‘Taking Back Our Beach’ Takes to Cinema Screens

Taking Back Our Beach, a feature documentary directed by Anton Steel (DEGANZ), is set to have its theatrical release in Aotearoa cinemas on 5 October.

The film looks at the community response to the 2011 cargo vessel Rena grounding on Ōtāiti (Astrolabe Reef) and the subsequent environmental disasters. The tonnes of heavy oil and diesel fuel split into the ocean devastated wildlife and washed up onto nearby beaches, making it Aotearoa’s worst maritime environmental disaster.

Anton tells the story through the eyes of the community affected, with a collection of interviews, archival footage, photos, re-enactments, and computer-generated imagery. The film focuses on the ongoing impact the grounding had on the Bay of Plenty community, and how the community has rallied despite it.

The 90-minute film premiered in this year’s DocEdge festival in the Making an Impact category. Now, it’ll be available to the wider public, with screenings throughout the Bay of Plenty, Auckland, the Coromandel, Christchurch, Northland, and Wellington, amongst others.

The film’s theatrical 5 October premiere marks the 12th anniversary of the grounding, making the release extra special for Anton and the team.

You can watch the trailer below!

Last updated on 14 September 2023