Shark Soup on Discovery Channel
Shark Soup is an eight- minute documentary that Discovery Channel has commissioned Mago Films to produce for the international market . This documentary is funded by ScreenWest and Discovery Channel and filming will take place in July in Western Australia and Hong Kong. Mago Films is looking for some additional funding for this film about Shark Biologist and Marine Scientist Amanda Elizabeth’s campaign to stop the shark fin trade in Western Australia and around the world.
Shark Biologist Amanda Elizabeth, is on a mission to blow the lid off the shark fin trade in Western Australia and overseas.
Shark fin soup is a traditional Chinese dish served at special occasions as a sign of status. As the Chinese middle class continues to grow in size and affluence throughout the world the demand for shark fin does too. For third world fisherman, little money can be made from shark flesh but their fins are lucrative. This leads to the horrendous slaughter of sharks where their fins are hacked from their bodies and thrown back into the ocean to slowly die, a practise known as ‘shark finning’. A shocking one-in-four shark species are endangered. About 100 million sharks are killed every year and 73% of these are targeted just for their fins.
It is not illegal to serve shark fin soup, there are currently over 100 restaurants in Perth alone serving the dish, but shark finning is illegal. Australia imports shark fins annually but we do not know how these fins are being sourced. This means that restaurants in first world countries like Australia could be contributing to the live finning trade, but it’s hard to prove and even harder to stop. By going undercover, underwater and behind the scenes Amanda Elizabeth will expose the barbarous killing of sharks for their fins and the criminal black market that flourishes around it.
Amanda believes the only way to stop this slaughter is to make shark fin soup Illegal. By building on her grass roots campaign http://finfreesoup.com Amanda will attempt to persude restaurant owners to cease serving shark fin soup by headng to the source of the illegal trade.
Amanda wants shark fin soup off the menu. To do this she needs your support and she’s prepared to put her reputation, even her safety, on the line to get it.
Cast and Crew
Amanda Elizabeth – Host/ Shark Biologist
As one of the top 5% of students at her university, Amanda graduated with a degree in Marine Science as well as a post graduate qualification in Business Administration, completing both simultaneously. Amanda is a current Masters student in Marine Biology, specializing in Electroreception in sharks. She is now focusing her passion and energy into uncovering new information about sharks as well as helping to protect them from anthropogenic influences. You can view Amanda on the current affairs show Today Tonight. Her website below finfreesoup shows her passion to save sharks from this senseless slaughter.
Paloma Bartsch, Producer /Writer MagoFilms
Paloma joined Mago Films in May 2016 as an accomplished writer, social media strategist and photographer and is an emerging producer. She recently completed working on On-Country Kitchen (NITV/SBS) as an Assistant Producer, factual researcher, Line Producer and Photographer. Paloma has two international Line Producer credits (Recipes That Rock series 1 and 2) and is currently working on Born to Cook Jack Stein Downunder which she co-created, co-wrote and is being mentored as a Producer.
Marian Bartsch, Executive Producer Mentor
Marian Bartsch (Mago Films) has produced over 70 hours of successful factual and television documentaries. On Country Kitchen for NITV and Born to Cook Jack Stein Downunder for UKTV and SBS are her recent productions.
In 2016 she produced a 13 part factual series for the ABC and Discovery Asia entitled Surfing the Menu the next generation and previously she produced four series of the successful Surfing the Menu format with Curtis Stone and Ben O’Donogue for Discovery and ABC. Marian has produced over 22 hours of commissioned content for Discovery Networks.
Mago Film’s landmark ABC WW1 documentary The Waler: Australia’s Great War Horse was nominated for an AFI/AACTA Award for Best Cinematography and a Screen Producers Australia award for Best Feature Length Documentary and has been recently acquired by the BBC. Marian is a very experienced producer establishing Mago Films in 1999. Other productions include ABC-commissioned film XPats – the Alien Connection (2000). Other documentaries What in the World is Feng Shui? (2001), Hoover’s Gold (2006) and The Fabulous Flag Sisters, which jointly won the Best Documentary award at the 2008 Roma Film Festival, plus four major awards at the Western Australian Screen Awards. http://magofilms.com.au/
How The Funds Will Be Used
Discovery Channel has commissioned this 8 minute film as part of a competitive tender to bring interesting shark stories to the channel. With a budget of $40K from the broadcaster, Mago Films is seeking extra funds to allow Marine Biologist and Shark expert, Amanda Elizabeth to explore this story of the illegal shark fin trade further by travelling to Hong Kong.
Given the extent of the shark fin trade it is imperative that Amanda covers as much ground as possible so that she may shed light on the issue on a global scale. By traveling to Hong Kong with a film crew she will be able to draw attention to the role Australia plays in the live finning trade, despite it being illegal in Australia.
The project has already been commissioned to screen on the Discovery Channel therefore we do not foresee any issues with fulfilling our reward commitments to you. We start filmng in July and will deliver this short film by October to the broadcaster.
Also, there are few scientists that are female presenters in the media and even fewer that are given the opportunity to host a film on such an important topic. Amanda has this terrific opportunity to nuture her presenting skills in a documentary format with an award winning film crew. It is imperative that we make this documentary of the highest production value to showcase women in science and in the media, and give Amanda the best opportunity to make a difference in her campaign to stop the slaughter of sharks for Shark Soup !