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New Documentary Film Sounds Alarm About the Threat of Extinction to Sea Turtles

Tuesday, August 31, 2004
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
3200 California at Presidio Avenue

New Documentary Film Sounds Alarm About the Threat of Extinction to Sea Turtles

Award Winning Bay Area Director and Time Magazine’s first “Hero for the Planet” to Attend Premiere and Reception

Forest Knolls, CA — The nonprofit Sea Turtle Restoration Project will premiere the new documentary, Last Journey for the Leatherback? by the Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker Stan Minasian (dir. The Last Days of the Dolphins?, The Free Willy Story: Keiko's Journey Home) on Tuesday, August 31st at 8 p.m. at the San Francisco Jewish Community Center, 3200 California Street at Pacific Avenue in San Francisco. The premier screening will be preceded a reception at 6 pm with the renowned oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle – Time Magazine’s first “Hero for the Planet” – and director Stan Minasian.

“Sea turtles are really symbolic of what’s happening to the oceans as a whole. As go sea turtles, so go, will go, the ocean,” explains Dr. Earle, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, in the stunning natural duotone opening sequence of the film as dozens of newly hatched leatherback sea turtles crawl to the water under the moonlight. Dr. Earle is an East Bay resident.

Scientists predict that the giant Pacific leatherback sea turtle, which has survived unchanged for over 100 million years, could vanish in the next 5 to 30 years, if current threats from wasteful industrial longline fishing are not curtailed. The female nesting population of leatherback sea turtles in the Pacific Ocean has collapsed by 95 per cent in the past 20 years. The leatherback is the largest sea turtle, measuring nine feet from head to tail with the largest ever recorded tipping the scales at 2,000 lbs.

Last Journey for the Leatherback? is a hard hitting documentary that combines science, activism and rare footage of endangered sea turtles, to tell the gripping story of sea turtles, the new icon of the ocean environmental movement. Sea turtles are quickly reaching the status of dolphins and whales and conservationists are becoming increasingly alarmed and active in their fight to save these gentle giants, and to stop the wide-spread impacts on the world’s ocean ecosystems. After the premiere Last Journey for the Leatherback? will move to the festival circuit and eventual broadcast on Link TV (DirectTV and Dish Network) and PBS,

The Sea Turtle Restoration Project, founded in 1989 under David Brower’s guidance, is hosting a benefit reception at 6 pm and partnering with the California Academy of Sciences on the screening and lecture. Event supporters include DDB San Francisco, KPFA-Radio, Frey Vineyards, Susan Sakmar and others.

Guests at the reception will be treated to organic wines, tasty hor derves and delicious deserts. The reception will also offer individuals the chance to climb into a full-size model of a research mini-submarine that Dr. Earle uses in her research endeavors under the sea.

Reception: $60 General/$40 members (Screening only - $8 general/$6 members) Call 415-488-0370 or email to purchase tickets.

For more information visit or


• Film and video reviewers: to receive a preview copy of the documentary or attend call Robert at 415-488-0370 x 106 or email

• Interviews with filmmaker Stan Minasian and Dr. Sylvia Earle may be arranged

Film Synopsis

The Last Journey for the Leatherback?

(Dir. Stanley M. Minasian in conjunction with Turtle Island Restoration Network and the Center for Biological Diversity, Beta SP, stereo sound, 27:50 min., 2004)

Appearances by: Dr. Carl Safina, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Dr. Frank Paladino, Dr. Larry Crowder, Randall Arauz

Shot in the US and Costa Rica

The Last Journey for the Leatherback? documents the incredible life of the leatherbacks – the largest species of sea turtle — which can dive as deep as the whales and migrate across entire ocean basins. Much of the story is told through interviews with leading marine scientists, including Dr. Sylvia Earle, explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and named Time magazine's first "hero for the planet."

The Last Journey for the Leatherback? also details the threat industrial fishing poses to their survival. Every year, industrial fishing boats set billions of baited “longline” hooks and millions of miles of nets to catch swordfish and tuna. These hooks and nets are prime causes in the decline of the leatherbacks.

POB 400/40 Montezuma Avenue • Forest Knolls, CA 94933 USA
Ph. +1 415 488 0370 ext. 106• Fax +1 415 488 0372

Added to the calendar on Tue, Aug 17, 2004 4:50PM
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