Winner Grand Jury Prize DOC NYC 2016
BAFTA nominated for Best Documentary 2016
PANDA Award nominated for Best Impact 2016
Winner Best Emerging Filmmaker Hotdocs 2016
Winner Best Director Tacoma IFF 2017
Winner Best Cinematographer Tacoma IFF 2107
Winner Best Film Wild and Scenic Festival 2017
Winner Best Documentary Irvine International Film Festival 2017
Winner Reykjavik International Film Festival Documentary Award 2016
Winner Phoenix IFF Best Documentary 2017
Winner Special Jury Prize, River Run IFF 2017
Winner Best Film Philadelphia EFF 2017
Winner Best Film Princeton EFF 2017
Winner IIPMF 2017
Winner Peabody Award 2018
Nominated EMMY News and Documentary Science and Nature 2018

The Islands and the Whales

In their remote home in the North Atlantic the Faroe Islanders have always eaten what nature could provide, proud to put local food on the table. The land yields little, so they have always relied on harvesting their seas.

Hunting whales and seabirds kept them alive for generations, and gave them the way of life they love; a life they would pass on to their children. But today they face a grave threat to this tradition.

It is not the controversy surrounding whaling that threatens the Faroese way of life; the danger is coming from the whales themselves.

The Faroese are among the first to feel the affects of our ever more polluted oceans. They have discovered that their beloved whales are toxic, contaminated by the outside world. What once secured their survival now endangers their children and the Faroe Islanders must make a choice between health and tradition.

Read an interview with the director Mike Day here:

The Islands and the Whales

Feature Documentary


81 minutes

Mike Day

Production Company
Intrepid Cinema

Mike Day

Henrik Underbjerg & Stefan Frost

Executive Producers
Minette Nelson
David Eckles
George Day
Karen Day
John Atkinson
Phil Noran
Matt Day
Niall Christie
Rachel Wexler
Jez Lewis

Mike Day

Mary Lampson
Nicole Hálová
Mike Day
Claire Ferguson
David Charap

Sound Designer
Chris Barnett

Antony Partos
Mike Sheridan

Partners and funders
Sundance Documentary Institute
San Fransisco Film Society
The Filmmaker Fund
Wellcome Trust
Creative Scotland
The Scottish Documentary Institute
The Danish Documentary Institute
Influence Film Foundation
Creative EuropeGoodPitch
Factum Arte