Rob Stewart Biography
Born and raised in Toronto, Canada, Rob Stewart started his journey to becoming an award-winning filmmaker at the age of 13 when he began photographing the underwater world. By the age of 18 he became a scuba instructor trainer and then moved on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, studying in Ontario, Jamaica and Kenya.
Before making Sharkwater (2007), Stewart spent four years traveling the world as chief photographer for the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s magazines and as an award-winning freelance photojournalist. Leading expeditions to the most remote areas of the world, Stewart has logged thousands of hours underwater, using the latest in rebreather and camera technologies.
Stewart’s award-winning library of underwater motion and still images has been sought out by some of the most popular and well-respected media companies around the globe, from BBC Wildlife, Discovery Channel, ABC, Asian Diver, Entertainment Tonight and various GEO magazines.
While on assignment to photograph sharks in the Galapagos Islands, Stewart discovered illegal long lining, indiscriminately killing sharks within the marine reserve. He tried promoting awareness through print campaigns, but when the public didn’t respond, Stewart decided to make a film to bring people closer to sharks. At the age of 22, he left his photography career behind and embarked on a remarkable journey over four years and through 15 different countries, resulting in the epic: Sharkwater (2006).
When Stewart boarded Sea Shepherd’s ship, Sharkwater (2007) took a turn from a beautiful underwater film into an incredible human drama filled with corruption, espionage, attempted murder charges and mafia rings, forcing Stewart and his crew to become part of the story. During filming, Stewart encountered every obstacle imaginable, including life-threatening diseases such as West Nile, Tuberculosis, Dengue Fever and flesh-eating Disease.
The film has been hugely successful, premiering at the Toronto Film Festival and winning a “Canada’s Top Ten” award. Sharkwater (2007) has gone on to become the most award-winning documentary of the year, winning over 30 awards at the most prestigious film festivals around the world. Stewart’s hardcover book, Sharkwater: An Odyssey to Save the Planet was released in October 2007 by Key Porter Books. Sharkwater (2007) made history with the largest opening weekend of any Canadian documentary and the third largest opening weekend of a documentary in Canadian history, second only to Fahrenheit 911 and Supersize Me.
Stewart is currently working on his second film.