“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
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.