The Great Australian Bight: home to over 85 percent of unique marine species

A young Russian filmmaker is determined to save our marine ecosystems from dangerous and underregulated deep-sea oil drilling.

Alexandra Malanicheva investigates what really has to change to protect places like The Great Australian Bight from an environmental disaster in her documentary "Crude Expectations."

The film follows one of Australia's largest movements - #FightFortheBight - and asks why, in a world trying to go green, we still have to fight so hard to protect our nature.

"Crude Expectations" is a social impact documentary that aims to answer why, in a world that is trying to go green, we still have to fight to protect nature.

Despite the urge and the ability to transition to sustainable energy, fossil fuel production continues to endanger and harm the environment for all the living creatures in it.

In this film, on the example of the protests that took over Australia, filmmakers want to learn and share with others what exactly is stopping the world from moving forward and how we can help.

"Crude Expectations" features notable interviewees such as Professor Tina Solimant Hunter, Norwegian MP Kristoffer Robin Haug, award-winning environmental activist Peter Owen, and surfer Heath Joske.

The Fight For The Bight: Australian surfers have been active in the protests against deep-sea oil drilling | Photo: Malanicheva

A Tireless Fight

The filmmakers developed relationships with their sources with an uncanny personal story of how they came about to make the film.

Despite having limited resources and time at their disposal, the producer-director Alexandra Malanicheva proved her drive to support the cause after organizing a #FightfortheBight Byron Bay protested in March 2019 while on her holiday visit to Australia.

Malanicheva organized and filmed the protest in Byron Bay, bringing many strangers together for a cause.

Since then, she and Sara Antonova have spent every weekend off-work developing the story.

"We have been lucky to meet and film with so many amazing people in some of the most beautiful places in the world, but we need your help in order to continue," notes the director.

Now, one and a half years later, their Kickstarter campaign is raising funds for the production of the remaining interviews and scenery in remote and difficult locations of South Australia.

The project has already gained support from renowned organizations, such as Greenpeace Australia, The Wilderness Society, Ocean Imagining, and the Great Australian Bight Alliance.

Alexandra Malanicheva, 24, attended the University of the Arts London, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Film & Televisions at London College of Communications.

Sara Antonova is a Bulgarian-born filmmaker, writer, and editor based in London. Since a teenager, Sara has been an activist working with children, refugees, and environmental organizations, which now reflects in her work.

Fight for the Bight: in a world that is trying to go green, we still have to fight to protect Nature | Photo: Fight for the Bight

The Great Australian Bight

Known to be the home to over 85 percent of unique marine species, The Great Australian Bight harbors thousands of whales migrating in its waters for summer and winter and attracts tourists from across the world.

The Bight is home to an amazing range of marine life, including great white sharks, blue and southern right whales, humpback, Australian sea lions, southern bluefin tuna, white-bellied sea eagle, and albatross.

The Head of the Bight in South Australia is known for one of the largest breeding populations of southern right whales.

These incredible but endangered creatures make the yearly migration to the Bight from Antarctica to rest, breed, and give birth.

South Australia's fishing and aquaculture industries generate 25 percent of Australia's seafood by value and are important to the region's economy.

The total gross value of production generates between $400-500 million per annum.

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