Soldiers of the Sea Documentary
Soldiers of the Sea Documentary
Soldiers of the Sea tells the story of Nino, a master swordfish hunter in Sicily, struggling to survive in these modern times.
Soldiers of the Sea tells the story of Nino, a master swordfish hunter in Sicily, struggling to survive in these modern times. Read more
About this project
We feel the documentation of our main character represents the global struggle of small local food producers (fishermen or farmers) in the growing shadow of commercial overproduction and food politics.
This film reminds us to reevaluate what’s significant in our lives while honoring the relics of the past.
For more than 2,000 years, fishing for swordfish (pesce spada) in the Strait of Messina — between the eastern tip of Sicily and the western tip of Calabria in the south of Italy — has endured. In some ways, the tradition has changed very little: The fishermen still offer prayers in the pre-dawn hours, say good-bye to their wives and children, and take to the water in a ritual that binds them to each other, and to the generations that have come before.
Today, however, the specially designed, motorized boats (passarelle) — of which there are only seven remaining in the region— must compete with thousands of international fishing vessels operating outside of Italian governmental control. This overwhelming competition, fueled by the market demand for swordfish meat, has resulted in over-fishing and calls for increased regulation. It also threatens to render the fishermen of Messina extinct.
Combining documentary techniques with the cinematic sweep of narrative storytelling, Soldiers of the Sea will chronicle this tension between tradition and modernity, between the desire to preserve the ways of the past and the need to acknowledge the realities of a changing planet.
Shot during the summer fishing season in the Strait of Messina, the film will feature not only dramatic open-sea encounters between fishermen and their prized prey, but also day-to-day life in these ancient villages: scenes of family and friends gathered in homes and churches, engaged in celebrations, prayers, and the customs that have always sustained them, even as those give way to an uncertain future.
Richard Patterson is an award-winning cinematographer with more than 15 years of production experience. He has shot documentary, narrative, and broadcast programming for Canon USA, MSG Networks, PBS Television, The Food Network, Travel Channel, and HBO Documentary Films. His cinematography credits include the Emmy®-winning documentary Hecho a Mano: Creativity in Exile, the 2015 TIFF and Sundance official short documentary selection Papa Machete, and the 2017 Miami Film Festival Audience Choice Award Havana House. He has filmed in more than 30 countries. He is the founder of Four Bent Corners Productions.
Gaspar González has produced documentary programming for the BBC, PBS, and ESPN, among others. His credits include the national PBS release Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami, the Grantland short doc Gay Talese’s Address Book, and the ESPN 30 for 30 Short The Guerrilla Fighter. His work has been recognized by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Cinematheque. He is the founder of Hammer and Nail Productions.
Gianclaudio Angelini is an award-winning director/producer/journalist with more than 15 years of video production experience. He has developed long-and short-format video, documentaries, and branded content for television, agencies, and Fortune 500 companies including MSNBC, ESPN, PBS, Nike, Ford, Red Bull, United Airlines, Estée Lauder, Publicis, Razorfish and Leo Burnett. His background in journalism allows him to create, pitch and develop a diverse array of compelling stories.
Sarina Di Mento has been leading creative teams and pitching experiential marketing campaigns to the biggest global brands in the world for over five years. She has helped produce shoots for Condé Naste, RayBan, Cavalli and HBO. She has a strong passion for inspiring people and finding solutions. In her spare time, she works as a part-time holistic health coach and enjoys collaborating with filmmakers to help bring their visions to life.
Jared Levy is a director of photography with experience ranging from documentary and narrative film to commercial work. He has been the DP for the Emmy®-winning Netflix show Mind of a Chef. He is currently working as a cinematographer on a feature-length documentary on nutrition with Oscar®- winning director Louie Psihoyos and executive producer James Cameron. His commercial background includes projects with Facebook, National Geographic, Intel, Google, Participant Media and Coors Brewing Co. He has filmed in over 20 countries across 6 continents.
Mike Isler has been a photo and film tech consultant in New York for the past 12 years. He’s played an integral role on projects for National Geographic, Goldman Sachs, Cosmopolitan, Accenture, Wired, Condé Nast, and many others. He is a fixed-wing pilot and aerial coordinator and technician for some of the top helicopter-based photo and video cinematographers and directors in the world.
Joel C. Hernandez is the co-founder of Sound Speed Miami and has worked professionally as a re-recording mixer, sound designer, and location sound recordist for films, broadcast television, and web productions. He has worked with a variety of clients such as Disney, Discovery, NatGeo, GE, ESPN Films, PBS, AmEx, and Canon. His contributions as a sound designer & re-recording mixer have been featured in official selections of the Sundance and Toronto International Film festivals.
Josh Kanuck has been in post-production for 15 years, working on commercial projects and for broadcast television. His recent work includes Lin-Manuel Miranda’s PBS feature documentary Hamilton’s America, Michael Moore’s Sicko, ABC’s David Blaine: Real or Magic, and Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru. For the 84th Academy Awards, he colored three short interview segments directed by Moneyball’s Bennett Miller.
- April'17 - Preproduction Trip
- June'17 - Fundraising
- July’17 - Late July, Production Begins, Let’s Go Fishing!
- Sept’17 - Editing Begins
- Fall’17 - Film Festival Submissions Begin
- Jan’18 - Film Festival Season Begins
Risks and challenges
Shooting an international documentary always carries an element of risk. Between our directors and executive producer, we have more than 45 years of experience filming documentaries all over the world. To increase our success, we have put tremendous effort into our preproduction, story, and logistics. Our travel dates are set and we have guaranteed access to the open water and the cooperation of our main characters. We ask you to be part of this exciting adventure and celebrate with us along the journey.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (33 days)