Kate Mathieson (Halle Berry) is a shark naturalist who has observed these beautiful lithe, streamlined creatures up close. Sharks who swim undisturbed in their own world: a natural wonder to behold.
She is an expert in the field of sharks and their conservation. She’s learnt that sharks prefer to mind their own business and they don’t like trespassers – so she always practices territorial etiquette, respects a shark as a fellow being, and when she’s underwater she believes she’s sharing their world, not they ours.
Sharks can detect electrical emissions by all living things. This technique which involves touching their snouts, an acute electrical detector, is akin to hypnotising the creatures into a sleep-like state. Kate has a natural affinity with these great misunderstood predators.
By watching their movements and responding in kind with subtle changes in her own body postures, Kate has been able to survive and earn a formidable reputation by convincing the great white that she is neither prey nor predator. She communicates with sharks through body language in a similar way to the principles of horse whispering.
As we first meet Kate, the ‘shark whisperer’, she is on a shoot near beautiful False Bay in Cape Town. She is filming a documentary with her cameraman boyfriend Jeffrey (Olivier Martinez) and they are journeying on her boat “Volante” to Seal Island, located about 5kilometers off the coastline. It is home to over 60,000 seals, and when game fish is scarce seal pups become the Great White’s meal of choice. Also on board is deckhand/skipper and general joker Tommy (Mark Elderkin) and Themba (Sizwe Msufu), an experienced colleague who acts as Kate’s safety diver swimming below her, keeping an eye on shark activity to protect her with discretion. After a successful diving experience and much fun on board clearly initiated by the sparkling romance between Jeff and Kate, she suggests one last dive. Themba, who is on the eve of retirement, is against the idea, suggesting conditions are not that good. But Kate insists, and she’s so charismatic and, well sexy, that she never takes no for an answer.
That stubborn feistiness leads to disaster. When a shark comes up from behind her during the underwater shoot Themba moves quickly to try to divert it, but he is attacked by the shark and is savagely mauled to death. Kate is grief-stricken by her actions - it was her call for one last dive that causes the tragedy. Her life will soon unravel as a result.
A year later, Kate’s Cape Town shark whispering ‘business’ is in dire straits. The romance with Jeff is over, the bank wants to repossess the boat, and all she does now is take lazy, obnoxious foreign tourists on boat rides through the bay, all of them with an almost vulgar interest in seeing these ‘blood-thirsty predators’ that have made her a mini-celebrity.
Her trusty receptionist and Themba’s widow, Zukisa (Thoko Ntsinga), seems to have become her anchor in life and sagely tells her business is so bad she can’t even afford a bad lawyer to get them out of the financial mess of giving up her career. She hasn’t dived in over a year; her guilt from the accident that she feels responsible for is all too much. The fact that Jeff went up the coast and continued working made things even worse; she loved him once, they had great times, but he seemed to show no remorse or support after Themba’s death and so that relationship, for her, is over.
But Jeff still loves her and is desperate to be with her again, if only so she’ll dive again and follow her true talent and passion in life. So he returns to Cape Town hoping to rekindle the relationship, even just to start filming again so she can do what she does best. But she’ll have nothing of it, despite Zukisa’s encouragement to restart her life and give up this remorse over Themba’s death.
Jeff tells her of a lucrative job coming up with offers to pay the debts and save the boat. Even happy-go-lucky boatman Tommy is pleading with her to take the offer and get the old crew out on the proper seas again. Finally, Zukisa persuades Kate to meet this businessman Jeff is talking about and he introduces her to William Brady (Ralph Brown), a 50’ish rough-around-the-edges businessman who’s travelled the world making lots of money in any way possible.
He’s basically filthy rich, hard-living and has a total admiration for Kate’s work. Brady has flown in from London to be with his son Luke (Luke Tyler) who is just one of his seven children who lives with one of William’s several estranged wives around the world. He wants to take Luke out and dive with the sharks - outside of a cage – a prospect the youngster’s not too keen on to say the least. Never mind, Brady’s come to a world expert to help see his dream of swimming with the most efficient of all known predators come true – for him it’ll be the experience of a lifetime and he wants to share it with Luke even if he has to bully his son into it.
