Blackfish Coming to the U.S.

Written by on January 24, 2013 in Marine Life

UPDATE Nov 11 — SeaWorld is taking its case to Washington D.C. in an attempt to overturn citations issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) following the death of trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. Learn more about the case here: SeaWorld vs OSHA goes to Washington DC.

UPDATE Nov 9 — Check out this piece from David Kirby, author of Death at SeaWorld, that nicely summarizes the intense reactions many have had after watching Blackfish: ‘Blackfish’ Incites New Levels of Outrage After Premiering on CNN.

UPDATE Nov 8 — Animal rights group PETA filed a formal complaint calling for Florida State Attorney Jeffrey L. Ashton to investigate SeaWorld and press felony charges for alleged violations of Florida’s animal cruelty laws. Learn more here.

UPDATE Nov 6 — On the night Blackfish aired, there were 67,673 Tweets about the move that were seen by 7.3 million people. Read this article to see some other astounding social media statistics about Blackfish.

UPDATE Sept 4 — A young class in Manchester, England created an amazing video response after seeing the trailer for Blackfish. The teacher felt the film is inappropriate for children, but the overall message is not. The students were so moved that they’ve started a blog where they share their thoughts on keeping whales in captivity. Their video response is a must-see. Check it out.

UPDATE Aug 29 — SeaWorld’s share prices dropped 6.5 percent to their lowest level since the company went public on April 19. Visitor numbers were also down 600,000 for the quarter ending on June 30, prompting them to cut admission prices. Will attendance and share prices be even lower this quarter since the release of Blackfish?

UPDATE Aug 26 — Perhaps someone should take the NFL’s Chad Johnson to see Blackfish. A couple weeks ago Johnson stayed after the show at the Miami Seaquarium to kiss Lolita, but I bet he wouldn’t have if he had seen the documentary…

UPDATE Aug 16 — Here are five reasons to go see this documentary.

Orca performing at SeaWorld in California.

Orca performing at SeaWorld in California. Photo credit: Images by John ‘K’ via photopin cc

CNN Films and Magnolia Pictures recently announced that they have partnered to acquire the U.S. rights to the documentary Blackfish, which made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 19.

Blackfish, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, tells the story of captive orcas, focusing on Tilikum, the orca responsible for the death of Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010. The film also discusses the two other deaths that Tilikum is associated with.

“Blackfish chillingly shows that this incident of violence is hardly an isolated one,” wrote CNN in a news release. “Ultimately, it is a story about the life and death consequences of a spectacle that has thrilled millions.”

“At CNN Films we want to showcase compelling documentary storytelling that also sheds new light on important social and cultural issues. Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s beautiful and moving film ‘Blackfish’ is at once an investigation into the people and practices of the marine park industry and a thought-provoking meditation on the limits of man’s ability to manipulate nature. We look forward to presenting this fascinating film to our audience,” said CNN Worldwide Managing Editor, Mark Whitaker.

To learn more:

Copyright © 2013 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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