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Blackfish (2013) More at IMDbPro »

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Blackfish -- Killer whales are beloved, majestic, friendly giants, yet infamous for their capacity to kill viciously. Blackfish unravels the complexities of this dichotomy, employing the story of the notorious performing whale Tilikum, who -- unlike any orca in the wild -- has taken the lives of several people while in captivity. Blackfish expands on the discussion of keeping such ...
Blackfish -- Notorious killer whale Tilikum is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, including a top animal trainer. Blackfish shows the sometimes devastating consequences of keeping such intelligent and sentient creatures in captivity.


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Popularity: ?
Down 21% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Gabriela Cowperthwaite (written by) &
Eli B. Despres (written by) ...
View company contact information for Blackfish on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 October 2013 (Iceland) See more »
Never capture what you can't control.
A documentary following the controversial captivity of killer whales, and its dangers for both humans and whales. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for BAFTA Film Award. Another 12 wins & 29 nominations See more »
(249 articles)
SeaWorld -- Toy Co. Pledges $1 Million to Free 'Blackfish' Star Tilikum
 (From TMZ. 13 November 2015, 12:30 AM, PST)

Top 50 modern movie documentaries
 (From Den of Geek. 12 November 2015, 3:15 AM, PST)

Concussion | 2015 AFI Film Festival Review
 (From ioncinema. 11 November 2015, 3:15 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Film Moves With Fluidity of Wild Orca See more (146 total) »


  (in credits order)
Tilikum ... Himself (archive footage)
John Hargrove ... Himself - Former SeaWorld Trainer
Samantha Berg ... Herself - Former SeaWorld Trainer
Mark Simmons ... Himself - Former SeaWorld Trainer

Kim Ashdown ... Herself
Dean Gomersall ... Himself - Former SeaWorld Trainer

James Earl Jones ... Himself (archive footage)
Shamu ... Himself (archive footage)
Carol Ray ... Herself - Former SeaWorld Trainer
John Jett ... Himself - Fomer SeaWorld Trainer
Dawn Brancheau ... Herself - SeaWorld Trainer (archive footage)

Jeffrey Ventre ... Himself - Former SeaWorld Trainer
Thomas Tobin ... Himself (also archive footage)
Dave Duffus ... Himself - OSHA Expert Witness, Whale Researcher
Jim Payne ... Himself (archive footage)
Martha Sugalski ... Herself (archive footage)

Whoopi Goldberg ... Herself (archive footage)
David Kirby ... Himself (archive footage)

Anderson Cooper ... Himself (archive footage)
John Crowe ... Himself - Diver
Howard Garrett ... Himself - Orca Researcher
Eric Walters ... Himself - Former Trainer, Sealand
Ken Balcomb ... Himself - Director, Center for Whale Research
Steve Huxter ... Himself - Former Director, Sealand
Christopher Porter ... Himself - Former Trainer, Sealand
Kelty Burn ... Herself (archive footage)
Corinne Cowell ... Herself
Nadien Kallen ... Herself
Lori Marino ... Herself - Neuroscientist
Kelly Clark ... Herself - SeaWorld Head Trainer (archive footage)
John Black ... Himself - OSHA Attorney (archive sound)
Ken Welsch ... Himself - Jusge (archive sound)
Katina ... Herself (archive footage)
Kalina ... Herself (archive footage)
Kasatka ... Herself (archive footage)
Takara ... Herself
Kandu ... Herself (archive footage)
Corky ... Herself (archive footage)
John Sillick ... Himself - SeaWorld Trainer (archive footage)
Tamarie Tollison ... Herself (archive footage)
Orkid ... Herself (archive footage)
Splash ... Herself (archive footage)
Robin Sheets ... Himself (archive footage)

Meredith Vieira ... Herself (archive footage)
Ken Peters ... Himself - SeaWorld Trainer (archive footage)
Daniel Dukes ... Himself (archive footage) (as Daniel P. Dukes)
Estefania Rodriguez ... Herself
Alexis Martinez ... Himself - Loro Parque Trainer (archive footage)
Suzanne Allee ... Herself - Former Video Supervisor, Loro Parque
Mercedes Martinez ... Herself - Alexis' Mother
Valerie Dratch ... Herself - Witness (archive footage)
Jim Solomons ... Himself - Spokesman, Orange County Sheriff's Office (archive footage)
Thad Lacinak ... Himself - Former SeaWorld Executive (archive footage)
Dave McDaniel ... Himself - Reporter (archive footage)
Chuck Tompkins ... Himself (archive footage)
Jeff Andrews ... Himself - SeaWorld Expert Witness (archive footage)
Diane Brancheau ... Herself - Dawn Brancheau's Sister

Directed by
Gabriela Cowperthwaite 
Writing credits
Gabriela Cowperthwaite (written by) &
Eli B. Despres (written by) (as Eli Despres)

Tim Zimmermann (co-writer)