No one untrained gets close to a shark outside of a cage, but he’s offering her one hundred thousand euros to rescue her business and help his son get close to them. He’s a brutish kind of fellow, this Brady, and believes that swimming with a shark would be the ultimate test of putting one’s courage on the line. Kate doesn’t like him much, she corrects him - it’s not about putting one’s life on the line, it’s about trust and respect between man and beast.
He’s so eager that he’s paid for the boat repairs already. Kate doesn’t want to be rushed, but eventually she relents and tells father and son that she will only guarantee they’ll see seals, and that she absolutely can’t guarantee she’ll let them out of the underwater cage to get closer to any great white shark.
So the old team reunites, but this time there are new tensions that will unfold. Brady starts to get even more cranky and needs to be disciplined by Kate, mainly for his arrogant attitude to what they’re about to do – experience the wonders of the undersea world. Meanwhile tensions rise between father and son, as Luke has photographic ambitions which Brady scorns, firmly telling the young man that they’re not on this expedition to take pretty pictures - they’ve come to grab life and nature by the balls.
Finally they’re in shark waters. Fish bait is thrown in the water as they track the shark – eventually the great beast comes broadsiding next to the boat – an adrenaline-fueled experience for all but not the real thing Brady’s looking for. Kate allows Luke and Brady down in a cage, and it’s the first time she’s dived again. They put a decoy in the water and once more some giant sharks come exploding out of the water to follow this bait from “Volante”.
Meanwhile the tensions between Jeff and Kate increase – there’s no way their love affair can come alive again. What’s more Brady’s hiding a dark secret and this excursion may turn out to be his last hurrah. It all becomes too much, tempers flare, motives are questioned, the claustrophobia on the boat is getting to all of them and everyone starts showing their bad side as alliances chop and change.
Finally Kate takes control. Ok, Brady wants to swim with a great white he can – but it means Tommy must steer the boat to even more dangerous waters – here sharks will be guaranteed but there’s a major squall building up and it’s getting dark. But she’s determined – they’re going to round the Cape to Shark Alley and she’ll find Brady the biggest, shark out there.
As Kate starts to doubt her so-called talents, the storm is building, but defiantly they press on into a raging storm. She’ll give Brady his money’s worth. As storms buffet the ship into smithereens – Will Brady get his final wish and see sharks? Will Jeff win her love again? Will Kate rediscover her talent? Above all - will they survive the DARK TIDE?
Kate – Halle Berry
Academy Award®-winning actress Halle Berry continues to break down barriers with a multitude of critically acclaimed, diverse roles and continued success at the box office. For her brilliant performance in “Monster’s Ball”, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, as well as the SAG Award, the Berlin Silver Bear Award and was named Best Actress by the National Board of Review. No stranger to accolades, Berry earned the Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG and NAACP Image Award for her extraordinary performance in HBO’s telefilm, “Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,” which she also produced. Berry has tackled some of Hollywood’s toughest roles making her one of today’s most sought after leading ladies.
Berry was last seen starring in the drama, “Things We Lost In The Fire” opposite Benicio Del Toro. The film, which was produced by Sam Mendes and directed by Susanne Bier, follows a woman who befriends her husband’s drug addicted, childhood friend after his untimely death. Her moving performance as a widow gained her acclaim and praise from critics and fans alike.
Also, in 2007 Berry was seen starring opposite Bruce Willis in the thriller, “Perfect Stranger”. This film follows Berry as she goes undercover to revenge the murder of her friend. The film was released in Spring 2007 and was a box office success.
Berry reprised her role as Storm in the third instalment of the X-Men series, “X-MEN: THE LAST STAND”. This film, directed by Brett Ratner, continued the franchise worldwide success, opening #1 at the box office.
In 2006, Berry received Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her acting work in the Oprah Winfrey produced movie “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, and as executive producer for the HBO telefilm “Lackawanna Blues.”
Previously, Berry heated up theatres across the globe in Warner Brothers’ “Catwoman” and she provided the voice of ‘Cappy’ in the 20th Century Fox animated hit, “Robots”. She also starred in the psychological thriller “Gothika”, which helped to cement her status as an international box office draw. In 2002 Berry starred as ‘Jinx’ in the James Bond feature, “Die Another Day”, opposite Pierce Brosnan, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Bond franchise and becoming the largest-grossing Bond film to date.
