Against the backdrop of BC's spectacular Great Bear Rainforest, Guardians and the salmon they monitor are victims of science censorship and reckless extractive industries.
Directed by Courtney Quirin
Produced by Courtney Quirin
Editing, Writing, Photography: Courtney Quirin
Music Editing, Mixing and Composing: Judy Hyman, Jeff Claus
Produced with the support of SFFilm's Filmhouse Program
Part hermit, part biologist, Guardians live on boats, full-time, in one of the last pristine frontiers of the world to monitor salmon, the backbone of the ecosystem, economy, and culture along British Columbia's coast. But, in an age of science censorship and soaring resource extraction in the form of fracking for oil and natural gas, Guardians and the wildlife they have dedicated their lives to protect are now disappearing.
"Exquisitely beautiful...stunning...poignant" Joshua Royte, Sr. Conservation Scientist, Nature Conservancy
GUARDIAN is a cautionary tale about the role of science in environmental decision-making and the repercussions of its censorship.
Grade Level: 7 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2019
Copyright Date: 2018
DVD ISBN: 1-948745-23-2
"If the salmon all disappear from the rivers - also taking down the bears, eagles and trees that they nourish - who will be left to care? How will this loss diminish us all? Guardian is a visually stunning meditation on these questions. This film conveys the power of environmental monitoring data and why it's important to stand up for science and wilderness."
Anne Kapuscinski, Director of Coastal Science and Policy, Professor of Environmental Studies, University of California - Santa Cruz
"Amid breathtaking scenes and insightful conversations, the sorrowful current status of several Pacific species of salmon is slowly unveiled. The film gives viewers a sense of the tireless effort required to collect data to properly manage marine populations, and the lack of government support for these critical tasks."
Doug Thompson, Professor of Geoscience and Environmental Studies, Connecticut College, Author, The Quest for the Golden Trout: Environmental Loss and America's Iconic Fish
"Exquisitely beautiful...stunning...poignant...These men and women painstakingly collect data that we depend on to make critical decisions about management in a time when these rich habitats are unfortunately at risk. This important film supports the science and advocacy needed to prevent destruction of this rich ecosystem by pending development plans."
Joshua Royte, Senior Conservation Scientist, The Nature Conservancy, Co-author, From Sea to Source 2.0
"Guardian is a visually arresting meditation on the few remaining practitioners of an important conservation cause."
John Waldman, Professor of Biology, Queens College - CUNY, Author, Running Silver: Restoring Atlantic Rivers and their Great Fish Migrations
"This beautifully filmed, poignant story of the salmon guardians of the Great Bear rainforest follows the front-line eyes of fisheries management in one of the world's last salmon strongholds. Working in remote watersheds they provide data critical for understanding - and managing - the state of salmon runs. But with funding cuts and retirements making their work now as threatened as the salmon they protect, who will guard the salmon in the future in the face of increasing development pressure?"
David Montgomery, Professor of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington - Seattle, Author, King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon
"A poignant look at a disappearing ecosystem and the men who spent their lives trying to preserve it."
Candace Smith, Booklist
"Compelling...gorgeous documentary...A visually transportative experience...A must-see."
Randy Meyers, The Mercury News
George Heymont, My Cultural Landscape
"Courtney Quirin's film makes the audience to get to know who really the last two Guardians are through a poetic narrative that makes you uncomfortable of what cutbacks like Harper's do to individuals on a local level. It's ironic that this film's images are beautiful but interweaves with both Doug and Stan's crumbling world right under their eyes."
Fernando Fernandez, Fern TV
"Highly Recommended...Although this documentary is specifically about the waters off the coast of British Columbia, Canada, anyone interested in nature conservation and ecology will benefit from this well filmed and informative documentary. The lush landscape of the pristine wilderness provides a serene setting with the important message of needing to protect habitats."
Johnnie N. Gray, Christopher Newport University, Educational Media Reviews Online
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DVD includes 5.1 surround sound audio, SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and scene selection.
The film's website
Awards and Festivals
Jury Prize, Best Documentary Feature, SF IndieFest
Audience Choice Award, Eugene Environmental Film Festival
Planet In Focus Environmental Film Festival
Mendocino Film Festival
Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival
Barichara Green Film Festival (Colombia)
Byron Bay International Film Festival
Cascadia International Women's Film Festival
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