A giant screen film about the predator we love to fear...

Misrepresented, maligned and misunderstood, the Great White Shark is an iconic predator: the creature we love to fear… GWS will explore the Great White’s place in our imaginations, in our fears, and in the reality of its role at the top of the oceanic food chain…

Shot on location in South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico and California, the film looks to find the truth behind the mythic creature forever stigmatised by its portrayal in the world’s first blockbuster movie, JAWS.

Great whites pre-date the dinosaurs in evolutionary history, and have evolved to regulate their body temperature and give birth to live pups, much like mammals: yet we fail to look on them with the warmth we might afford land based carnivores such as lions, tigers and bears.

GWS aims to reveal the strength and beauty of these animals by looking through the eyes of those who have been touched by their shark encounters: Mike Rutzen, South African shark operator, who swims with Great Whites in the aptly named Shark Alley, Dr. Chris Lowe who has been tagging juvenile white sharks off the coast of Los Angeles, revealing more and more of their secret life, and two record breaking free-divers, Frederic Buyle and William Winram, who tag Great Whites by simply holding their breath and free diving with the sharks…

Great White Shark concludes the oceanic trilogy begun by Wild Ocean and The Last Reef, and brings natures greatest predator to Giant Screen 3D as never before…




Three people featured in the film free dive with Great White Sharks:


Fred Buyle

Freediver/Shark Expert/Photographer

Since childhood Fred has been in contact with the sea, spending several months per year on the family’s sailboat. At the age of 10 he started freediving, and swam with his first shark at age 13. He started teaching freediving in 1991.

Fred set his first freediving world record in 1995, and between 1997 and 2000 he achieved three more. In 1999, he passed the 100m deep’s mythical barrier on one breath of air—only the eighth person to do so.

In 2002 Fred started underwater photography to show the beauties of the underwater world. All his pictures are taken while freediving, using only available light, to minimize the impact on the ecosystem.

Besides underwater imaging, Fred helps scientists with tasks such as shark tagging for telemetry studies or sampling for DNA studies. So far he successfully tagged scalloped hammerheads, great hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, lemon sharks and great white sharks.


William Winram


Born and raised in the Canadian Pacific Northwest, William is a former world champion in the sport of breath-hold diving or freediving. In June 2007 he set a world record by diving the Arch in the Blue Hole of Dahab, Egypt, without fins.

In 2008, to help safely develop the sport in Canada, with François Leduc, William founded AIDA Canada, the Canadian freediving governing body. An instructor-trainer for several diving systems, he teaches breath-hold diving classes around the world and coaches several international athletes.

Considered an expert in shark behavior, William uses his unique breath-hold diving skills and knowledge of sharks, together with friend and colleague Fred Buyle, to provide direct environmental work by tagging, photographing, filming and taking tissue samples of various species of sharks.

As a natural evolution, in 2012, he founded The Watermen Project and recently, William was asked to become an Ocean Ambassador for the Marine and Polar Programme of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the oldest and largest environmental NGO in the world.


Mike Rutzen

Freediver/Great White Shark Expert

Michael Rutzen is well known as one of the few people in the world who freedives with great white sharks. He took up working as a cage diving operator in 1994, after a career as a local fisherman. He started freediving with white sharks in 1998.

Michael has been a member of the White Shark Cage Diving Foundation since its inception. During this time he was at the forefront of developing and pioneering techniques that are now the backbone of the industry.

With Shark Diving Unlimited, he guided several world-renowned still photographers and film crews and started a series of internationally-acclaimed documentaries.

Currently Michael gives field support to all the authorized research projects on population dynamics studies, DNA and isotopes sampling programs, studies through the Marine and Coastal Management of South Africa, and was involved in satellite tagging and recent acoustic tagging.


Shark scientists feature prominently in the film: 


Dr Christopher Lowe

Chris grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, where he spent a vast majority of his youth fishing and diving the waters around Cape Cod. With degrees in Marine Biology and Zoology, he serves as a Professor of Marine Biology at California State University Long Beach where he runs the CSULB Shark Lab, originally founded by Dr. Donald R. Nelson, an innovator in the use and development of acoustic telemetry. Maintaining the CSULB Shark Lab history in innovation, Chris and his students continue the development and use of acoustic and satellite telemetry techniques to study the movement, behavior and physiology of sharks, rays and game fish. Chris and his students have been studying the baby white sharks of southern California for nine years and have greatly contributed to the field of knowledge for this enigmatic species. Some of his recent research has focused on the development of robots for autonomously tracking sharks. Lowe received the University’s Outstanding Professor Award in 2009 and Impact in Research Award in 2012.

