Saturday, March 1, 2014

Blackfish Oscar Night Party with Captain Paul Watson

Oscar Night for Blackfish in White River Junction, Vermont 

By Captain Paul Watson

Captain Paul Watson will Present the "Big Splash Award" to Blackfish  Director Manny Oteyza on Oscar Night

I don’t know about you but I’m deeply disappointed that BLACKFISH was removed from the final list of nominees for the best documentary film of the year. The five nominees are The Act of Killing, Cutie and the Boxer, Dirty Wars, The Square and 20 Feet from Stardom.

I have not seen any of them. In fact I have not heard of even one of them. I know nothing about them. I could not even find out where I could view them.

Yet I knew all about Blackfish before I even saw it. People were talking about it. It was being aired on CNN. It has gotten rave reviews and it was on the long list for the Academy Awards.

And then it was gone. Removed and I will venture to say – censored.

SeaWorld is a powerful corporation. There is a great deal of profit in enslaving and mistreating marine life, especially Orcas.

No Orca has ever attacked a human being in the wild. But Tilikum the captive Orca at Sea World in Orlando, Florida has killed three people.

I have swam with Orcas and once in the Straits of Bella Bella, British Columbia I was pulled along by an Orca when I grabbed hold of it’s dorsal. I have been in the water with them in Antarctica, Alaska, Washington State and British Columbia and never once felt threatened.

I even met Tilikum once, many years ago at Sealand in Victoria before he had killed anyone. He did not look happy then and I know he is not happy now.

Now why would an Orca, a species that has never harmed a human in the wild kill three people in captivity?

Simple. You can walk down a street in New York City past hundreds of people without having any cause to fear being attacked. But you can’t do the same in a prison exercise yard and turn your back on hardened criminals.

Tilikum is an angry whale and he has every reason to be angry. Kidnapped from the wild, taken from his family, imprisoned in a small concrete cell, fed dead fish, masturbated by humans for his sperm, forced to perform unnatural tricks for the amusement of paying customers and subjected to deprivation training techniques by human jailers.

I’m actually surprised more humans have not been killed by captive Orcas considering the way they are treated.

Sea World’s mistreatment of whales is bad enough but their deliberate exposure of trainers to angry whales is a gross irresponsibility.

And that is what this film is about.

People around the world have responded to Blackfish. It has been a hot ticket at film festivals, it has aired numerous times on CNN and yet the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, without any explanation dropped it from the list of nominees.

Why? One reason is that if it were to win or even be nominated it would have cost SeaWorld tens of millions of dollars. And Sea World has some very powerful allies in Hollywood.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society along with Oceanic Protection Society and the REVOLUTION clothing store of White River Junction, Vermont have decided to honor BLACKFISH on Oscar night in White River Junction on the evening of March 2nd – Oscar night.

On Oscar night I will be presenting THE BIG SPLASH AWARD to Producer Manny Oteyza who will accept on behalf of the film BLACKFISH.

Orca heros Gabriela Cowperthewaite, Dr Ingrid Visser, & Blackfish Producer Manny Oteyza

Manny Oteyza will be flying out from Los Angeles to accept the Award in White River Junction.

Now White River Junction is a small town in the Lower Valley of Vermont and every year REVOLUTION sponsors an Oscar Party usually attended by up to 350 people.

So while the decision is made in Hollywood to give the Best Documentary Film Oscar to one of five relatively unknown documentary films, the relatively unknown town of White River Junction will give an award to the very well known film BLACKFISH.

Like the Hollywood extravaganza, the White River Junction event is a Red Carpet affair with a limousine, tuxedos, champagne and elegant gowns.

And I would like you to all be involved. Simply post your comment here in support of BLACKFISH and we will post the comments at the event along with the number of people who give their vote to BLACKFISH as the best documentary film of the year.

Only 6000 people are eligible to vote for the Oscars. Let’s get more than 6000 votes for Blackfish.

Click the Like button to register your vote.

Captain Paul Watson
Founder and International Director
Sea Shepherd Conservation Society


  1. #BlackFish may have not have gotten a nod for the Best Documentary at the #AcademyAwards - but ORCAS spells out to OSCAR regardless!

    1. Thanx DC. It would have been fun to attend together!

    2. Yes, it would have. Just remember we have a date when I come out to the west coast to see some magnificent orcas in the wild - where they are suppose to be!

