A National Geographic production, the documentary is an all-revealing narrative about the world of sharks by Valerie Taylor
National Geographic Documentary Playing with Sharks
Directed by Emmy-nominated Sally Aitken, Playing with Sharks casts new light on sharks. A compilation of underwater archival footage and interviews of marine conservationist and scuba diver Valerie Taylor, the documentary speaks about one of the most misunderstood creatures on the planet. It follows Valerie’s journey from a champion spear-fisher to earnest shark protector, determined to clear the story of this maligned species.
Valerie, also a photographer and documentary maker, is a living icon responsible for gathering the majority of the knowledge that people have about sharks today. She remarks how drastically the populations of sharks have gone down from 1962 to 2016, with the number of white sharks, whaler sharks and tiger sharks decreasing by 92%, 82% and 74%, respectively. However, humans are still hunting the last few that are left.
From being a renowned spear-fisher in a sport dominated by men, she soon gave up her spear for a camera and decided to document underwater marine life up close, along with her husband Ron. She cleared certain misconceptions that people had about the feared predators and even became a staunch advocate for the protection of marine habitats like the Great Barrier Reef.
The documentary will be a poke in the eye, to make us look beyond the mass hysteria created by movies like Jaws and realise the hardcore facts given by Valerie. Produced by WildBear Entertainment, Playing with Sharks is part of National Geographic’s SharkFest slate and is scheduled to stream from July 23 on Disney+ Hotstar