Greg Kaufman (far left) discusses the plight of the humpback whales

One year ago, almost to the day of our 3rd Annual World Whale Film Festival, Pacific Whale Foundation’s founder Greg Kaufman passed away after a hard fought battle with cancer. A pioneer in noninvasive humpback whale research in the mid-1970s, Greg founded Pacific Whale Foundation in 1980 to educate the public, from a scientific perspective, about whales and their ocean habitat. The trailer for Greg’s upcoming biography film ‘A Voice for Whales’ will be shown exclusively to the audience of this event and will be presented by the film’s creator, Selket Kaufman, wife to the late Greg Kaufman.

What inspired you to create your film?

This film has been long overdue. It’s a story that needs to be told and I am honored that I have the opportunity to do so. I am very passionate about this project because it’s close to my heart. It’s a work in progress but I am enthusiastic to be producing my best work yet.

Selket Kaufman

Why do you think it’s important to share your film at the Pacific Whale Foundation World Whale Film Festival specifically?

It’s an inspirational story our interconnectedness and the delicate relationship we have with the natural world. The main focus is about Greg’s conviction to stand up for those who have no voice against injustice. His unique vision fueled the creation of a mission into an organization that has become Pacific Whale Foundation.

Have you had any previous experiences with Pacific Whale Foundation?

Yes, I knew I wanted to be part of Pacific Whale Foundation somehow when I first moved to Maui, but I wasn’t exactly sure how. My background is in photojournalism with a deep passion for the ocean, so I knocked at the door several times and I took the first opportunity I was offered to start working. The more time I spent getting to know the work and the incredible people that have become like family to me, the more I noticed the impact of this organization. After working a few years with the adventure photo department, I was introduced to Anne Rillero who was the Communication Manager at the time, she had viewed my portfolio and previous documentaries and asked if I could tell Greg’s story, that’s when I knew I found my calling. Greg was a remarkable man with an inspiring story.

Why do you think people should come to the film festival?

It’s going to be a great night out! A chance get involved with the community not to mention support a great cause. I encourage those who are interested to get tickets in advance, we sold out the first two years and I believe this will be the best one yet. Who would enjoy this film festival? If you love the ocean and care about the environment, it’s a great opportunity to get inspired and see motivating films. The line up this year is really incredible and I will be presenting the trailer “A Voice for Whales”. There will be the opportunity meet the filmmakers for an Apres Film Social at the Wai Bar afterwards.

Posted by:Alicia Wood

Alicia joined Pacific Whale Foundation in 2018 as communications coordinator, after graduating from the University of Hawaii Maui College with a degree in Sustainable Science Management.

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