Sarah Munro may live and work on dry land, but her heart and thoughts lay with the ocean. It's for this reason that the creative director of Sarah & Sebastian is honoured to present Now You See Me, a film series that aims to drive awareness to to challenges faced by Australia's most endangered marine life.
Directed and shot by photographer and filmmaker Alice Wesley-Smith, Now You See Me will premiere in tandem with World Oceans Day 2022, where the opening film spotlights Australia sea lions – our only endemic marine mammal.
Watch Now You See Me, part 1, below.
Found along the coastline of South and Western Australia, there are currently only an estimated 6500 adult Australian sea lions left in existence, a fact that caused the Australian Government to update the status of the mammals as endangered in 2021. Considering that Australian sea lion numbers have fallen dramatically – 60% in just four decades – it's clear that urgent action is needed to ensure their survival.
Lensed at the rugged coastal town of Baird Bay in South Australia, together Alice Wesley-Smith and Sarah Munro travelled to the remote fishing village to document the thriving colony of Australian sea lions at their Jones Island home. The result is a moving film recognising their plight, with words from our Anna Harrison and narrated by Maddison Brown a long-documented ocean advocate and ambassador to Parley for the Oceans.
“It is an anomaly that the sea lions and their plight aren’t widely known. Warm blooded mammals that have made the sea their home, they are unique to Australia’s coastline and truly one of the most engaging and welcoming yet critically vulnerable creatures in our oceans," says Alice Wesley-Smith.
To drive home the message of the series, Sarah & Sebastian has pledged $25,000 to the Australian Marine Conservation Society's Australian sea lion campaign and will donate all proceeds from a limited edition run of its 'Save Our Sea Lions' hat.
“The way the sea lions interact with and care for each other has striking similarities to humanity," explained Munro. "What resonated with me the most was how a pup would forever recognise their mother’s voice.”
You can learn more about the campaign and donate to save Australian sea lions at the Australia Marine Conservation Society website. In the meantime, watch this space as the subsequent films are released later in 2022.