Toronto-based Northern Banner Releasing has picked up the Canadian rights for Nathalie Bibeau’s Hot Docs 2020 Audience Award-winning film The Walrus and the Whistleblower.
Northern Banner, the Canadian distribution arm of Raven Banner Entertainment, is eyeing a fall release for the film.
Produced and directed by Bibeau, and produced by Bunbury Films’ Frederic Bohbot, The Walrus and the Whistleblower follows Phil Demers, known by some as the “Walrus Whisperer.”
For a decade, Demers worked as a trainer at the MarineLand amusement park in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
He ran the show swimming with killer whales and training belugas, seals and Smooshi the walrus, until he quit, claiming animal abuse and calling for an end to the practice of keeping marine mammals in pools.
MarineLand is currently suing Demers for CA$1.5 million dollars on claims of trespassing.
Winning the Audience Award makes The Walrus and the Whistleblower eligible for consideration in the Oscar race in the Documentary Feature category.
The Walrus and The Whistleblower was made in association with documentary Channel, and CBC Docs.
Gravitas has U.S. and international rights.