Heartbeat of the river movie poster

“The big winners this time being, Heartbeat of the River, which is an incredible documentary which reveals the mysteries of an underwater world. Some of the best cinematography and editing I’ve seen. BC filmmaker, Eiko Jones takes home 4 awards.”                                              –Cinema WorldFest Awards 

“Crazy times keep us all on our toes and ready for the unexpected…. then along comes Heartbeat of the River. This is a documentary determined to shake everything up. This is a film pushing for all the gold! Yes, I said a documentary… Really!”  –CWFA Film festival

“Hello Eiko… I’m a judge at Cinema WorldFest and I wanted to tell you how incredible I found your documentary… It’s simply riveting! And congratulations on your selection!”  –Brian

“I just watched it 3 times. Just INCREDIBLE. My son is an Emmy award winning video producer, so I kind of think I know great stuff when I see it! Keep rolling friend!”  –Gary

“Shelley and I just watched your film and were totally amazed with the cinematography, the story line that you developed and the narration.  Very well done, thank you for sharing.  I’m still wondering how you managed to get in so close with the feeding shots and the battles the salmon encountered particularly on their return.”    – Jack

“Excellent, the trailer did its job … I am looking forward to seeing the show” – Susan

Can’t wait to see the whole film . Wonderful and very important. Thank you” – Angela

“This is wonderful, Eiko! I get to see the miracle of salmon through your brilliant photo documentary. Thank you!”- Lynn

“Well done Eiko!!!! Huge gratitude for what you do” – Darlene

In intimate look at the world of salmon

My purpose and desire for making this documentary is to take people into the world of salmon as I see it when I am with them underwater. Having spent six years observing and documenting the lives of these salmon in the Campbell River and Quinsam River tributary I have collected a vast amount of footage. Most people don’t ever stick their head underwater in a flowing river, so they do not get to see how the view is from under the surface.  By sharing this in the form of a movie I hope to bring the miracle of the salmon to everyone. They truly are the heartbeat of the river.

Campbell River is known as the Salmon Capital of the World. For me it is more than just salmon fishing. I believe it is about them as a keystone species, feeding all other manner of life on the coast. Thus making the diversity of wildlife here greater, from eagles and bears, to whales, sea lions and more.

I have been spending a lot of time this spring and summer filming the young salmon along the banks of the Campbell River for this movie. I made this short little video below to express my thoughts and feelings about my time I spend on and in the river. This is truly my happy place.

This year I saw lots of juvenile chinook salmon in the various parts of the river. They were a mix of wild and hatchery fish. Here in this image are hundreds of chinook fry that were placed as eggs into boxes in the river. They had just emerged and were filling the elk channel.

Nov 08 2019      So today was a good day. For the last week I have been up at the Quinsam River almost every day. I have been trying for years to get Chinook Salmon in the act of spawning. I have the other species but I really wanted Chinook for my Heartbeat of the River Film. After 25 hours of camera in the water I came home dejected a couple days ago, thinking it was not to be. Every pair of fish I set up on did all the right moves, but I left at dark without seeing them spawn. The next day I go back and they had spawned during the night. This was how it went for 5 days. So today I was sadly going through all the video I shot and deleting many hours of footage. At least I had some great scenes of fighting and redd building etc. I was working backwards from the last days shoot and when I got to one of the first days, wouldn’t you know it there are the fish spawning. The process only takes a few seconds and I had probably left my monitor to go look at other fish to see if there was a better pair to set up on. So I never knew what I had, until today. I let out quite a yelp when I saw this. All those cold days sitting there beside the river and I had the shot all along. So the moral of the story is, if at first you succeed, keep doing it any way like you haven’t. lol. This image is a screen grab from the video.

I am excited to say that the entries to film festivals is well under way and has already garnered some results.  These festivals have given this film awards and or selection for festival screenings. 

London City Film festival winner eiko jones
Heartbeat of the river winner Cinema of the World award
Canadian cinematography awards winner eiko jones
S.O.F.A  film festival award for Heartbeat of the River
Heartbeat of the river World premier e film awards