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John Hopkins
2016 | 53 min 12 s

Prizes and awards

  • Winner - Best Atlantic FilmmakerLunenburg Doc Fest 2016

  • Official SelectionAtlantic Film Festival 2016

  • Social Justice Documentary Competition & Reel Nature sectionSanta Barbara International Film Festival

  • Winner - Wildlife AwardInternational Ocean Film Festival - 2017

  • Official SelectionWildlife Conservation Film Festival 2017

  • Official SelectionRaindance Film Festival – London 2017

  • Winner - Grand Award and Best DocumentaryCalifornia Film Awards - 2017

  • Official SelectionBig Sky Documentary Film Festival

Short Synopsis

Director's Statement


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Promotional Materials



John Hopkins
Writer / Director
Photo : Paul McNeill

John Hopkins

Filmmaker and PEI resident John Hopkins recently shot, wrote, and directed his first NFB documentary, Bluefin. In 2010, he directed the half-hour doc Timepiece, profiling the art and creative passion of his mother, artist Hilda Woolnough, RCA.

Hopkins is also a cinematographer whose credits include the NFB doc The Kitchen Goddess (1999). As one of the cinematographers for the Genie Award-winning film In the Gutter and Other Good Places (1994), he shared the award for Best Cinematography from Hot Docs. He recently shot 4K 3D footage for the dramatic feature 40 Below and Falling (winner of the 2016 Lumiere Award from the L.A.-based Advanced Imaging Society) and 4K footage documenting PEI’s landscapes for the 150th Celebration of Canadian Confederation.

Hopkins studied under experimental filmmaker Phil Hoffman at Sheridan College and graduated from Carleton University with a Combined BA in Film Studies and Political Science. He became inspired to pursue a filmmaking career in 1989, when his first short film, Portfolio, won the Best Film, Best Director and Best Writer awards at the Atlantic Film Festival. He followed this success with the 35mm short drama Johnston…Johnston, starring Henry Czerny, which aired on Bravo and CBC.

Hopkins currently works from PEI through his production company, Square Deal Productions Atlantic. He is developing a second doc about the bluefin tuna, as well as Frankenfish, a doc about genetically modified organisms that are destined for the grocery store. His documentary Kandy, also in development, is a portrait of one of Atlantic Canada’s fastest female drag racers, competing in a sport dominated by men and North American muscle-car culture.

Paul McNeill
Photo : NFB

Paul McNeill

As a cultural media producer, Paul McNeill is constantly on the lookout for vital, meaningful and transformative documentary, animation and interactive projects from the Atlantic region. He is passionate about the creative process and the critical role of storytelling and collaboration in the quest for social change.

His first two documentaries as an NFB producer were stories rooted in place and directed by filmmakers inspired by questions about our relationship with the natural world. In Island Green, Millefiore Clarkes poetically asks, “What if PEI were to go all-organic?” and in Bad Coyote, Jason Young examines the fear at the heart of a coyote cull that followed a deadly attack on a hiker.

Paul is also passionate about the critical role the NFB has played for more than 70 years in the creation of transformative educational material for the classroom. Over the past several years, he has created and nurtured large-scale science-based educational partnerships with the Canadian Space Agency and Dalhousie University for NFB Education.

Annette Clarke
Producer / Executive Producer
Photo : NFB

Annette Clarke

Annette Clarke’s love of storytelling began around a kitchen table playing poker for pennies in a small community in Newfoundland. She honed her story instincts travelling with a 16mm projector and NFB film cans in the trunk of a car and fell in love with documentary when she witnessed the transformative power of its mirror. An accomplished and award-winning producer with 100 hours of screen time, Clarke is committed to stories that challenge stereotypes and shift the usual lens on the world. Her current productions, directed by both emerging and established talent, cross paths with courageous young girls and brilliant lawyers in Kenya, foreign workers in Labrador, the endangered Bluefin tuna, rock star chefs taking a stand against food waste, and an animated young girl who copes with her Mom’s mental illness by losing herself in the imaginary world of books.

Executive Producer for NFB’s Quebec / Atlantic studio, her recent producer credits include:
VIVE LA ROSE 2009 (TIFF and Sundance)
FLAWED 2010 (Hot Docs, Silverdocs, double honours at Palm Springs, EMMY nomination)
HOW DOES IT FEEL 2011 (Golden Sheaf award)
THE BOXING GIRLS OF KABUL 2011 (IDFA and CSA for best documentary short).
HARD LIGHT 2012 (FIFA Jury Award)
BUYING SEX 2013 (Hot Docs)
DANNY 2014 (Hot Docs Big Ideas series)
54 HOURS 2014 (Yorkton Founder’s Award)
GUNRUNNERS 2015 (Hot Docs)

Ravida Din
Executive Producer
Photo : Michael Cooper

Ravida Din

Ravida Din is a creative producer who formerly served with the National Film Board of Canada as a producer, executive producer, and as its Director General of English-language production. She managed a varied program of over 200 media works comprising of theatrical and television documentaries, community based media, interactive digital projects, animation and alternative drama. She was a leader in consistently encouraging the creative expression of ideas that were grounded in an analysis of race, gender and class as social determinants that are paramount to an understanding of who we are and how we create positive social change in the world.

