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'The Cove' director Louie Psihoyos and star Ric O'Barry talk about the importance of Academy Award win

March 8, 2010 | 10:52 pm

In an interview with The Times' Amy Kaufman on the red carpet before the Academy Awards telecast Sunday, "The Cove" director Louie Psihoyos and star Ric O'Barry spoke about the importance of a potential Oscar win for best feature documentary.

Of course, anyone who watched the Oscars knows that "The Cove" won the award over a highly competitive field of nominees. But a statue on his mantel isn't what's important to him, Psihoyos told Unleashed recently. Instead, the filmmaker views the award as a means of increasing awareness about the dolphin slaughter, particularly in Japan.

"The Cove's" high-profile inclusion in the Academy Awards ceremony is important "because [the show is] the most watched program in Japanese television," Psihoyos said. "I didn't get into movies to win awards. I got into making this movie to start a movement to save the ocean. I've been trying to give the oceans a voice and an Oscar nomination amplifies that voice."

Psihoyos didn't have a chance to make an acceptance speech when the film won, but the director recently shared his prepared remarks with Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch blog. O'Barry, for his part, held up a sign reading "Text DOLPHIN to 44144" while he was on screen during producer Fisher Stevens' speech, referencing "The Cove's" text-messaging awareness campaign.

O'Barry will return to Japan soon to continue working to stop the slaughter of dolphins there, and his work will be spotlighted in a recently green-lighted Animal Planet TV series. The series, tentatively titled "Dolphin Warriors," is to be executive produced by O'Barry's son Lincoln.

Of course, if you can't wait for the new show to debut, you can always follow O'Barry's progress on Twitter and Facebook.

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Grotesque business as usual: In Taiji, Japan, fishermen in the Cove are still killing dolphins

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: Los Angeles Times

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