New documentary explores the lionfish

  • Thursday, November 28, 2013

Mount Pleasant residents Lydia Pontius and Pete Hennrikus have officially begun pre-production of the documentary, “Gynna: Lionfish Huntress.” The project, filmed in Akumal, Mexico, has to do with the lionfish invasion that is impacting the waters of the Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea and which is decimating fish populations off the coast of South Carolina.

Pontius and an international crew have just returned from Akumal where they began filming. Akumal is about a 1.5 hour drive south of Cancun on the Caribbean Sea. Lionfish are an invasive species with no known predators which are having a destructive force on fish populations and the people who depend on them to survive. The documentary focuses on Gynna Sainz who put together a group of divers to hunt lionfish up and down the coast where she lives. She has a culinary degree and owns an eco-restaurant in Akumal where she serves lionfish in a variety of delicious ways. The documentary will explore the issues that surround lionfish and inspire others to find sustainable ways to fight threats to the environment. “Gynna: Lionfish Huntress” will seek to educate the viewer by focusing on one community - Akumal, Mexico- and what Gynna and her band of lionfish hunters do to address the lionfish problem.

Based on the success of the documentary, the producers will create a television series where Gynna will travel to some amazing places, hunt lionfish with local dive groups, interact with communities and cook with local chefs creating new recipes. Charleston will be highlighted in the series where at least one restaurant is already serving lionfish.

The release date is tentatively scheduled for summer 2014. Early screening and premiere event opportunities will be offered to qualified conservation organizations. Retailers, conservation groups and clubs will have the chance to exclusively premiere the new film “Gynna: Lionfish Huntress” in their area as a fundraiser for conservation projects. Interested groups should contact Lydia Pontius or Pete Hennrikus by e-mail at info@lionfishgynna.com. To contribute funds and for sponsorship opportunities please

e-mail info@lionfishgynna.com and put the word funding in the subject line.

Project updates, news, behind the scenes materials and early promotional pieces will be available over the coming months at www.lionfishgynna.com.

Did you know that lionfish have venomous spines that are incredibly painful when touched? Go to www.lionfishgynna.com to see how Gynna handles them in and out of the water.

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