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Samantha Berg and Carol Ray Talk Blackfish, Working at SeaWorld, Speaking Out after the Death of Dawn Brancheau and SeaWorld’s Questionable Tactics

Former SeaWorld trainers Samantha Berg and Carol Ray provide riveting accounts of their park experiences in writer/director Gabriela Cowperthwaite’s new documentary, Blackfish, which explores the dark side of killer whales in captivity. They are among a handful of former SeaWorld trainers who appear in the film and share their initial attraction to working with the whales at the parks and their decision to speak out after veteran trainer Dawn Brancheau was killed by an orca named Tilikum at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010. Opening July 19th, the film brings to light the details of the Brancheau tragedy and reveals other harrowing trainer-whale encounters through shocking, never-before-seen footage. At the film’s recent press day, Berg and Ray talked about how they became involved in the documentary, why they wanted to work at SeaWorld and interact with the whales but sensed early on that something was amiss, how SeaWorld controlled the
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Gabriela Cowperthwaite and Jeffrey Ventre Talk Blackfish, Working without SeaWorld’s Participation, Deciding Not to Include Graphic Footage, and More

In her new documentary, Blackfish, opening July 19th, filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite uses the story of a notorious performing whale, riveting interviews and never before seen footage to reveal the devastating consequences of keeping intelligent, sentient creatures in captivity. February 24, 2010 is a day whale trainers and fans of sea parks will never forget when veteran killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau was brutally attacked and killed at SeaWorld Orlando by one of the park’s oldest residents, an orca names Tilikum. Her death became the catalyst for former SeaWorld trainers Jeffrey Ventre, Samantha Berg, Dean Gomersall, Carol Ray, Kim Ashdown and John Hargrove to speak out. During my recent interview, Cowperthwaite and Ventre talked about what led them to tackle this subject, how the film’s financing came together, the challenge of making it without SeaWorld’s participation, how the trainers’ perspectives changed over time as they became disillusioned, why they became
See full article at Collider.com »

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