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The Cove


Academy Award® Winner for Best Documentary Feature 2010, THE COVE follows an elite team of activists, filmmakers and free divers as they embark on a covert mission to penetrate a remote and hidden cove in Taiji, Japan, shining a light on a dark and deadly secret. Utilizing state-of-the-art techniques, including hidden microphones and cameras in fake rocks, the team uncovers how this small seaside village serves as a horrifying microcosm of massive ecological crimes happening worldwide. The result is a provocative mix of investigative journalism, eco-adventure and arresting imagery, adding up to an unforgettable story that has inspired audiences worldwide to action.

THE COVE is directed by Louie Psihoyos and produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and Fisher Stevens. The film is written by Mark Monroe. The executive producer is Jim Clark and the co-producer is Olivia Ahnemann.


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The Filmmakers

Louie Psihoyos Director

Louie Psihoyos, Executive Director of the Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS), has been recognized as one of the top photographers in the world. He was hired directly out of college to shoot for National Geographic Magazine and continued to create iconic images for the yellow-bordered magazine for 18 years. His ability to bring humanity and wit to complicated science stories carries over to his filmmaking. An ardent diver and dive photographer, he feels compelled to show the world the decline of our planet’s crucial resource, water.

He has been on contract for Fortune Magazine and has shot hundreds of covers for other magazines including Smithsonian, Discover, GEO, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, Sports Illustrated and Rock and Ice. His work has also been seen on the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Television and the History Channel. Museums and private collectors around the world have sought Psihoyos' photography.

Psihoyos recently directed his first documentary film, THE COVE, an examination of our oceans and our hearts. An annual dolphin hunt in a secret cove in Taiji, Japan suggests a microcosm of a larger picture, man's disregard for the planet. The theme broadens - coal-burning facilities multiply across the planet, leading to high mercury levels in seafood, man's primary source of protein. Winner of the Audience Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, Best Documentary from the National Board of Review, dozens of international awards and immense critical praise. THE COVE has also been nominated for an Oscar® for Best Documentary Feature of 2009.

Fisher Stevens Producer

Fisher Stevens is an actor, director and a producer. He has appeared in over 40 stage productions including the Tony award winning Torch Song Trilogy, Brighton Beach Memoirs and Carousel. He also co-founded Naked Angels Theater in New York, which is still producing plays after 20 years. He has appeared in over 50 Motion Pictures and Television programs including THE FLAMINGO KID, SHORT CIRCUIT 1 and 2, THE MARRYING MAN, HACKERS, REVERSAL OF FORTUNE and on television a regular on CBS's Early Edition, Friends, Law and Order and just produced and starred in the upcoming pilot for NBC The Grean Teem. In 1996 along with John Penotti, Fisher founded GreeneStreet films where he produced or executive produced over 15 films including 5-time Acadamy Award nominated, IN THE BEDROOM, SWIMFAN, UPTOWN GIRLS, A PRARIE HOME COMPANION and the critically acclaimed documentary ONCE IN A LIFETIME. He produced and co-directed the Independent Spirit Award winner for best documentary, CRAZY LOVE. 

Paula DuPre Prsman Producer

Paula DuPre Pesmen has worked for more than 16 years as an Associate Producer for filmmaker Chris Columbus and 1492 Pictures. During that time, she was a part of many successful feature film projects. In 2005, Paula took a sabbatical from her film career to found a non-profit, There With Care, which supports families with critically ill children. During her time as the Associate Producer on the first three Harry Potter Films, she was inspired by over 65 families of critically ill children through a program she started with director Chris Columbus welcoming them to the Potter sets for their wish. 

During her sabbatical, Paula also began working as a producer with Oceanic Preservation Society in her hometown of Boulder with director Louie Psihoyos to bring his vision to the screen through his moving and beautiful film project.



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August 20, 2017

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Festivals & Awards

Academy Award - Best Documentary Feature



Sundance Film Festival


Winner - Audience Award

Hot Docs International Film Festival


Winner - Audience Award


One of the most audacious and perilous operations in the history of the conservation movement…an exceptionally well-made documentary that unfolds like a spy thriller.”

-The New York TImes

There are many documentaries angry about the human destruction of the planetary peace. This is one of the very best — a certain Oscar nominee.”

-Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times

Documentaries don't get much more compelling than THE COVE. ”


The Cove is slick and smart and, in its real-life urgency, puts Hollywood capers like MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE to shame.”

-Time Magazine


7 years since THE COVE premiered, the spirit of activism that Ric O'Barry started and the battle for justice continue. The focus of the Social Action Campaign around this issue is to create worldwide awareness of the annual dolphin drive hunt in Taiji, and to pressure those in power to put an end to the slaughter once and for all.

Outreach Resources

Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project

Dolphin Project is a non-profit charitable organization, dedicated to the welfare and protection of dolphins worldwide. Founded by Richard (Ric) O’Barry on Earth Day, April 22, 1970, the organization aims to educate the public about captivity and, where feasible, free captive dolphins.

The mission of the Dolphin Project is to end dolphin exploitation and slaughter, as dolphins are routinely captured, harassed, slaughtered and sold into captivity around the world – all in the name of profit. Dolphin Project works not only to halt these slaughters but also to rehabilitate captive dolphins, investigate and advocate for economic alternatives to dolphin slaughter exploitation and to put a permanent end to dolphin captivity.


Oceanic Preservation Society

OPS is a small team of dedicated artists, activists, and change agents dedicated to protecting our oceans and planet for future generations.


Take Part

TakePart is a digital news and lifestyle magazine featuring independent journalism on today’s most important, socially relevant topics, alongside a social action platform. TakePart is the digital division of Participant Media, the company behind Pivot Television Network and acclaimed documentaries such as CITIZENFOUR, An Inconvenient Truth, and Food, Inc. and feature films such as Lincoln and Spotlight.