Hardy Jones Filmography

Hardy Jones produced and directed 77 television films with special emphasis on environmental and ocean issues and marine mammals. Hardy was the first person to film dolphins in the wild despite many people, including Jacques Cousteau, assuring him that it couldn't be done. His film Dolphin was released in 1979. A selection of his other films is listed below.

Dolphins in Danger (2019) exposes the killing of dolphins in Peru for use as shark bait. The film provides video evidence of the slaughter of approximately 15,000 dolphins a year in the long-line shark fishery of Peru, as well as evidence that Peruvian fishermen are taking underage and endangered sharks in the fishery. Jones posthumously won the Director’s Award for this film at the International Ocean Film Festival. The film is currently available for viewing on Amazon Video.

The Dolphin Defender (2005); PBS Nature; chronicles Jones’s 25-year crusade to protect dolphins. Following the premiere of this film, Jones received the Conservation Filmmaker of the Year award from Filmmakers for Conservation at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.

When Dolphins Cry (2004); the story of a Japanese man’s transformation from dolphin killer to dolphin-watch tour leader. The film also exposes the relationship of the aquarium industry to the slaughter of dolphins in Japan and documents the high levels of mercury in dolphin meat.

Twenty Years with the Dolphins (2000); the story of Jones’s study of wild dolphins in The Bahamas over the course of 20 years.

Shark Central (1999); Discovery Channel; filmed at Rangiroa atoll in French Polynesia, it includes deep diving to more than 250 feet to document shark’s schooling behavior.

Ocean Acrobats: The Spinner Dolphins (1998); Discovery Channel (US), Canal+ (France). It won the silver medal at the Houston International Film Festival.

First Breath: Cradle in the Sea (1997); Discovery Channel; a six-part series produced in collaboration with Devillier Donegan Enterprises; tracks the development of six baby marine mammals—orca, spotted dolphin, sea otter, harbor seal, gray whale, and manatee—from the moment of birth through their first year of life. The series won multiple awards at the US International Film Festival, Worldfest Houston, and the International Wildlife Film Festival.

Cathedrals in the Sea (1993); Turner Broadcasting’s World of Audubon television series; filmed in French Polynesia, at the Oceanographic Institute of Monaco, and in the Florida Keys; documents both the beauty of the reefs and the worldwide destruction of coral from human causes.

Marine Life Miracles (1992); PBS; hosted by actor/director Peter Horton; documents efforts to protect marine life along the Pacific coast of North America.

If Dolphins Could Talk (1990); PBS; hosted by actor Michael Douglas; an in-depth look at how dolphins are threatened by human activity in the oceans; It includes footage of dolphins dying in tuna nets and led leading tuna companies to pledge to abide by “Dolphin-safe” standards.

Challenge of the Seas (1990); A&E; hosted by actor Ted Danson; a 26-part series that offers a global look at how humans are interacting with the oceans. It was nominated for an ACE award.

The Challenge to Wildlife: A Public Television Special Report (1990); PBS; features interviews with environmentalists and celebrities, including Walter Cronkite and Robert Redford; examines effects of human population growth on natural resources and wildlife.

The Everglades: Rain Machine (1989); PBS Nature; produced by Hardy Jones/Julia Whitty Productions in collaboration with Partridge Films; documents efforts to save the fragile ecosystem of south Florida.

Whales! (1987); National Audubon Society Television Specials; hosted by Johnny Carson; while filming Whales!, Hardy became one of the first cinematographers ever to swim among and film sperm whales in the open sea.

Saving the Wildlife (1986); PBS; hosted by actors Mike Farrell and Loretta Swit; features individuals and organizations in the United States, Africa, India, and Latin America working to preserve wildlife.

In the Kingdom of the Dolphins (1985); the story of a friendly school of spotted dolphins in The Bahamas. It represents the first sustained underwater film record of a free-swimming school of dolphins in the wild.

Secrets of a Desert Sea (1983); PBS; chronicles the whales, dolphins, manta rays, and sharks of Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.

Return of the Great Whales (1982); PBS; was one of the most popular pledge programs in PBS history and led to a series of collaborative efforts between Jones and PBS. It won an Emmy.