Director Stephen Amis interview about “DEFEND, CONSERVE, PROTECT”



One of the most important documentaries that you can watch in 2019 just simply has to be Australian documentary Defend, Conserve, Protect. The powerful docco from filmmaker Stephen Amis go behind the scenes of what conservation group Sea Shepherd does to prevent Japanese whalers in Arctic waters.

HEAVY Mag had a chance to chat to Stephen while he was Melbourne recently for a special screening of Defend, Conserve, Protect at Cinema Nova.

“Two things happened at the same time,” says Amis when I ask him what made him decide to make a documentary about Sea Shepherd. “I had been doing a couple of television commercials for Sea Shepherd and couple of promotional videos for Sea Shepherd and they knew I had a background in film and TV and they came to me and said ‘we have all this campaign footage and we don’t really know what to do with it’ so I ended up taking all of that footage and then I shot some more interviews and some more footage under-water with the whales. Then I spent a good two and a half years editing all this together and try to make some kind of coherent feature film from it all.”

“At the same time my daughter had just turned fourteen,” continues Amis. “And I was really aware that having done some work for Sea Shepherd I was getting all the scientific data down the line on the state of our environment, so I really made the documentary for my daughter, her friends and the generations like her because they are inheriting an absolutely terrible environmental mess and you know I wanted to make something that would not only inspire them but also be a bit of a call to action for them.”


You can hear our full interview with Stephen Amis on Spotify.

Defend, Conserve, Protect opens in Australian cinemas on July 25th.