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'The Cove' wins Best Documentary

The Oscar-winning film’s exposure is helping to save dolphins’ lives

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The orchestra cut him off before he could deliver his acceptance speech, but to director Louie Psihoyos, it was a small price to pay for the global exposure his Best Documentary winner is enjoying. Produced by actor-filmmaker Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit), The Cove exposes the mass capture and slaughter of dolphins in a secluded cove in Taiji, Japan — a bloody operation that Psihoyos, his crew, and dolphin trainer-turned-activist Ric O’Barry infiltrated in black-ops missions beginning in 2005. O’Barry, the driving force behind the film, worked on the 1960s TV series Flipper and was the guy holding the ”Text DOLPHIN to 44144” sign on stage. (Doing so enrolls you in TakePart.com’s crusade to end the dolphin hunt.) The film, which grossed less than $1 million last summer, is now poised to take off on DVD. Even more gratifying? Reports that Taiji fishermen are abandoning the cove and relocating to a less covert spot. ”They’re still killing, but now they have to do it in the open. It’s going to be much more difficult to do their business as usual,” says Psihoyos. ”If our aquatic cousins could understand what was going on, I’m sure they’d be ecstatic.”