The Grizzly Growl

The Shadows We Create

A+group+photo+including+the+cast+of+CHTV+News+and+the+crew+of+the+Grizzly+Growl%2C+along+with+Jack+Hutton%2C+who+was+featured+in+the+Sundance+film+Sea+of+Shadows.
Back to Article
Back to Article

The Shadows We Create

A group photo including the cast of CHTV News and the crew of the Grizzly Growl, along with Jack Hutton, who was featured in the Sundance film Sea of Shadows.

A group photo including the cast of CHTV News and the crew of the Grizzly Growl, along with Jack Hutton, who was featured in the Sundance film Sea of Shadows.

A group photo including the cast of CHTV News and the crew of the Grizzly Growl, along with Jack Hutton, who was featured in the Sundance film Sea of Shadows.

A group photo including the cast of CHTV News and the crew of the Grizzly Growl, along with Jack Hutton, who was featured in the Sundance film Sea of Shadows.

Rachael Schafer, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






The Sundance Film Festival began in late January, premiering 112 films from filmmakers around the world. Among these is a film called, “Sea of Shadows”, directed by Richard Ladkani.

The Sundance Film Festival has been going on since 1978, and it was created in efforts to attract more filmmakers to Utah and has done such. This year alone there were 14,259 submissions from 152 countries, a record for the Festival. From these submissions, it was narrowed down to 112 films that were premiered January 24th to February 3rd.

Before the festival Robert Redford, the President and Founder of Sundance Institute said, “This year’s Festival is full of storytellers who offer challenges, questions, and entertainment. In telling their stories, they make difficult decisions in the pursuit of truth and art.” The film, “Sea of Shadows” fulfills this, as a story is told of criminals vs. a team of scientists, journalists, conservationists, and undercover agents. The film is centered around the Vaquita Porpoise, a smaller species of porpoise (small whale), and its near extinction due to the illegal poaching of the totoaba fish.

This project began in 2017 when Leonardo DiCaprio, executive producer of the film, met with the President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto to discuss the issue of the near extinction of the vaquita porpoise. From the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was struck. Written in the MOU was an agreement to preserve marine life in the Gulf of California. Also within the agreement was that the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and the Carlos Slim Foundation would aid the Mexican’s efforts to preserve the marine life.

Also stemming from this meeting was the film, “Sea of Shadows.”  The film was commissioned and the Terra Mater Factual studios once again paired up with Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way after working together on the film, “The Ivory Game.” Both films were directed by Richard Ladkani.

he Vaquita Porpoise is ranked the 7th most endangered species in the world according to the National Geographic. Last year alone there was assumed to be 12-15 of the species left and those numbers are feared to have decreased even more. According to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society(SSCS) the Vaquita Porpoise is said to be the, “most endangered marine mammal in the world.” The species has been endangered since 1996, partially due to human interferences, but also because of the nature of the species.

The Vaquita Porpoise has a short lifespan of about 20 years, and reproduction is difficult for the small mammal. There is about one calf born every two years, making it difficult for the animal to reproduce and grow in numbers.

There have been laws, explicitly explaining that the use of gill nets are illegal in the upper section of the Gulf of California. These laws are currently temporary, and are in place to prevent the extinction of the species. However the question remains: “Is it too late for the Vaquita Porpoise?”

Dr. Allen Spaulding, environmental science teacher at Copper Hills, says that perhaps it is too late to save the species. He explained something called the extinction vortex. He said, “Once a species gets below one thousand, the population can suffer from inbreeding and it’s difficult for them to get back above that number.” This is another strike against the species, as reproduction is already difficult. He also explained the term, “effectively extinct.” He said that most species that near endangerment are not having “very much impact on the ecosystem,” he continued by saying, “So it’s as if they [the vaquita porpoise] were not even really there.”

This film sheds a light on the issues of endangered species in the Gulf of California. On a deeper level, though in creating this film it addressed different issues around the world. Worldwide, poaching and the endangerment of species are major issues. Those two issues are linked in some spaces, but according to Spaulding, “the main cause of near extinction is habitat loss, and most of that is due to various kinds of human activity.” As the human population grows more land is used, which in turn eliminates animal habitats.

While we cannot solve the issue of poaching, we can, as students, make an impact on species if we stop them from falling into the endangered species list. Dr.Spaulding said many things can be done if we get involved with conservation efforts, decrease energy consumption, and educate ourselves on population growth and the potential negative side effects.

Animal extinction is something that has only been increasing in past years. Spaulding said that we are in the midst of the sixth great extinction and that, “the current extinction is as big or bigger probably than the ones that killed the dinosaurs.” If the loss of animal habitats does not slow we are looking at devastating levels of extinction.

Landkani’s film highlights the loss of life, and while it may be too late to save the vaquita porpoise it is not too late to prevent other species from entering the list of endangered species. We all have it in our capabilities to prevent this loss of life if we only take the necessary precautions.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • #CHHSChange

    Copper Hills Sends Four Sterling Scholars to Finals

  • The Shadows We Create

    #CHHSChange

    Wrestling Isn’t Just for Men

  • The Shadows We Create

    #CHHSChange

    Escaping the Bonds of a Wheelchair

  • The Shadows We Create

    #CHHSChange

    Is Medical Cannabis a Good Option?

  • The Shadows We Create

    #CHHSChange

    Racing Hearts: Track Star Camilla Andam Rushed to Make Sure All Grizzlies had a Happy Valentine’s Day

  • The Shadows We Create

    #CHHSChange

    Legislation is Just the Beginning: Increasing Access to Birth Control

  • #CHHSChange

    College Signing Day

  • The Shadows We Create

    #CHHSChange

    The Vaquita’s SOS Call

  • The Shadows We Create

    #CHHSChange

    Done With Sports

  • The Shadows We Create

    #CHHSChange

    The Paths of Athletic Alumni

Navigate Right
The Official Student Voice of Copper Hills High School
The Shadows We Create