Shooting to start in April for Bay of Fundy documentary

Filming for a documentary on the Bay of Fundy is scheduled for April. Hemmings House will be doing the shooting and post-production under the direction of Eastern Charlotte Waterways. (Submitted)

SAINT JOHN — Shooting is scheduled to start in the spring on a documentary about the Bay of Fundy.

During an interview in January, Eastern Charlotte Waterways (ECW) executive director Brianna Cowie said the organization approached Hemmings House about doing the still-to-be-named documentary.

“We’ve been talking with the sea urchin community, the clam harvesters and the dulcers,” Cowie said at the time,. “We also have some local fishermen who’ll be part of that.”

ECW’s Kalen Mawer said the idea for the documentary arose from another project that Fisheries and Oceans Canada funded.

“It’s more about the biodiversity of the Bay of Fundy and the way that people interact with the bay in our community,” she said. “It’s a way to showcase just all the different ways that we feel connected to the bay. And we really want to get some vibrant shots of the wildlife and the scenery, as well as we have several interviewees that we’re going talk with from all different sectors.”

Mawer said the aim of the documentary is to “get people thinking about what’s happening in the bay right now.”

“There’s things that we don’t really see,” she said. “If you’re in a certain sector, maybe you’re not paying as much attention to lots of these other sectors.”

Noting that there is an upcoming public consultation phase for marine spatial planning in the Bay of Fundy, led by the federal government, Mawer hopes the documentary will make people invested.

“We hope that people are aware of that and will be active in the public consultation process that happen there, and will voice their opinion and their thoughts,” she said. “We want to make sure that people are actively involved in everything that’s going on.”

Located in Saint John and specializing in “social change-making,” Hemmings House was founded in 2006 by Greg Hemmings and has produced a “broad scope of world-class, purpose-driven media,” according to its website.

Executive producer Calvin White said last week that they were determining shooting locations.

“We’re just waiting for the snow to melt, waiting for things to be get a little bit nicer out,” he added.

Matt Brown is the producer, director, writer and camera operator.

“We’re going to start filming in April and we’ll be running right through, pretty much into August,” he said. “Then the fall will be the editing and all that kind of post-production work.”

Mawer is hoping to host public screenings before Christmas, with the possibility of a panel discussion.

“We’re hoping that people from the community come out and see the folks in their community,” she said. “And maybe have an opportunity to talk about what’s going on in the bay and the types of work that we do.”

While they are partners in the project, White said all filmed material will belong to ECW.

“We’re just here to executive on their vision,” he said. “Ultimately, we want to deliver the product that makes them pleased.”

Mawer added that the health of the bay is vital to many people, and that’s why this documentary is important.

“We live in such an incredible place that we get to see really cool sea birds and whales. The health is important to me, and I hope it’s important to others,” she added. “I want people to see the diversity, and see why it’s important, and feel invested in the outcome.”

Jake Boudrot

A graduate of St. Francis Xavier University and a resident of Arichat, Jake Boudrot is an award-winning journalist with decades of experience as a freelancer, reporter and editor representing media outlets across the Maritimes.