Interview: Last of the Right Whales Director Nadine Pequeneza

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“I always want my films to make a difference in the world whether it’s raising public awareness or causing substantive change in regulation, legislation, or people’s behaviour to make the world a better place,” director, writer, and producer Nadine Pequeneza tells That Shelf.

Perhaps it is idealism at its finest, but she speaks from experience: “Having done this for 20 years, I know what can happen. I’ve seen what can happen.”

This past summer Kenneth Young was released from a U.S. prison following a campaign bolstered by Pequeneza’s film 15 to Life: Kenneth’s Story. With the help of the film’s reach and Pequeneza’s work with the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, 23 states and the District of Columbia have banned sentencing juveniles to life without parole. And in turn, Young has been given a second lease on life.

In her next film, Last of the Right Whales, Pequeneza looks to make a similar impact albeit in a very different context.

Read Rachel Ho's full interview at