This article is over 5 years old and may contain outdated information.

People & Culture

The change makers: Rob Stewart

The filmmaker aims to open eyes to threatened environments — and inspire action for change

  • Sep 30, 2013
  • 238 words
  • 1 minutes
Expand Image
Advertisement

Swimming with a shiver of huge sharks with nothing in front of you but a fragile underwater camera is, as it turns out, not all that dangerous. Exposing an unregulated and illegal multibillion-dollar shark-finning industry is definitely more so. Rob Stewart showed us that in 2007 in Sharkwater, his first documentary. An even more daunting mission is taking on some of the world’s worst environmental offenders, something he does in Revolution, released in Canadian theatres in April and on DVD in August.

Apples and oranges, perhaps, but it’s a natural progression, part of the maturation of the 33-year-old Toronto native, already one of Canada’s mostlauded documentary makers. Stewart is as skilled at alarming us and grating on our consciences as he is at producing his signature jaw-dropping underwater cinematography — and like Sharkwater before it, Revolution contains plenty of both. It’s a survival guide of sorts, a showcase of a few cunning species with remarkable survival strategies. Then there’s humankind: terrifyingly shortsighted, greedy and indifferent, perpetrators of overfishing, ocean acidification, widespread deforestation and other unsustainable activities.

But humans are perpetrators of hope too, especially youth. Stewart celebrates the latter for their place outside the system, for their passion and willingness to clamour for an evolution of thought and action. The title of his recent memoir may best capture the calling of this filmmaker, once almost exclusively a shark conservationist: Save the Humans.

Advertisement

Are you passionate about Canadian geography?

You can support Canadian Geographic in 3 ways:

Related Content

A diver takes photos of a coral reef underwater

People & Culture

Excerpt from The Third Dive: An Investigation into the Death of Rob Stewart

Based on the film documentary of the same name, The Third Dive looks to expose the circumstances around Rob Stewart's untimely death.

  • 1334 words
  • 6 minutes
The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability at UBC

Environment

Canada’s greenest prof

Vancouver might just be home to the greenest building in the world. Meet the geography professor who brought it to life.

  • 2598 words
  • 11 minutes

People & Culture

Remembering Canadian filmmaker Rob Stewart

RCGS Explorer in Residence and diver Jill Heinerth on the importance of conservation videography

  • 374 words
  • 2 minutes
The articulated tugboat Nathan E. Stewart aground off B.C.'s north coast in October 2016

Environment

Fighting for their coastline

As ship traffic increases off the coast of British Columbia, so will accidents. The Heiltsuk Nation intends to be ready.

  • 1580 words
  • 7 minutes