Cannes Film Festival 2024: Terra Mater Studios brings "Orca – Black & White Gold"

From the Emmy award-winning writer Mark Monroe, the film uncovers the ongoing global captivity trade of endangered orcas and will be screened in Cannes.

20 MAY 2024

"Orca – Black & White Gold"

  • Facebook
  • X
  • Linkedin
  • Whatsapp

Terra Mater Studios announces the today's screening of its new docu-thriller feature "Orca – Black & White Gold" from Emmy award-winning writer Mark Monroe ("The Dissident") at Marché du Film. The film marks Terra Mater producer Sarah Nörenberg’s directorial debut. She will be participating at the Q&A with Muriel Arnal, President of The French NGO, OneVoice.

"Orca – Black & White Gold" is a never-seen-before look into the international trade of endangered orcas, with unprecedented access to activists, former orca trainers and the capturers themselves. With a unique 360-degree perspective and access to the mobster businessman behind the multi-million-dollar global trade, this compelling and timely film illuminates how the export of an American business model is influencing illegal trade of endangered wild orcas across continents.

Terra Mater Studios is implementing a hybrid strategy to maximize the film’s distribution and reach audiences worldwide. The studio is actively interested in partnering with distributors, whilst retaining educational rights to private and virtual events, with organisations including One Voice, to share the film with audiences around the world. To release captured orcas to seaside sanctuaries, Terra Mater Studios is actively working with organisations such as The Earth Island Institute, who were responsible for the release of Keiko, the orca star of “Free Willy.”

Several orcas are still in captivity around the world, making the film an urgent call to action to audiences to help campaign against this trade and help save these animals from a life of forced breeding and captivity. Currently, the only family of captive orcas in the world lives in Antibes, France and are under the threat of being sent to another marine park. OneVoice has successfully campaigned to forbid the relocation of the orcas until an independent expert assessment has been completed.

Director and Producer Sarah Nörenberg says “I made this film after realizing that even 31 years after 'Free Willy' and 11 years after 'Blackfish', we still have just as many orcas in captivity around the world. The market is just shifting from the West to the East. 'Orca - Black & White Gold' is shining a spotlight on the realities of orca capture and captivity in the Far East, continuing the legacy of rallying public audiences to reject a morally bankrupt international market. The commercial value for orcas (former approx. USD 10mio/animal) only increased further after the trade seized with Russia. This business of exhibiting marine mammals for shows originated in the West by SeaWorld and is still active. We have the moral duty as a society and as a role model for the children visiting these parks, to convey meaningful education and retire these intelligent sentient beings into seaside sanctuaries whenever possible.”

Muriel Arnal, President, One Voice says “Russia was a major player in the captivity industry, generating millions of dollars and an immense suffering for the orcas as the film demonstrates so accurately. But the trade for shows goes on and in France, the only orca family in captivity in the world is under threat of a transfer to another dolphinarium. I truly hope that audience watching Sarah's movie will open their eyes and heart as it should be the final nail in the coffin of this abhorrent industry.”