A still from "Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike DeGruy," which will play at the Criterion in Bar Harbor this weekend. PHOTO COURTESY OF ADVENTURE ENTERTAINMENT

Ocean exploration, conservation is film focus

BAR HARBOR — A film about the late underwater filmmaker Mike deGruy, produced by his wife, will be shown at the Criterion this weekend.

The film, “Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike DeGruy,” opened the Santa Barbara Film Festival in January of this year.

DeGruy filmed the oceans for more than three decades, becoming as famous for his on-camera storytelling as for his intimate visions of the sea and the creatures who live in it.

Inspired to share his legacy as a filmmaker and storyteller, and to spread his mission for protecting the ocean, his wife and filmmaking partner Mimi deGruy returned to the edit room to produce “Diving Deep: The Life and Times of Mike deGruy.”

The film also screened in summer 2019 at Jackson Wild Film Festival, Aspen Mountain Film Festival and Telluride Mountainfilm.

“When she was finally able to watch footage after Mike died, Mimi deGruy found a piece she’d never seen, shot not long after the Deepwater Horizon Oil spill,” a statement from the film’s distributors said. “She watched it again and again and knew she had to make a film. The footage depicted a different Mike because at that moment, he’d gone from an artist sharing the wonder of the deep to an enraged and impassioned warrior.”

The film “tells that story, and while it celebrates Mike and all he accomplished in his amazing career, it also highlights what he cared most about at the time of his death: we are destroying the ocean before we even know what’s there.

“If Mike deGruy were alive today he would be spending all his energy to fight on behalf of the ocean, for continued exploration, particularly of the deep sea, research, understanding and ultimately encouraging a reciprocal relationship with it before it is too late.”

The film was written, directed and produced by Mimi Armstrong deGruy, co-produced by Shannon Dybvig and edited by Brent Sumner. The score was composed by Stephen Barber with an original song by Christopher Cross.

Visit criteriontheatre.org.

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