    3. Ha, yes it does, brilliant comment Dawn Catherine!!

  2. "Blackfish" was shut out of the Oscar's when it would have been the winner hands down! Glad you are having this Oscar's night for #Blackfish.

  3. Congratulations Manny Oyteza and all involved in the making of Blackfish. This documentary was life changing for many of us. The Academy should be embarrassed for their snub. The people of White River Junction should be applauded. I wish I could be there to see Manny accept this award. Keep up the good work.

  4. The truth will set them free. In total support of #Blackfish.

  5. Blackfish thank you so very much for letting the world now about the horrors of SeaWorld, I am also very disappointed you were removed from the nominees for an Oscar as have no doubt you would have won but am thrilled Captain Paul Watson/Sea Shepherd Conservation Society will be presenting you with The Big Splash Award, you truly deserve it!

  6. I love how people think this was some conspiracy. Blackfish was a decent film, but not a great one. The TOPIC was far more compelling than the film turned out to be. The five films nominated are far from "unknown" and a couple are far more controversial. This has nothing to do with conspiracy and everything to do with quality. Blackfish is a "good" film, but it is equally rife with misdirection and camera tricks. It would have been far better had Cowperthwaite not added scenes indicating captive orca violence where there was none (John Hargrove's bloody face, Jeffrey Vetre's "slide by" - which was set to music which is why it was a fully trained behavior).
    I applaud Blackfish for its stance on captivity and its attempt to educate the public on the issue, but the "slight of hand" that was done was also less than honest in some aspects and it took away from the whole. If you cannot portray the truth as it is, your message loses the honest message.

    1. You may be correct, we'll never know. But the "slide across" scene was used as an example of of poor timing and for the show lines stating how waterwork can be dangerous. Same can be said for the JH face smack. That is, it doesn't have to be an aggressive move to cause human injury. Nonetheless, thanx for you comments.

  7. Thank you for recognizing this amazing film! It has shed a whole new light on the plight of captives around the world. Though there is no proof, my gut feeling is that SeaWorld has some very influential pull on the Oscar Committee. They have bought their way out piles of crap for years, why should this be any different? We, and the rest of the world, already know the truth. Wake up SeaWorld! Not getting an Oscar isn't going to stop us! You have been and will continue to be #Blackfished!!

  8. Congratulations Mr. Oyteza! Blackfish movie has opened millions of eyes & hearts all over the entire planet! An extraordinary impact of making activists of regular folks. We are truly grateful. Thank you Blackfish Team for all you do!

  9. Blackfish is one of the most impactful films that I have seen. An evocative telling of control, exploitation and redemption, it will be marked as instrumental in changing the face of how we treat marine mammals and beyond on this water planet.

  10. Like Paul Watson, I heard about #Blackfish long before it was released. I was glued to my chair while I watched. This film has awakened many people to the plight of marine mammals (especially the orcas) and many more have taken action to stop the cruel practice of orcas in captivity. The Oscars are of no real consequence because this film has done the job it was intended to do and has bolstered the public to speak out and participate in stopping captivity for orcas. Thank you to everyone who worked on this very important film!

  11. Blessings to all who helped to tell the "Blackfish" story and to those who give their hearts to freeing these magnificent captive creatures.

  12. I vote for Blackfish as best documentary, and stand with you tonight in honoring this film with the Big Splash award. Thank you for formalizing the recognition which this important, life-changing film has already received, and so richly deserves.

  13. They can't hide the TRUTH and facts about #blackfish forever. People will eventually realise what is happening. Keep going blackfish and SSCS we're right behind you. This is a big farce.

  14. Blackfish will get the truth about captive ocean wildlife out in the public domain. Forever we will remember the abject horror that orcas are subjected to in the name of entertainment, because this film was made. In a perfect world, Blackfish would have swept the awards!

  15. Little known fact but Paul Watson was one of the pioneers supporting an effort more than 30 years ago to work with Sealand to release its' killer whale Haida to see its integration into the wild. Politics of the situation caused people to put themselves first and this cooperative effort was stopped. Tillikum was than collected with Haida and Nootka from Iceland. Time to ensure that the younger generation keeps a mind that this lost opportunity had extreme circumstances. Thanks Paul for being an innovator.

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