Envoy: Cull film producer Andre Borell with “Shark Girl’’ Madison Stewart, who appears in the soon-to-be released documentary.
Envoy: Cull film producer Andre Borell with “Shark Girl’’ Madison Stewart, who appears in the soon-to-be released documentary.

What drove Ipswich duo to join fight against shark culls

IPSWICH filmmakers Andre Borell and Reese Lowe are eager to dispel myths surrounding sharks.

"I've dived around them a lot and gone with them a lot and I've seen them for what they are naturally are,'' Mr Borell said. "Which is not what (the movie) Jaws makes them out to be.

"I just think they are really cool and they are a lot more chilled. They are a lot smarter than people give them credit for.

"In terms of the whole ecosystem, they are so important. Entire ecosystems can collapse without them.''

Assistant producer Mr Lowe agreed, having joined Mr Borell on previous dive trips, engaging with shark experts.

"I was the perfect example of a person, who four or five years ago, thought that the nets kept us safe and that sharks were bad,'' Mr Lowe said.

"Then I went to this trip to Hawaii where we met Ocean Ramsey, probably the biggest star in the film.

"I just jumped in the water with sharks, no cage, completely out of my comfort zone and the minute I put my head under the water, everything that they taught us there all kind of made sense.''

Envoy: Cull film assistant producer Reese Lowe.
Envoy: Cull film assistant producer Reese Lowe.

Mr Lowe said if everyone experienced that opportunity "they would have a completely different view of sharks.''

That's why their film Envoy: Cull is so important.

Mr Lowe, 31, previously worked with Queensland Health and in different roles before joining Mr Borell at the Dinmore-based company called The Hype Project.

Mr Borell and Mr Lowe said the early response to the film trailer from the general public had been "mind-blowing''.

"We're just a little company in Ipswich and we're making a film that is getting international attention,'' Mr Lowe said. "But when you have something driven by passion like this, the sky is limit.''

As an adventurer like his good friend and business partner, Mr Lowe said working on the documentary for the past 18 months was satisfying.

"The response was far more positive than we thought it would ever be,'' the assistant producer said.

"It goes to show that more people than what we think understand that the nets and drumlines are quite bad.

"And also second to that, the younger generation of people coming through are super motivated to make change and understand that we need to look after our beautiful beaches.

"They can't last forever and they are wonderful tourism attractions for our country so it's important we look after them.''

Mr Borell hoped the Queensland Government reviewed its shark program as the film reached a new audience after being released in July.