Expired November 5, 2022 6:00 AM
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Director: Lesley Chilcott

(Filmmaker is attending in-theatre festival in Friday Harbor)

(Captain Paul Watson is attending in-theatre festival in Friday Harbor)

Winner of Zelda Penzel Giving Voice to the Voiceless Award at 2019 Hamptons International Film Festival

Watson is an action-adventure film that paints a portrait of Captain Paul Watson, co-founder of Sea Shepherd, and his daring acts to get us to notice that the oceans are not only full of intelligent and fascinating life, but also the key to life itself.  Ninety percent of the ocean’s fish stocks are now fully exploited, overexploited, or depleted.  He has spent over 40 years fighting to end the destruction of the ocean's wildlife and its habitat. Director Lesley Chilcott says, “All the choices he has made in his life are because of three things he firmly believes in: the interconnectedness of all things, the strength of an ecosystem is dependent upon diversity within it, and Earth’s limited carrying capacity... His philosophy of direct, non-violent action goes far beyond the usual rhetoric and poster-hanging.” The film blends revealing contemporary interviews with Sea Shepherd's Captain Paul Watson, archival clips of dramatic encounters, and spectacular underwater nature footage. Captain Paul Watson was the recipient of FHFF’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Released in 2019

Running time: 100 minutes

Sponsor: Captain Paul Watson Foundation


Lesley Chilcott

Lesley Chilcott is an award-winning filmmaker, documentarian, and producer whose films tend to center on themes of social or environmental justice. In 2019 Chilcott directed the feature documentary Watson, an action-adventure documentary about Sea Shepherd founder Captain Paul Watson, a man willing to put his own life at risk in a relentless quest to protect the oceans and the marine life within. Shot in the US, Costa Rica, and the Kingdom of Tonga the film interweaves Paul’s harrowing adventures with beautiful underwater cinematography. After premiering at Tribeca Watson was picked up by Animal Planet/Discovery and was aired in 50+ countries beginning in March 2020.

Previously, Chilcott released the documentary CodeGirl, which follows an annual competition where high school-aged girls from around the world design an app that solves a problem in their community. Chilcott filmed teams all over the world from Moldova to Mexico, documenting how exposure to technology and computer science can transform young girls’ lives. CodeGirl was the first movie to have its premiere exclusively on YouTube before hitting theaters and other outlets, and the first film to stream on Mashable. The idea for the film came after she directed the short film CodeStars, which garnered over 20 million views online.

Chilcott directed the feature documentary, A Small Section of the World (2014), about a village of women coffee producers from the Talamanca mountains of Costa Rica which played at The State Department and the UN in Geneva and aired in 40 countries.

She was a producer of the 2007 Academy Award-winning documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, and she also produced the cult rock documentary It Might Get Loud (2009), about legendary guitarists, The Edge, Jimmy Page, and Jack White. Other notable Chilcott-produced films include A Mother's Promise, the Barack Obama biographic film, and Waiting for Superman (2010) for which she was awarded a win by the PGA for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Documentary. Her six-part docuseries Helter Skelter: An American Myth started airing in 2020 on EPIX.

Chilcott is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), Directors Guild of America, The Producers Guild of America. She directs commercials and branded content out of Bodega Studios and lives in Los Angeles and Costa Rica.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    100 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    Australia, United States
  • Premiere
  • Director
    Lesley Chilcott
  • Producer
    Lesley Chilcott, Wolfgang Knoepfler, Louise Runge
  • Filmmaker
    Lesley Chilcott
  • Cinematographer
    Logan Schneider
  • Editor
    Greg Finton
  • Production Design
    Heidi Adams
  • Composer
    Christophe Beck