On November 8th 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, the worlds most powerful storm, swept through a narrow corridor of the central part of the Philippines destroying everything in it’s path and killing thousands of people.
One place devastated by Haiyan was Malapascua, a small, beautiful tropical island just off the north coast of Cebu. Almost every timber framed house and tree were completely destroyed in the space of just a few hours, leaving the islands community stranded from aid and any form of communication for days to come.
Malapascua is world renowned in the scuba diving community for being the only place in the world where the Pelagic Thresher Shark can be seen virtually every day on a sunken Island, known as Monad Shoal, they rise from deep water in the early morning to be cleaned by small cleaner fish.
It is because of this phenomenon that Malapascua has been transformed over the last decade to become one of the top dive destinations of the Philippines. Thousands of divers come to Malapascua every year to see the Thresher Sharks and to experience the laid back feel of this picture perfect tropical paradise.
Traditionally Islanders would rely on fishing and agriculture for survival, but since tourism has become so popular, hundreds are now employed in Dive Centres, Resorts and transportation, giving a huge boost to the local economy and the opportunity to prosper.
Typhoon Haiyan threatened the islands very survival.
After the Storm – A Shark’s Tail is a story of a Dive Guide, Ronel, who works for Malapascua Exotic Beach and Dive Resort. Like so many other people on the Island, tourism supports him and his family, without his job as a dive guide he would have to leave the island to gain work elsewhere.
Typhoon Haiyan was so powerful it devastated the island, but what damage had been done to the reefs and would the sharks still come to Monad Shoal? The story follows Ronel and how the uncertainty to the islanders livelihood unravels as the reefs are explored after the storm.
Fortunately this is a story with a mostly happy ending as the storm did not damage all the reefs and the thresher sharks continue to come to Monad Shoal every day. What Malapascua needs now are the dive tourists to return.
After the storm – A Shark’s Tail has already won the following awards:
‘Special Jury Award’ during the 2014 Yosemite International Film Festival
“Best Short Documentary” in Cannes, France during the 2014 Cannes Short Film Festival
“Rising Star Award” in Toronto, Canada during the 2015 Canada International Film Festival