True North

Captivating images of the Salish Sea tell a tale of epochal survival for its apex species: the southern resident killer whale. From the northern edges of Vancouver Island to Oregon’s Lower Snake Rivers, two passionate filmmakers connect with activists, Indigenous leaders, and renowned scientists to understand the fate of the orcas and find solutions to our most pressing environmental threats. A vital, eye-opening analysis of interdependence, humbly offering the next generation a conscientious path forward.

In August, a United Nations climate change report issued a "code red for humanity." Yet the alarm had already flashed red for young conservationists Gloria Pancrazi and Elena Jean as the world witnessed an orca carry her deceased neonatal calf along the ocean surface for 17 days. Called to action, this sprawling debut documentary evolved into a justice-driven dissertation on the science, politics and myriad systems that must be in equilibrium to sustain life in this ecosystem.

Canadian premiere
Director Icon Director
Gloria Pancrazi, Elena Jean
Executive Producer Gloria Pancrazi, Elena Jean, Andrew Luba, Nicholas Castel
Producer Gloria Pancrazi, Elena Jean, Andrew Luba, Nicholas Castel, Victoria Obermeyer
Cinematographer Nicholas Castel, Gabriel Swift, Bronson Whytcross, John Fulton, Victoria Obermeyer, Jan Schaedle Ubeda, Ben Cox, Joel Barrow, Will Allen, Brad Lancaster, Elena Jean
Editor Nicholas Castel, Elena Jean
Music Julien Verschooris
Production Company Coexistence Films
Contact Gloria Pancrazi & Elena Jean
Canada 2021 95 min. Website | Trailer Rated PG - Coarse Language
Presented by
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Please note this film can only be viewed in British Columbia when streaming on VIFF Connect.

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Pancrazi-Gloria headshot

Director – Gloria Pancrazi

Gloria Pancrazi is a Canadian documentary filmmaker. She has worked on environmental and Indigenous justice documentaries including The Country (2018) and Impossible to Contain (2017). After witnessing firsthand the impending extinction of the Southern Resident orcas, she decided to take matters into her own hands and create Coextinction, a documentary that would educate and inspire people worldwide to take action.

Jean-Elena headshot

Director – Elena Jean

Elena Jean is a Canadian documentary filmmaker based out of Tofino, within the traditional territory of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation. She has filmed endangered species around the world with world-renowned organizations like SeaLegacy and Milkywire. Her passion is to tell stories about hope, ingenuity, and wild beauty, and to show the interconnected patterns of extinction.