Phil Demers, an eccentric free spirit, becomes an unexpectedly popular trainer at Niagara Falls’ Marineland after forming a bond with the park’s first walrus, Smooshi. For the next decade Demers cares for Smooshi and other animals in increasingly decrepit conditions. After he quits as a result of these concerns—and is accused of plotting to steal a walrus—Demers takes to social media and the courts, waging war to save Smooshi. Unconventional and heart-wrenching, Nathalie Bibeau’s film follows Demers on his crusade for justice.(Courtesy of Gravitas Ventures)
Winner: Audience Award, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival
DOC NYC Live event: Friday, Nov. 13 at 1 ET on Facebook Live– Phil Demers, the Marineland whistleblower of the title, is joined by another water park whistleblower, Jeff Ventre (Blackfish), to discuss their actions with filmmaker Nathalie Bibeau.