The Film

High tide on the Arabian Sea: an aging tanker rushes toward a sandy shore at full steam. There it joins other beached mountains of steel to be taken apart by barefoot men with blowtorches. It may be the world's most dangerous job with flying five-ton slabs of metal, drops from precarious perches, and explosions of flammable gas endangering the workers.

Welcome to the ship breaking yards of Alang, India, where the world's oceangoing ships come to die. Tens of thousands of Indians live and work here, systematically dismembering, by hand, the hulks of hundreds of vessels every year, piece by piece.

Shipbreakers is a visually stunning portrait of this vast maritime graveyard. It follows the daily lives of workers and owners who will spend months toiling from sunup to sundown to methodically destroy enormous vessels with little more than acetylene torches and back breaking effort.

The shipbreakers come from villages throughout India risking life and limb to dismember the largest moving objects on the planet. They live beside the shipyards, sometimes for years at a stretch, eating, sleeping and socializing in a shantytown that exists solely to supply feed to this incredible enterprise.

The owners worry about schedules and making a profit - margins are slim - and the investors have several million dollars at stake. The government worries about the industry's profile in the world press, health and safety of the workers in the yards and keeping the economy going.

Shipbreakers is an international story of human tenacity, Third World labor and geopolitics unfolding on the shores of India.



  • Festival de Films sur les Droits de la Personne de Montreal/ Montreal Human Rights film Festival (2006)

  • Viva Gaia! Ecological Film and Video for the 3rd Millenium – Rome, Italy

  • LA Harbor International Film Festival – Los Angeles, USA

  • Milano Film Festival

  • CinemAmbiente / Environmental Film Festival - Torino, Italy

  • International Film Festival of Human Rights - Barcelona, Spain

  • Seoul Green Film Festival

  • Melbourne International Film Festival

  • Human Rights Film Festival - New Zealand

  • Banff World Television Festival

  • Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival

  • Planet in Focus - International Environmental Film & Video Festival 2005

  • Thessaloniki Documentary Festival Images of the 21st Century

  • Ecofilms Rhodes International Film & Visual Arts Festival

  • Global Visions Film Festival - Edmonton

  • Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal

  • Mar del Plata International Film Festival - Buenos Aires

  • Canadian Images – Vancouver International Film Festival

  • Beyond Borders – Calgary International Film Festival



  • Gemini Award - Best Photography in a Documentary Program

  • Golden Deer - Ecofilms Rhodes International Film & Visual Arts Festival

  • Winner of Deborah Fletcher Award - Canadian International Development Agency

  • Golden Sheaf Award - Best Nature/Environment Program - Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival

  • Golden Sheaf Award - Best Direction, Non-Fiction - Yorkton Short Film and Video Festival

  • Gemini nomination for Best Picture Editing in a Documentary Program

  • Nomination for Rockie Award for Best Canadian Program - Banff World Television Festival

  • Nomination for Golden Sheaf Award - Best Sound, Non-Fiction

  • Canadian Society of Cinematographers Nomination for Best Shooting in Documentary

  • Nominated for Best Canadian Documentary – Calgary International Film Festival

2 563346-29.JPG


4 563345-28.JPG

Canadian Sales

Storyline Entertainment

International Sales

National Film Board of Canada

National Distribution 1-800-267-7710
USA Distribution 1-800-542-2164
International Distribution 1-514-283-2703

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram