EXCLUSIVE: Greenwich Entertainment has taken North American rights to A Taste of Whale, a documentary by Vincent Kelner on the annual slaughter of pilot whales in the Faroe Islands. The ancient practice, which has met with modern resistance from Sea Shepherd and other animal rights groups, involves herding hundreds of the large dolphins into coves, inlets or fjords where they can be easily killed and butchered.
In the midst of the hunt — locals refer to it as “The Grind” — the water color transforms from blue to blood red.
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“On… September 12th,” Sea Shepherd reported last year, “a super-pod of 1,428 Atlantic White-Sided Dolphins [pilot whales] was driven for many hours and for around 45 km by speed boats and jet-skis into the shallow water at Skálabotnur beach in the Danish Faroe Islands, where every single one of them was killed.”
The documentary does not take a one-sided view of the issue, allowing Islanders to make their case for a tradition that dates back to the 9th century. A press release for the film notes, “The Faroese denounce the hypocrisy of those who eat meat without criticizing what is happening in slaughterhouses and industries polluting our planet.”
A Taste of Whale will premiere this spring at an unnamed “renowned documentary festival before hitting the spring festival circuit,” according to a release. Greenwich plans to open the film theatrically on May 27.
“I wanted to rely on the specific circumstances of the Faroe Islands to reflect on a significant, global issue of our time,” Kelner said in a statement. “In presenting the perspectives of both whalers and activists through four endearing and passionate persons, I wanted the audience to bear witness to the ‘Grind’ and to confront a practice too often taken for granted: in order to get meat on the table someone has to kill a living being. In the Faroe Islands, this is not just happening behind the closed doors of slaughterhouses but in the open, on the beach, for everyone to see.”
Pamela Anderson appears in the documentary, one of a group of activists committed to “eradicate this bloody massacre.” The actress, coincidentally the subject of the fictionalized Pam & Tommy currently streaming on Hulu, is a longtime defender of animal rights.
A Taste of Whale is produced by Warboys Films. Warboys’ Rémi Grellety, the Oscar-nominated produced of I Am Not Your Negro, produced the documentary. Films Boutique is handling international sales at the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin. Greenwich’s Andy Bohn negotiated the acquisition with ICM Partners on behalf of the filmmakers.
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