Docs

“He’ll be missed”: Remembering Rob Stewart

After a three-day search, the Toronto documentary filmmaker and Sharkwater director was found dead Friday.
February 6, 2017

Tributes to Rob Stewart continued to pour in over the weekend via social media as the global documentary film industry and environmentalists alike mourned the loss of one of their own.

The 37-year-old Canadian director of the award-winning documentary Sharkwater had been scuba diving near the Alligator Reef by the village of Islamorada on Lower Matecumbe Key in Florida when he disappeared on Jan. 31. His body was recovered by the U.S. Coast Guard Friday evening (Feb. 3).

A posting on the Sharkwater website confirmed Stewart’s death:

“We are so deeply grateful to everyone who helped search, and happy that Rob passed while doing what he loved. We are working on how best to honour his incredible work.”

Stewart is best known for his 2006 documentary Sharkwater, which raised awareness about the important role sharks play in their ecosystems. The film, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival, is credited with launching the global shark conservation movement.

His second film Revolution (2012) explored ways in which young conservationists around the world are working to save the environment. Stewart was working on his next documentary, Sharkwater:Extinction, which was slated for a 2017 release.

Among those mourning Stewart’s death are:

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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