As the world’s only museum dedicated to the Gulf of Mexico, it is fitting that GulfQuest/National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico will host the state of Alabama premiere of Dispatches From the Gulf, a new documentary that follows teams of scientists as they investigate the Deepwater Horizon oil spill’s effect on the world’s ninth largest body of water.
GulfQuest will host two “museum members only” screenings of the 55-minute documentary on Thursday, April 7, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. A panel discussion and Q&A will follow each Thursday evening screening. To make a reservation for the “members only” screenings (or inquire about becoming a GulfQuest member), call 251-436-8901 ext. 850, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday, April 9, GulfQuest visitors will have four opportunities to see the documentary: 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. The screenings at GulfQuest are being offered in advance of the documentary’s April 20 debut on Alabama Public Television (APT) and other PBS affiliates nationwide. The Saturday screenings are included in the price of a GulfQuest admission ticket and do not require a reservation.
In addition to the scientific findings, Dispatches from the Gulf considers the socio-cultural implications of the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Produced by Emmy Award©-winning filmmakers Marilyn and Hal Weiner and narrated by Academy Award© winner Matt Damon, the documentary examines the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on local communities, from members of the tourism industry to families who rely on seafood such as shrimp and crabs for their livelihood. The ongoing, ultimate goal of the teams of scientists is to discover new and better ways to mitigate and cope with future spills. Their collective studies have become the largest coordinated oceanographic research endeavor in history.
The film, the newest episode in PBS’ Journey to Planet Earth environmental television series, also captures instances of innovation—biologists and oceanographers use remotely operated vehicles and manned submersibles to study the effects of the oil on the ocean floor; chemists and engineers design new laboratory techniques to understand the impact of the spill on fish species and how chemical dispersants interact with oil.
“GulfQuest is honored to host the statewide premiere of this important film,” Tony Zodrow, GulfQuest executive director said. “At GulfQuest, our entire world revolves around the Gulf of Mexico, from the past, to the present, to the future. We have worked very hard to bring many different aspects of the Gulf of Mexico to life for our visitors. But the work the scientists in this film are doing is probably more important than any of us realize. To bring this film to our members and to our visitors is truly an honor.”
GulfQuest joins other Gulf Coast cultural institutions in premiering Dispatches from the Gulf, including the Houston Museum of Natural Science, Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans, The Witte Museum in San Antonio, the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, Mississippi, and the Museum of Science and History in Jacksonville, Florida.Dispatches from the Gulf is made possible by a generous grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), with additional funding from the Wallace Genetic Foundation and the Farvue Foundation. The movie trailer is available online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_yD9ABHWdA&feature=youtu.be