More than three weeks into its 8th annual, biggest and boldest SharkFest ever, National Geographic sinks its teeth into next summer’s SharkFest headliner with the announcement of Shark Beach, featuring global movie star Chris Hemsworth (Avengers and Thor films).
Hemsworth, an enthusiastic surfer and renowned environmentalist, is fascinated by the ocean’s top predators for their incredible magnificence and mystery, but he’s equally perplexed by the dangers they pose when humans venture into shark territory.
In Shark Beach, produced by award-winning Nutopia (The World According to Jeff Goldblum, One Strange Rock), Hemsworth embarks on a once-in-a-lifetime mission to investigate the measures put in place to safeguard our co-existence and to uncover the complicated truth behind the alarming increase in shark attacks in Australia.
Joined by the world’s preeminent shark experts — including surfers, conservationists, shark advocates and marine biologists — Hemsworth begins his journey in his own backyard, Byron Bay, Australia. Here, he uncovers the reasons for increased shark attacks so close to home in recent years.
Hemsworth joins local biologists to explore how existing preventative measures work to stave off shark-human encounters and dives with different species of sharks to understand their behaviors and power. He also uncovers the latest breakthroughs in shark science technology designed to protect both sharks and humans.
Hemsworth’s mission to understand sharks is more than a journey; he’s searching for the answers to help pave the way to living more harmoniously among sharks.
“I’ve spent a great deal of my life near or in the ocean, sharing the same backyard with sharks, and recently there’s been some growing concern regarding an increase in shark activity,” says Hemsworth.
“It’s crucial that we both revere and respect sharks. Our oceans depend on these apex predators for a biodiverse ecosystem; however, we must also learn how to protect ourselves, and that’s my main objective in Shark Beach.”
“SharkFest has become the port of call for A-list scientists and filmmakers who share our passion for sharks and the health of the planet’s oceans. In success, we’re also drawing in celebrity thought leaders who have the power to raise awareness and impact behavior through their incredible social platforms,” says Geoff Daniels, executive vice president of global unscripted entertainment at National Geographic.
“That’s why I couldn’t be more excited about Shark Beach and our latest collaboration with Chris Hemsworth. He’s a fearless defender of nature with a proven commitment to conservation and has an unrivaled willingness to do whatever it takes to help protect sharks for generations to come.”
“Continuing to build on Nutopia’s relationship with A-list talent like Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and now Chris Hemsworth, Shark Beach is a fantastic opportunity to explore the tricky relationship between humans and sharks,” says Jane Root, Nutopia CEO and founder.
“As someone interested in conservation, Hemsworth has a deep admiration for these creatures and knows how dangerous sharks can be for swimmers and surfers. We are excited to partner with him to further explore ways both can live together safely.”
Shark Beach, a marquee special for SharkFest 2021, is produced for National Geographic and Nat Geo WILD by Nutopia. Chris Hemsworth and Ben Grayson are executive producers.
For Nutopia, Jane Root, Arif Nurmohamed and Mark Hedgecoe are executive producers. For National Geographic, Tracy Rudolph Jackson is executive producer, and Geoff Daniels is executive vice president, global unscripted entertainment.