ARTIFISHAL is a film about people, rivers, and the fight for the future of wild fish and the environment that supports them. It explores wild salmon’s slide toward extinction, threats posed by fish hatcheries and fish farms, and our continued loss of faith in nature.
Director Josh "Bones" Murphy successfully exposes opposing sides of a salmon crisis by pitting the narratives of ecologists and conservationists against the human tendency to engineer and control, probing into the psychology of a lucrative hatchery industry. In this instance, the fingerprints lie across the weakened genetic makeup of thousands of hatchery-bred salmon, interbreeding and competing with wild salmon in rivers and oceans across the Earth. Woven among artistic shots of pristine natural forests and rivers of America's Western coast is the story of a sacred relationship between Native Americans and salmon. As recited in accordance with Yurok belief, "If we don't take care of this world, and there are no more salmon, then there will be no more need for Yurok people." If hard-earned photos from the aftermath of Washington's Cypress Island Atlantic Salmon open-water pen breach isn't enough to incite a call to action, we're taken to Norway, where the repulsive reality of farm-raised salmon health is revealed by journalist Mikael Frodin Angler. This documentary does well to inspire an appreciation for nature's unhindered perfection while fueling a disdain for human hubris.
Director Biography: Co-founder of Liars & Thieves, a San Francisco-based production company, Josh "Bones" Murphy is a director and producer whose career began with the award-winning, action-sports documentary series "Unparalleled," and now spans commercial, branded content, television and feature film. His recent feature documentary, Artifishal (2019), premiered at 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in April.