Private Project

A Fish Full of Dollars

Indonesia is the number one shark fishing nation in the world. Sharks are a targeted species at the Tanjung Luar fish market in Lombok, where despite world wide trends away from shark finning, the trade persists. Worldwide, fishing is pushing many species to the brink of extinction. Fishermen are forced further afield every year to satisfy the hungry demand of the Chinese and world market for shark fin soup.

Manta fishing for gill rakers has also been a growing trade in recent years, and despite law changes banning their fishing in Indonesia, some fishermen consider the risks worth taking.
This film addresses a global problem at a local level, investigating the impact of the worldwide massacre of sharks and rays on both the environment and the local community in Lombok.

How will the depletion of shark and manta species in the Lombok area affect tourism and the lives of local people, who have depended on the fruits of the seas for generations. What will happen when this resource is exhausted completely?

The trade of banned species in Indonesia is a complex issue with many financial stakeholders. There is no simple solution to this problem, but shark and manta fishing must stop now if we are to preserve the environment for future generations. We must not let this be our legacy.

This film was made not just to preach to the converted in the international audience, but also to reach the people who can make a real change - the Indonesian government and the fishermen themselves. The next step will be to make a Bahasa (Indonesian) version of the film, to show it to the fishermen in Tanjung Luar, and to distribute it widely through Indonesia to reach the people who this affects the most - the Indonesian people.

  • Adrienne Gittus
  • Adrienne Gittus
  • Jo Hurford
  • Andy Wheatcroft (Assistant Editor)
  • Adrienne Gittus
  • Samuel Mason (Narrator)
    Key Cast
  • Chriswan Sungkono (Translator)
    Technical Advisors
  • Kadek Suwena (Translator)
    Technical Advisors
  • A'an Wanstall (Translator)
    Technical Advisors
  • Yifan Li (Translator)
    Technical Advisors
  • Herwin Hera (Local Advisor)
    Technical Advisors
  • Jesse Krief (Audio Editor)
    Technical Advisors
  • Alex Neoh (Animation)
    Technical Advisors
  • Shawn Heinrichs
    Additional Photography
    Racing Extinction
  • Steve Woods
    Additional Photography
  • Elke Specker
    Additional Photography
    Divers Backyard
  • Andy Wheatcroft
    Additional Photography
  • Paul Friese
    Additional Photography
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature, Other
  • Genres:
    Nature, Wildlife, Conservation
  • Runtime:
    50 minutes 3 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 28, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    New Zealand
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Indonesian
  • Shooting Format:
    35mm, AVCHD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • ADEX Ocean Week 2017
    Suntec Singapore
    April 9, 2017
    Singapore Premiere
  • Blue Ocean Film Festival 2016
    St Petersburg
    United States
    September 23, 2016
    North American Premiere
    Best Emerging Filmmaker
  • Canadian Diversity Film Festival
    November 15, 2016
    Canadian Premiere
    Best Nature/Environmental Documentary
  • Ekotop Film Festival 2016
    Czech Republic
    October 10, 2016
    European Premiere
  • Ekofilm Festival 2016
    Czech Republic
    October 15, 2016
Director Biography - Adrienne Gittus

After 10 years of teaching diving, Adrienne Gittus found a new outlet for her love of the underwater world by capturing her surroundings in imagery, allowing her to share her passion with others. Traveling all over the world, from the Cayman Islands, to Fiji, Australia and Palau, and working as a self taught professional cinematographer since 2011, she founded Soulwater Productions in 2015.

Adrienne established her market niche in the Gili Islands and Komodo, becoming the number one creator of diving promotional videos for a variety of operations, including high-end liveaboards. She has also supplied footage to CNN, Discovery and National Geographic.

Adrienne’s latest passion is CCR, recently reaching the pinnacle of technical diving with a certification to 100m. Silent diving fits perfectly with underwater filming, allowing her to get up close and personal with hard-to-capture marine life.

Adrienne’s most enduring passion is the desire to use imagery to preserve our oceans, specifically, the fight to save sharks and rays in her adopted home of Indonesia. Her most recent project is a feature length documentary about Tanjung Luar, Indonesia’s biggest fish market.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

As a dive professional, shark and manta fishing is a personally significant issue for me. I live close to the fish market at Tanjung Luar, in my adopted home of Indonesia, and it has a daily impact on my life. The making of "A Fish Full of Dollars" has been an epic journey, and an incredible learning experience, both professional and personal.

In the process of creating this film I have witnessed some horrific scenes, and incongruently met some strong and vibrant people, who live in appalling conditions and have no choice but to fish for a living.

I have also had the guidance and inspiration of eco warriors in Indonesia, who have given me their passion and love for the ocean. I hope that this film will make a difference by building awareness of the immediacy of the problem, and encourage government officials and agencies to make a change in legislation, and the policing of the trade in illegal and threatened species in Indonesia.