On Saturday, April 24, join Sag Harbor Cinema (SHC) and Hamptons Doc Fest (HDF) for a special screening of National Geographic Documentary Films’ Playing with Sharks. Presented as part of HDF’s Docs Equinox, a Zoom conversation with writer/director Sally Aitken, producer Bettina Dalton and Valerie Taylor will follow the viewing.
“With its intrepid heroine, toothy co-stars and beautiful underwater cinematography, mostly rare and archival, Playing with Sharks is the perfect film to salute the wonders of wildlife,” Sag Harbor Cinema’s artistic director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan said. “We are delighted by this new collaboration with Hamptons Doc.”
Playing with Sharks, which was a hit at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, explores the life of pioneering Australian scuba diver Valerie Taylor, who has devoted her life to the preservation of sharks.
“A visually stunning documentary tribute to Australian marine conservationist Valerie Taylor, whose fearless underwater photography, made famous in Jaws, expanded human understanding of the ocean’s apex predators,” David Rooney said in a Hollywood Reporter review.
As a young girl, Valerie first excelled in the sea as a champion spearfisher. Later on, she tried her hand at documenting the awe-inspiring undersea world on film, which quickly became another passion of hers. She often collaborated with her husband Ron – and with Valerie’s fearlessness to approach ocean residents, their innovative footage attracted many fans. The duo was the first to capture a great white underwater on film, and their shark outtakes inspired a classic – Jaws. The couple is responsible for the film’s underwater live shark clips.
While Jaws was a massive success, it provoked a fear of the toothy predator for many. That caused Valerie to become a champion of sharks, who play a vital role in the underwater ecosystem. She has spent her life dispelling misconceptions about sharks, as well as advocating for the safeguarding and preservation of marine habitats.
“Just watch Valerie Taylor’s underwater dance with sharks and you’ll learn the rewards of embracing nature. It’s an Earth Day celebration in film we are delighted to share on the Sag Harbor Cinema’s big new screen,” noted Jacqui Lofaro, Hamptons Doc Fest’s Executive Director.
Playing with Sharks will screen in SHC’s Theater 1 at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20.
Sag Harbor Cinema is located at 90 Main Street in Sag Harbor. For tickets, or more information, visit www.hamptonsdocfest.com.