The producer of a controversial documentary discussing the ethics of whale hunting in Japan is at MIPTV to promote her show to the markets. Keiko Yagi is in Cannes to meet broadcasters and online platform operators interested in broadcasting the documentary, Behind The Cove, which is currently featured on Netflix.

The documentary was made in response to an earlier show, The Cove, which presented a damning portrayal of Japan’s whaling industry. Released in 2009, The Cove won an Academy Award and was praised by animal rights protestors for its revelations of cruelty in the killing of whales and dolphins.

In 2015 Yagi released a documentary, premiering at the Montreal World Film Festival, countering some of the claims made in what she describes as The Cove’s “sinister political side”.

She said that Behind The Cove, centred around the same Japanese town that featured heavily in the original documentary, was an attempt to provide viewers with a more balanced discussion of the argument including the voices of people vehemently opposed to whaling.

“This is about trying to make people more aware of this,” Yagi told MIPTV News. “The Japanese whaling industry is actually capturing the species that are not endangered. If you banned this now it would have effects on other species of fish that the whales eat.”

To make the documentary Yagi spent four months living in the coastal town of Taiji, where local fishermen adopt the controversial method of driving large number of dolphins into a small cove to be killed.

This article was written by Ben Cooper for MIPTV News magazine, and edited by Kristine Clifford. Read all MIPTV publications online here


About Author

Kristine Clifford is a New Yorker studying journalism in Wales. Her editorial experience includes contributions to the official publications of MIPCOM, Cannes Film Festival and now, MIPBlog!

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