Drama over Newfoundland puffins attracts NYC filmmakers

Filmmakers Philip Robibero and Beryl Shereshewsky travelled from New York City to Witless Bay last August to make a documentary about the community, released this week. (Twitter @greatbigstory)Trouble has been brewing in Witless Bay over property being built across from an ecological reserve for puffins for over a year, and now it's the subject of a documentary. Along with its scenery on the coast of Newfoundland, roughly 30 kilometres south of St. John's, the town has a Puffin Patrol, a service  Juergen and Elfie Schau created to rescue lost pufflings – baby puffins – and return them to the reserve. And as filmmaker Beryl Shereshewsky puts it, "There's way more to this story than just saving the puffins."> It might seem like it's a small town story, but in reality what's happening there is being echoed everywhere in the world.- Beryl ShereshewskyThe conflict unfolding between concerned residents of Witless Bay and a family building a structure in the area — combined with the adventures of the Puffin Patrol — attracted Shereshewsky and fellow filmmaker Philip Robibero to travel from New York City to make a documentary about it last August.  The Flock  was released this week, created for Great Big Story, part of CNN-owned Global Media Company.Puffins are part of a new documentary shot in Witless Bay. (Scott Leslie)Battle of Witless BayShereshewsky and Robibero discovered the story of the town's controversy on Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia members of the public can contribute to. "I was reading about the town of Witless Bay and there was a part where there was like, some kind of controversy bar in the page. And it was saying that the town council had recently hired a lawyer to ... intimidate the town, because there's some crazy things going on on social media. So we kind of dove into that," said Robibero.> People were pretty open to talking to us, and were really honest on camera.- Beryl ShereshewskyLorna Yard runs a local news publication in Witless Bay, and is vehemently opposed to the construction of a small house in a location called Ragged Beach, which is across the water from the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve, an island chock-full of ...Read more

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