beauty of the waters of this unique second largest inland sea in North America. He hopes his film will help people become aware of just what there is to lose if large tankers by the hundreds ply the waters off the BC coast. 

Sarama at Ogden Pt. VictoriaSarama off Ogden Point

“When I started to work on this film over one and a half years ago,” says Sarama, “I felt that the single biggest issue that threatened our local environment was the Kinder Morgan tar sands bitumen shipments. However, the issues have grown alarmingly to include proposed massive increases in thermal coal shipments, LNG exports, large scale waste incineration, new gravel mines, and clear cutting forests on local islands. We also face weakened federal environmental laws, federal approval for large increases in salmon feedlot licences, diminished federally sponsored scientific research, and the muzzling of scientists, preventing them from presenting the facts to the public, who have paid for existing research results.”

In the face of these changes, the subject of his film has become increasingly challenging, especially considering emerging new evidence, like massive die-offs of commercial scallops due to ocean acidification. Sarama says, “I continue to follow the story where it leads me, and one of the inspiring themes has been the historic emergence of fast growing relationships between First Nations, environmental organizations, and concerned citizens from varied backgrounds.”

The film preview was first screened on the Sunshine Coast at the Green Film Series this spring. It was picked up recently by both the Salish Sea Film Festival in Seattle and the Halifax Oceans Film Festival. It also has received a boost in social media by being chosen as the Crowdfunding Project of the Week by the Toronto Film Scene magazine.

The filmmaker has spent his own money to make this film, a film he feels must be made. The fund-raising Indiegogo campaign is raising funds for production, travel and promotional expenses. The goal is to raise $10,000 and it is 35% funded so far. The final date is set for July 4. You can view the campaign and make a contribution at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/this-living-salish-sea.