Atlantic is the second documentary film from the makers of the award winning documentary The Pipe (2010). Atlantic started as a crowd funding project, where the digital community came together and raised the highest Fund-it amount every raised, totalling €56,000. Once made, Atlantic came to communities everywhere as we screened at cinemas, theatres, lighthouses, arts centres, in thatched cottages and on beaches across the country!
The film charts the politics of resource management of the North Atlantic; from strong State control in Norway, mixed fortunes in Newfoundland, to a more liberal, privatised system in Ireland.
Atlantic, through the experience of these coastal neighbours, poses the question: who will benefit from the exploitation of these resources, and what the consequences will be for communities and the environment?
Atlantic‘s aim is to empower local communities and individuals so that they can better contribute to this vital debate. We want people to engage in live and uncensored discussions between people on all sides of the Atlantic.
“God almighty…nothing is as bad as seeing your community dying.”
Across the ocean in Newfoundland, where an oil boom has hit, fisherman Charlie Kane will likely be the last of his generation to work full-time at sea, after a cod fishing ban in the 1990s brought a world-renowned industry to a halt overnight.
Yet Charlie is thankful his sons can now make a good living on the oil rigs, and won’t need to toil in small boats on Newfoundland’s perilous Grand Banks. But now, as oil prices plummet, their village is once again taking on water, as the quick money of the black gold rush begins to run dry.
Sadly, Charlie passed away during the making of Atlantic. The film is dedicated to his memory.
“It’s a criminal offence to be a small fisherman in this country…”
Just off the west coast of Ireland, fisherman Jerry Early has seen the heart ripped out of his small island community after a ban on drift netting for wild salmon was put in place. As he fights to regain his fishing rights, he’s up against a government which takes its orders from the European Union.
As foreign super-trawlers operate with impunity just
offshore, Jerry feels like a criminal on his own boat. The circumstances could be dire if he defies the new order of the ocean, but as the unofficial “mayor” of a dying island, Jerry feels he must stand up to these powerful interests before it’s too late.
“They are invading the Arctic. It’s a race against the North Pole for the last of the oil.”
In Norway, fishermen and their resource have historically been aggressively protected by national authorities. But as oil fields dwindle and the country now looks to add to its reserves, Arctic cod fisherman
Bjørnar Nicolaisen is campaigning against seismic testing by the oil explorers criss-crossing his fishing grounds. On the outer edges of Norway’s five-star economy, seismic blasting is threatening to blow Bjørnar’s livelihood out of the water.
“Fishing isn’t done at sea anymore, it’s done at tables in Brussels”
Skipper Máirtín Éanna Ó Conghaile , from Inis Mór, Co Galway
Filmed across Ireland, Norway and Newfoundland, Atlantic was made possible by a team of people who featured in the documentary, worked behind the scenes and by companies and communities from the three countries coming together to make it happen.
“My last documentary, The Pipe, told the story of a small coastal community as they faced down one of the world’s most powerful oil companies, which was forcing a high-pressure raw gas pipeline through their farms and fishing grounds.
The story raised more questions for me than it answered, leading me to look at the politics of our oil and gas prospects off the Irish coast. What has since unfolded is an incredible story of resource mismanagement, and the capture of our offshore riches — oil, gas and fishing — whilst our gaze is elsewhere.”
Winner of 2016 Screen Directors’ Guild Finders Series for Atlantic
Brian Fitzpatrick is a journalist whose work has been published by a range of titles including the Irish Times, the Guardian, the Scotsman, the Nation and New Internationalist Magazine.
An Irishman based in Canada, Brian has most recently worked at the Regina Leader-Post and before that at the Toronto Star. His project work has covered land rights and displacement, trade, immigration, paramilitarism, crime and more.
Atlantic is his first foray into film.
Trained as an Electronic Engineer and working initially behind the camera for 10 years, Nigel later chose to concentrate on editing and his love of crafting stories.
In the wake of the huge success of The Pipe, Nigel and Risteard have teamed up again for the acclaimed follow-up, Atlantic.
“Working across three countries on a project the scale of Atlantic definitely had its challenges (2am budget meetings via Skype anyone?). But being part of such a dedicated, hardworking team was incredibly inspiring and it’s an experience I’ll treasure. And now that the film has been released, it’s a privilege seeing how audiences are so passionately engaging with it”
Marie-Therese Garvey is an award-winning documentary film producer based in Co. Clare.
She attended Met Film School based at Ealing Studios, London and upon graduation interned at Met Film Production, working alongside renowned documentary film producer Al Morrow (How To Change The World, Sour Grapes). After the internship she returned to Met Film School as a tutor. Marie-Therese then went on to work with acclaimed production company Tourist With A Typewriter as a production manager and producer, while freelancing for other high profile companies such as Stampede
Productions and human rights organisation, Videre est Credere and tutoring at the University of Creative Arts (UCA) in Epsom. In 2013 Marie-Therese returned to Ireland to set her own film production company Greater Than Ten Miles, a company that aims to tell social issue and human rights stories in innovative and creative ways.
With (quite a bit) more than a decade expertise in digital marketing and strategy, from leading travel site in the relatively early days of web, to complex analytics projects across an interesting and eclectic range of brands and industries, Nell joined the ‘Atlantic’ team to help catapult the film’s messages to audiences near and far, young and old, fisher and farmer.
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