Prior to working in production at the NFB, Din worked in several positions in management and marketing. Earlier in her career, Din also worked as a project manager for the Canadian Council for Multicultural and Intercultural Education and as the Executive Director of the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women. She has spoken extensively at conferences, workshops and university seminars on a range of feminist issues and on the transformational power of documentary films.


Written & Directed by


Story Editor

Director of Photography

Sound Design

Original Music

Slow-motion Cinematography
Christopher Ball
John Hopkins

Underwater Cinematography
Christopher Ball
Chris Harvey-Clark
Robert Guertin

Additional Camera
Christopher Ball
Richard Furlong
Dany Lavoie
Nigel Markham
Alastair Meux
Adam Perry

Sound Recordists
Georges Hannan
Aram Kouyoumdjian
Luke Leunes
Alex Salter

First Assistant Camera
William Harrington
Susan Rodgers

Additional Editing
John Hopkins
Peter Giffen

Underwater Stills
Brian Skerry

Production Manager
April Ennis

Production Assistant
Connie Littlefield

Japan Fixer
Tetsuro Shimmatsu

Elizabeth Klinck

PEI Fisheries Consultant
Patrick O’Neill

Special Thanks
Arnold Bailey
Ben Boyce
Eve Bruce
Jaime Bruce
Troy Bruce
Walter Bruce
Leo Cheverie
Brodie Creed
Kenny Drake
Ken Fraser
Winnie Fraser Mckay
Joey Gauthier
Terry Harris
Tetsuro “Teddy” Hiraishi

Dr. Jeffrey Hutchings
Garth Jenkins
Bruce Keus
Cor Keus
Ross Keus
Mike McGeoghegan
Wayne MacAlpine
Shelly MacNeill
Olivia, Eric and Luke MacNeill
Leonard MacNeill
Lynn MacNeill
Scott Marshall

Dr. John Neilson
Greg Norton
Spencer Norton
Akira Okazaki
Mark Rose
Dr. Carl Safina
Tim Simpson
Brian Skerry
Margaret Stewart
Dr. Michael Stokesbury
Michelle Van Beusekom
Dr. Boris Worm

The filmmakers would also like to thank
Brian Baker
Mathieu Beaudin
Belinda Bethune
Bill Boyce
John Brett
Phil Corsi
Sheila Eastman
Hans Engel
Dr. Stuart Exall
Valerie Flannery
Sturla Gunnarsson
Rick Hancox
Kevin Hebert
Norma Jean Killam
Preston Llewellyn
Andrew MacCormack
Dave MacEwen
Ian MacPherson
Sebastian Manago
Bruce Matheson
Bogart Michaels
Robert Molyneaux
John Pritchard
Jo Pritchard
Greg Sears
Taylor Sears
Nobuko Ueda
Jeff Wheaton
Berni Wood
Hilda Woolnough, MFA

Bluewater Magazine
Bruce Brothers Charters
Canada International Tuna Cup Challenge
Dalhousie University
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
Diver’s Quarters (PEI) – James Landrigan
Ecology Action Centre – Katie Schleit
Friends of Elmira
Innovation PEI
Japanese Airlines (JAL)
MacNeill’s Tuna and Deep-Sea Fishing Charters
North Lake Charters
PEI Department of Fisheries
PEI Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA)
PEI Premier’s Office
Points East Beach Motel
The Safina Institute
Tightline Tours
Tourism PEI
Tsukiji Market

Vision Air Services Inc.:
Tim L’esperance – Pilot
Christopher Ball – DOP
Paul Mitchelltree – Tyler Technician

A very special thanks to
Ruth Inniss (www.pei-beach-cottage.com)
Square Deal Productions Atlantic Inc.
The people of North Lake and Kings County

Special appearances (while stocks last)
The Giant Bluefin off North Lake
Atlantic Herring and Mackerel
Pilot and Minke Whales
The Gannets

Visual Archives Courtesy Of
Bogart Michaels
Brian Skerry – National Geographic
Dr. Carl Safina
European Parliament – Audiovisual Services for Media
Japanese Airlines
John Hopkins – Square Deal Productions Atlantic Inc.
Margaret Stewart & Family
Mass Bay Guides
PEI Department of Economic Development and Tourism
Wild Logic LLC

Production Supervisor
Roz Power

Technical Coordinator
Christopher MacIntosh

Lisa Clarke
Michelle McStay

Music Editing & Arranging
Nicolas Borycki

Marianne Dugal – Violin
Olivier Thouin – Violin
Robert Marcel Lepage – Piano
Sofia Gentile – Alto
Sylvain Murray – Cello
Yannick Chenevert – Double Bass

Music Recordist and Mixer
Luc Léger

Music Recording Assistant
Padraig Buttner-Schnirer

Geoffrey Mitchell

Picture Finishing
902 Post Inc.

Online Editor and Colourist
Doug Woods

Assistant Online Editor
Robert Carrigan

Production Coordinators
Stephanie Coolen
Sarah Gignac
Vanessa Larsen

Senior Production Coordinator
Kelly Davis

Program Administrators
John Lutz
Leslie Anne Poyntz

Marketing Manager
Melissa Wheeler

Pat Dillon-Moore

Business Affairs
Dominique Aubry
Stéphanie L’Écuyer

Annette Clarke
Paul McNeill

Executive Producer
Annette Clarke
Ravida Din



Press Relations

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