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Making The Film

Wild Caught: The Life and Struggles of an American Fishing Town

Film by Matthew Barr
Produced by Matthew Barr with Alan Abrams
Cinematographer: Matthew Barr, Andrew Parke and Barry Shea
Sound: Hsiao-Kang Chu, Max Negin.
Editing: Alan Abrams, Matthew Barr and Cristopher Holmes with Andrew Elias. and Kyle Hefner
Copyright: 2006, Matthew Barr
01 hours, 29 minutes, Color
Original format: DV Mini, 2006
Distributor: Unheard Voices Project
More Film Facts
Home streaming only. For other permissions apply to Matthew Barr or to the distributor, Unheard Voices Project.


Preview one minute trailer - Comment on film


In 1999, at North Topsail Beach, Matt Barr watched the shrimp boats pull their nets just offshore. Curious, he followed the boats up the New River Inlet to where they offloaded their catch in the small fishing village of Sneads Ferry. Captivated by the ingenuity, wisdom, and sense of community the fishermen shared, he spent seven years filming them at work and with their families, interviewing them as they shared the lore of the sea that had been handed down for generations.

What started as the story of a tight-knit traditional fishing town changed in 2003. The price of shrimp, the main catch in Sneads Ferry, plummeted as the result of the rise of imported farm-raised shrimp. Around the same time, Sneads Ferry was "discovered" by real estate developers, pushing housing costs and property taxes sky-high. The small-scale fishermen went from being able to provide for their families to being a small step away from disaster.

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