Critics and filmgoers first took notice of Berry in her feature film debut, Spike Lee’s “Jungle Fever”. She went on to star opposite Warren Beatty in the socio-political comedy, “Bulworth”. Her other film credits include “Losing Isaiah” opposite Jessica Lange, “Executive Decision”, the live-action version of “The Flintstones”, “The Last Boy Scout”, “Strictly Business”, “Boomerang”, opposite Eddie Murphy, and “Swordfish” with John Travolta and Hugh Jackman.
Other television credits include starring in the highly-rated ABC mini-series, “Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Wedding,” directed by Charles Burnett, as well as the title role in Alex Haley’s mini-series, “Queen.” The latter performance earned Berry her first NAACP Image Award for Best Actress, as well as the Best Newcomer Award from the Hollywood Women’s Press Club. She also starred opposite Jimmy Smits in Showtime’s original telefilm, “Solomon and Sheba.”
In recognition for her achievements as an actress, the Harvard Foundation at Harvard University honored Berry as Cultural Artist of the Year. Currently, she serves as an International Spokesperson for Revlon and devotes considerable time and support to numerous charitable and humanitarian causes and organizations.
Jeff - Olivier Martinez
French heartthrob Olivier Martinez attended school at France’s Conservatoire National Superieur d'Art Dramatique, he then leapt from theatre to television to film.
His film credits include “Blood And Chocolate” with Agnes Bruckner and Hugh Dancy and “Taking Lives” with Angelina Jolie, Ethan Hawke and Kiefer Sutherland.
Martinez created a stir as Diane Lane's lover in Adrian Lyne's "Unfaithful" with Richard Gere. He subsequently starred in "S.W.A.T," the summer blockbuster directed by Clark Johnson for Columbia Pictures. Alongside Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell and Michelle Rodriguez, Martinez portrayed Alex, an international criminal who offers $100 million to anyone who can arrange his escape.
Martinez also co-starred in Robert Allan Ackerman's retelling of "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone" for Showtime. In a role originally created by Warren Beatty, Martinez played the Italian gigolo Paolo opposite Anne Bancroft and Helen Mirren.
Martinez first gained international attention for his performance as a dashing 19th century Italian cavalry officer who falls in love with a married woman (Juliette Binoche) in Jean-Paul Rappeneau's "Horseman on the Roof." His credits also include Julian Schnabel's critically acclaimed "Before Night Falls" with Javier Bardem, Bertrand Blier's "Mon Homme," Bigas Luna's "The Chambermaid on the Titanic," Mario Camus' "La Ville des Prodiges," and Eric Barbier's "Toreros" with Claude Brasseur.
Martinez made his motion picture debut in Jean Jacques Beineix' "IP5 (1992), co-starring Yves Montand. In 1994, he received the Cesar Award for Most Promising Young Actor for his work in Bertrand Blier's drama "1, 2, 3 Soleil," starring Marcello Mastroianni.
Brady – Ralph Brown
With his keen sense of humor, veteran British actor Ralph Brown brings to life the part of Brady – a maverick billionaire looking for one last thrill.
Brown’s career in the arts spans from writer to actor to producer. As a screen actor he is well-known for having played Danny the drug dealer in the cult hit “Withnail and I”, Dave in the Academy Award® winning “The Crying Game”, the security guard Aaron (aka "85") in “Alien 3”, DJ Bob Silver in “The Boat That Rocked”, and the pilot Ric Olié in “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace”.
On TV Brown has had guest starring roles in some of the hottest shows, including: The Bill, Waking The Dead, Coronation Street, Rules of Engagement, Life On Mars, Meadowlands and Nearly Famous.
As a writer, Brown won the Samuel Beckett Award in 1987 for his first play Sanctuary which was produced by Joint Stock Theatre Company. This was also performed in the US as Sanctuary DC where it was nominated for two Helen Hayes Awards in 1989. Brown wrote and co-produced the screenplay “New Year’s Day” which won at the Raindance Film Festival in 2001.
Luke – Luke Tyler
One look at his piercing blue eyes and there is no doubt that South African newcomer, Luke Tyler is going to be lighting up many screens. Fresh out of Drama School at the Screen Actors Studio in Cape Town, Luke has appeared in several international commercials. His TV work includes the role of Harry Clarke, in Company Pictures: “The Runaway” for Sky TV (UK) and in Darryl Roodt’s “League of Glory” for Waterfront Television and Mnet (SA).
