Video Preview: LookBermuda’s Sea Venture Film

March 7, 2014

After five years in production, LookBermuda’s Sea Venture film will be screened as the opening night local film at the 2014 Bermuda International Film Festival [BIFF] on March 21st, which will be followed by the official Premiere in April / May.

The Sea Venture is an integral part of the Bermuda story, her wrecking led to the permanent settlement of the island in 1609 but her tale does not there.

“Downing’s Wreck, The story of the Sea Venture” charts the efforts of those who hunted for the wreck, discovered her lost timbers and pieced together the facts about the events of 1609.


The film pulls visual resources from archive libraries and private collections both here and abroad and when possible uses first time accounts of those directly involved to tell the complete story.

The documentary follows the work of the early pioneers of wreck hunting in Bermuda who helped develop the emerging discipline of Marine Archaeology, the rediscovery of her remains in 1958 and the great lengths taken in the early 1980s to prove that this was the Sea Venture.

The marriage of modern computer modeling techniques with Elizabethan shipwright manuscripts allowed researchers at Southampton University to build a digital reconstruction of the fabled ship and challenge long held theories that the Sea Venture was not fit for open ocean voyages being swallowed up by the approaching tempest.

Their analysis shows that it was in fact her excellent hull design that allowed her to survive the onslaught of three days of hurricane conditions and limp into the shelter of the island’s east end to start over 400 years of our history.

This project was initiated with the help of a Grant from the 2009 Charitable Trust to create what was initially intended to be a 20 minute film primarily for educational use. However once research began on the topic it became clear that a much more detailed and higher quality film would be required to do this most important topic justice.

This project has compiled all existing media assets related to the Sea Venture both internationally and locally, sourced from archives, museums, image libraries, UK archives, National Geographic archives and private collections.

LookBermuda said, “This was an exhaustive process and includes tracking down 32 year old film reels in the UK of interviews which were rescued and converted. This alone took 18 months.

“Now with the completion and release of the final portions of the ongoing archaeological research [the results of which have yet to be made public] the film has been complete and the resulting film is being produced in HD to broadcast standards setting a new benchmark for local films of this type.

“We have thus far shared draft versions of the film to public and private school educators who have confirmed that it will be very useful in enhancing their curriculums, which will ensure its use for years to come with generations of students.

“It will be the featured local film on the opening night of BIFF 2014 followed by an official Premiere in April or May and subsequent public screenings.

“It will then be embedded in local curriculums, broadcast on local TV, streamed online and released as part of a DVD and Blu Ray DVD set to ensure that the widest cross section of Bermuda’s population is able to see it.”

Read More About

Category: All, Entertainment, Films/Movies, History, News, Videos