Produced by
Judy Bart .... executive producer
Rick Brookwell .... executive producer
Gabriela Cowperthwaite .... producer
Erica Kahn .... executive producer
Manny Oteyza .... producer (as Manuel V. Oteyza)
Tim Zimmermann .... associate producer
Original Music by
Jeff Beal 
Cinematography by
Jonathan Ingalls 
Chris Towey  (as Christopher Towey)
Film Editing by
Eli B. Despres  (as Eli Despres)
Gabriela Cowperthwaite (uncredited)
Production Management
David A. Davidson .... post-production supervisor
Sim T. Davidson .... post-production producer
Manny Oteyza .... unit production manager (as Manuel V. Oteyza)
Art Department
Syd Garon .... graphics
Sound Department
Shawn Coffman .... additional sound recordist
Jonathan Ingalls .... additional sound recordist
Henry Moyerman .... assistant sound editor
Craig Plachy .... sound re-recording mixer
Jeff Stone .... location sound
Vince Tennant .... sound supervisor
John Warrin .... sound effects editor (as John Warren)
C.J. Carpenter .... dialogue editor (uncredited)
John Warrin .... sound designer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Angela Bernardoni .... additional camera: San Juan Island
Redd Claiborne .... additional camera: Atlanta
Sara Hoff .... additional camera: Orlando
Zoe Morrison .... still photographer
Xavier Ramirez .... archive footage
Animation Department
Gary Breslin .... animation creative director: ODD-NY
Tim Case .... animation executive producer: ODD-NY
Charles V. Salice .... animation executive producer: ODD-NY
Matthew Turke .... animation head of production: ODD-NY
Editorial Department
Elisa Bonora .... additional editing
David A. Davidson .... colorist
David A. Davidson .... on-line editor
Andrew Jewell .... assistant on-line editor
Matthaeus Szumanski .... assistant editor
Yasu Tsuji .... assistant on-line editor
Chad Wilson .... assistant on-line editor
Music Department
Alisha Bauer .... musician: cello
Jeff Beal .... conductor
Jeff Beal .... music producer
Jeff Beal .... musician: bass
Jeff Beal .... musician: piano, trumpet
Chris Bleth .... musician: woodwinds (as Chris Bieth)
Briana Brandy .... musician: viola
Jennifer Choi-Fisher .... musician: violin
Samuel Fischer .... musician: violin (as Sam Fischer)
Larry Greenfield .... musician: violin
Thomas Harte .... musician: bass (as Tom Harte)
Cheryl Kim .... musician: violin
Songa Lee .... musician: violin
Jason Lippman .... musician: cello
David Low .... musician: cello
Luke Maurer .... musician: viola
David Mergen .... musician: cello
Neli Nikolaeva .... musician: violin
Grace Oh .... musician: violin
Aaron Oltman .... musician: viola
Jeff Richman .... musician: guitar
Mark Robertson .... musician: violin
Rodney Wirtz .... musician: viola
David Low .... orchestra contractor (uncredited)
Mark Robertson .... concertmaster (uncredited)
Christopher Ward .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Other crew
Dan Braun .... distribution advisor: Submarine Entertainment
Josh Braun .... distribution advisor: Submarine Entertainment
Lisa Callif .... clearance counsel
Dean R. Cheley .... clearance counsel
Shawn Coffman .... production assistant
Syd Garon .... title designer
Martin Guigui .... financing consultant
John Martin .... legal counsel
Luis Romero .... poster/web designer
Christine Towey .... production assistant
Dahlia Waingort .... financing consultant
Jordan Waltz .... researcher/archivalist
Deborah Frogameni .... special thanks
Colleen Gorman .... special thanks
Robert Messinger .... special thanks
Lara Pozzatto .... special thanks
Nancy Slokker .... special thanks
Jan Van Twillert .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including disturbing and violent images
83 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Jurassic World director Colin Treverrow told Empire Magazine that Blackfish was a big influence on the movie. The behaviour of the captive Indominus Rex, was based on Tilikum's behaviour in captivity.See more »
Himself - Former Trainer, Sealand:When you know the animal and have a relationship with it. You know, that he's not killing, because he's a savage. He's not killing, because he's crazy or because he doesn't know what he's doing. He's killing, because he's frustrated and has aggrevation. And when he's... He has no outlet for it.See more »
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89 out of 103 people found the following review useful.
Film Moves With Fluidity of Wild Orca, 2 February 2013
Author: D. Blalock

The documentary "Blackfish" just premiered at Sundance to much deserved rave reviews. It's a compelling story of a 12,000 pound orca who has been in captivity since 1983 when he was captured at the age of two. New footage and interviews with trainers who worked at SeaWorld (and left disillusioned) add dynamic interest to the overall question of whether or not these wild intelligent sentient animals should be kept in captivity. This is a story that will have you questioning what you thought you knew. See "Blackfish" if you're interested in orcas; see it if you're interested in the truth; see it for no other reason than to find out why SeaWorld doesn't want you to see it. This film moves with the fluidity of a wild orca in the ocean. Don't miss out on seeing "Blackfish" because it's going to change the way you think.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Blackfish (2013)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
you guys make me sick hapathy
Nadine Kallen - Why is she smiling at the whole time???? SarahMerussai
It's not a lie just because there's a profiting defender. TIMELORD2001
Does Blackfish use shaky cam? strawroof
Just watched this for the first time and malakiman_sam
Where's the incentive for sea world? geoffmasterplan
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