Dr Lowe was also a script editor/consultant on the movie.


Dr. Mauricio Hoyos Padilla

Beginning his career as a shark nursery ground and reproductive biology expert, Mauricio has always had a passion for shark conservation and has dedicated his professional life to the behaviour of sharks. Currently, his work is focused on researching behavior of 10 species of sharks in areas all across Mexico including Guadalupe Island, Revillagigedo Archipelago, Clipperton Atoll and the Mexican Caribbean. Mauricio has remained active in shark conservation outreach and education, giving talks to groups as young as elementary school children as well as high school and university students. His goal is to change the misconception of sharks in the human mind. He helped found a group of biologists who have dedicated their work to the conservation of sharks and rays in Mexican waters through research and public outreach in education. He is also a collaborating scientist on the boards of many different shark conservation foundations.


Suzy Quasnichka
script consultant

Suzy Quasnichka, a marine biologist, has worked with whale sharks in Australia, Djibouti, India, Honduras, South Africa and Tanzania. While working for SRI in Australia, she compiled a video catalogue of whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef spanning 5 years, led field expeditions on board the Kairos to the northern Mozambique Channel, and contributed images of more than 150 whale sharks to the Ecocean catalogue. A underwater filmmaker, she recently worked in South Africa filming great white sharks, tiger sharks and bull sharks. Today she runs Africa Diver promoting shark conservation and education tours with world-class dive operators.


Narrated by Billy Nighy

Great White Shark is pleased to have award- winning stage and screen actor Bill Nighy as its narrator.

Nighy received a BAFTA Award, a London Film Critics Circle Award and an Evening Standard British Film Award for his performance as an aging rock star in Richard Curtis’s 2003 ensemble comedy hit Love Actually. He also won a Los Angeles Film Critics Award for his collective work in that film, as well as AKA, I Capture the Castle and Lawless Heart.

His long list of film credits also includes Wild Target, with Rupert Grint and Emily Blunt; Pirate Radio, which reunited him with Richard Curtis; Bryan Singer’s Valkyrie, with Tom Cruise; Richard Eyre’s Notes on a Scandal, for which he earned a London Film Critics Circle Award nomination; Underworld and Underworld: Evolution; Fernando Meirelles’ The Constant Gardener, garnering a British Independent Film Award (BIFA) nomination; Lawless Heart, which brought him a BIFA nomination; and Still Crazy, for which he won an Evening Standard British Film Award.

Born in England, Nighy began his career on the British stage and has since earned acclaim for his work in numerous plays including David Hare’s The Vertical Hour, Pravda and A Map of the World. He has also performed in plays by other leading dramatists including Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, Brian Friel, Anton Chekhov and Peter Gill. He received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actor for his
performance in Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange. On Broadway he starred in the 2006 premiere of David Hare’s The Vertical Hour, directed by Sam Mendes.


DIRECTORS: Luke Cresswell & Steve McNicholas

PRODUCERS: Luke Cresswell Steve McNicholas D.J. Roller David Marks Don Kempf


MUSIC COMPOSER: Luke Cresswell & Steve McNicholas

EDITORS: Luke Cresswell & Steve McNicholas



TEXT: Luke Cresswell & Steve McNicholas

SCRIPT EDITOR/CONSULTANTS: Suzy Quasnichka & Dr. Chris Lowe

PRINCIPALS Frederic Buyle, William Winram, Mike Rutzen, Dr Chris Lowe & Dr Mauricio Hoyos Padilla

PRODUCERS: Yes/No Productions Liquid Pictures Giant Screen Films

SUPPORTING ORGANIZATIONS: Oceana ( WildAid ( Bite-Back (

DISTRIBUTORS: Giant Screen Films


65-MM RECORDING: Fotokem


FILM NEGATIVE: Eastman Kodak Film


CAMERA SYSTEM PROVIDED BY: Liquid Pictures & Yes/No Productions

MUSIC MIXING: Mike Roberts

RECORDING STUDIO: The Old Market, Hove

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Monterey Bay Aquarium, California State University Long Beach, Universal Studios



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Yes/No Productions

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