Jun 15, 2023 - Things to Do

New documentary highlights Miami Beach shark fishermen

Shark hunters show off a hammerhead. Photo: Courtesy of Vision Films, Inc.

New documentary "South Beach Shark Club" gives a peek into the lives of hardcore surfers and shark fishermen who hung out on the pier in South Beach during the 1970s.

Why it matters: It illuminates how much Miami Beach has changed. The First Street Pier featured in the movie, now replaced by the South Pointe Pier, is long gone.

What's happening: A short film was released in 2018, but director Robert Requejo Ramos and producer Pedro Gomez expanded it into a full-length feature with Vision Films.

  • The movie centers on Rene De Dios, the self-proclaimed "greatest shark fisherman in the world."

What they're saying: "The initial idea came from sleeping on a bridge in the Florida Keys, fishing all night with my uncle," Ramos tells Axios. "He was telling stories about the old days on South Beach in the '70s as he often did after a few beers."

  • An online search the next morning turned up cool videos of old-school shark fishermen, and Ramos says he "became entranced and felt a sense of responsibility to tell this story or it would likely disappear."
  • He collected footage from fishermen, surfers, skaters and Miami Dade College, which "had a vast archive of unbelievable South Florida news footage that touched on elements of our story that were so specific, we could not have made the film without them."

Details: You can preorder the film at iTunes/AppleTV and Vimeo.

  • A special screening takes place Monday at 8pm at Bob's Your Uncle.
  • On Tuesday — the same date "Jaws" was released in 1975 — the film will be widely released for streaming on other services and cable.
  • Watch the trailer here.

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