Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Got camera, can film

The Whale Like Me Short Film Contest has a new partner! WDCS, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society. WDCS is international, and focuses its work entirely on the protection of whales and dolphins. We are excited about our work together, both in promoting the contest and making sure your films are distributed to have the most impact on evolving our relationship with cetaceans.

“There is a very special connection between humans and cetaceans – lets explore it! Our environment will never be safe from human abuse until it has its own rights within the legal systems of nations. The Declaration of Cetacean Rights is pioneering the first steps in this all-important direction. With the film contest, Whale Like Me and WDCS aim to allow everyone with a camera to take these first steps with us – this is new, exciting ground and everyone’s view point can help us navigate it successfully”

Malcolm Wright
Director, Whale Like Me


The contest aims to encourage people around the world to think about our relationship with these amazing creatures. Your films can explore how you view our relationship with whales. For instance, should they be protected or used for human consumption? What does whaling mean to you? Are you for or against it and why you feel that way? Are whales like us? In what ways do you feel we are similar? Different?

Grand prize

Two return airfares to New Zealand and a whale watching adventure with world renowned Whale Watch Kaikoura off the coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Should the winner of the grand prize be a New Zealand resident, they will win two return airfares to Japan and a whale watching adventure there.


The contest is already open for entries in the following categories: general public, professional filmmakers, under 16s, film school students, high schools.

Film duration: between 30 seconds and 4 minutes.
Deadline for submissions is 11.59pm April 20th 2012, New Zealand time.
Films can be uploaded to us after you have registered, at:
Or you can send your film as a quicktime movie or .flv burned to DVD. The physical mailing address will be given after you register.


The Whale Like Me Short Film Contest has special categories for film students, high school students, and under 16 year olds. There are awards for each category.
This is an opportunity for students to learn about whales, but also about the art and power of communicating through film-making to influence their world. They will grow from being directly involved in seeking new ways to understand and safeguard our oceans.
For student entries, their teacher should first register their class at:
Students can make individual films, or team up to work together on films. Any student can make more than one film submission, and work on any number of teams.

The march of History

In Helsinki, Finland, on May 22nd 2010, experts in marine biology, philosophy, law, ethics and conservation met and determined that cetaceans qualify as non-human persons. They suggested that, as persons, whales and dolphins should be protected by rights.
The question of inalienable rights for whales is of great historical significance, as we have not yet internationally recognized such rights for a non-human life form before.

Online gallery of contestants

We want the people who highlight this unique crossroads in human history to be remembered: send a photo and short description of what motivates you to make a short film for the Contest. We will give you a place on the ‘Whale of Fame’ online gallery of contestants. Send your photo and note to