Director – John Stockwell
Multi-talented director/screenwriter/actor John Stockwell is fast becoming the expert “Water Director”. With “Into The Blue” and “Blue Crush” under his belt, Stockwell braves the waves and open water challenges in “Dark Tide”.
As a writer/ director Stockwell penned the darkly humorous script for HBO's "Breast Men" (1997), about the inventors of silicone implants which became his calling card. He wrote and directed the equally well-received drama "Cheaters" (HBO, 2000), about a teacher who uses an illegally obtained copy of test questions to level the playing field in an academic competition. His taut, nicely nuanced script snagged an Emmy nomination. Stockwell then went on to helm "crazy/beautiful" (2001), a contemporary spin on "Romeo and Juliet" starring Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez, and write the screenplay for "Rock Star" (also 2001), about an ordinary guy who harbors a desire to play in a heavy metal band.
Stockwell's intuitive verité style, and his facility with both established and rising young talent, stems in part from his many years as an actor. He appeared alongside Tom Cruise in the hit film “Top Gun” as well as starring in “Losin’ It”, “Christine”, “North and South” and “Billionaire Boys Club”.
Jeanette Buerling (Producer)
Jeanette Buerling has worked in all areas of the entertainment industry including writing, development, production, acquisition, international sales, international co-productions, and entertainment finance. Her career started in 1989 at RTL Television in Cologne, Germany.
Jeanette immigrated to the US in 1999, where she started her own production company in Los Angeles and produced the Warner Bros turnaround comedy project “Timeshare” starring Nastassja Kinski, Timothy Dalton and Kevin Zegers.
In 2004 she was hired by Far East National Bank to run their equity film finance fund Hollywood International Finance . The fund invested into 38 films and 2 television series. With Hollywood Intl Finance, Jeanette produced, executive produced, acquired and/or financed films and television products for HBO, ABC, Disney, Lions Gate , and USA Network including “Harvard Man” (Lions Gate Films) with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Adrian Grenier, “Rent Control” (ABC/Disney) with Melissa Joan Hart, “A Case of Evil” (USA Network) with Gabrielle Anwar, Vincent D’Onofrio, etc.
In May of 2008 Jeanette Buerling and Maggie Monteith formed their current film finance and production company MAGNET MEDIA GROUP LLC.
Matthew Chausse (Producer)
Matthew began his career co-ordinating and producing commercials and music videos. He then worked on a number of low budget films. He moved into co-production and produced “The Countess” with the actress Julie Delpy and then moved back east to Providence and together with Scott Free he produced “Tell Tale” based on the Edgar Allen Poe short story starring Josh Lucas, Lena Heady and Brian Cox. Dark Tide was brought to him it had Halle loosely involved and there was no director attached. Through lots of trials and tribulations seven months later preprep started in South Africa.
Magnet Media Group
In November of 2008 the MMG team Buerling and Monteith produced their film, “13”, a thriller starring Jason Statham, Mickey Rourke, Sam Riley, Ray Winston, Michael Shannon and 50 Cent (Paramount Vantage).
In June of 2009 MMG financed and produced “The Experiment” starring Adrien Brody, Forrest Whitaker and Cam Gigandet (Sony).
Magnet Media Group (MMG) is a California based LLC with satellite offices in Munich and London. The company and its affiliates are active in the sectors of Entertainment finance, Production, and Distribution. MMG focuses on mainstream commercial projects in the higher production budget ranges, which are released in theatres worldwide.
Zephyr Films finances and produces films for the international market. Recent films include “The Last Station,” “Penelope,” “Hannibal Rising,” “The Upside of Anger “ and ” Death Defying Acts.”
Their core activity is developing, financing and producing their own films, but they also specialize in partnering other producers to help structure and finance their films and provide production services where needed.
Recent partners include Dino De Laurentiis, Tarak Ben Ammar’s Quinta Communications and Andrei Konchalovsky.
They have produced films in France, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Tunisia, as well as the USA, Canada and Australia.
Film Afrika is one of South Africa's most innovative and prolific production companies, producing over 50 films and television series since independence in 1995. The company specialises in raising local finance and providing a complete location facilitation and co-production service to international producers. Film Afrika films throughout South Africa, including neighbouring countries Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. It also services films further-a-field, such as Kenya, Morocco, Ghana, Mauritius, Madagascar and the Seychelles.