The Cove Director Louie Psihoyos on
His New Film, Racing Extinction
Louie Psihoyos changed my life.
I’d known about the importance of ecotourism and conservation since 2000. But it was Psihoyos’ 2009 directorial debut, The Cove (which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary) that showed me the difference solid storytelling could make in confronting complex environmental issues. Along with Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, The Cove made me want to write stories that truly mattered.
Now Psihoyos (a veteran National Geographic photographer who co-founded the non-profit Oceanic Preservation Society) is back with an essential documentary six years in the making. Racing Extinction follows the director and his passionate team of activists as they expose two major threats to endangered species around the globe– climate change and the international wildlife trade.
Once again Psihoyos and Co. put themselves in harm’s way in pursuit of their story, going undercover to bust an illicit ring of wildlife traffickers in China. Once again they offer long-term sustainable solutions to devastating problems, educating Indonesian villagers on the economic benefits of conserving Manta Rays rather than killing them and educating viewers on lowering their carbon footprint. The results are informative, inspiring and way more thrilling than the new James Bond flick.
I was honored to have a chance to speak to Psihoyos a few weeks before Racing Extinction makes its December 2 premiere on the Discovery Channel.