Miami Shark Doc Surfaces on ‘Jaws’ Anniversary

The new movie tells the stories behind shark fishing on South Beach in the 1970s

The movie poster for South Beach Shark Club.
South Beach Shark Club examines humanity’s obsession with sharks. Publicity photo

The acclaimed documentary “South Beach Shark Club” is scheduled for distribution by Vision Films on June 20, 2023, the same day the classic movie Jaws debuted in 1975. The culture and growth of shark fishing on the South Beach pier in Miami during the 1970s are the subjects of this little-known tale.

Robert Requejo Ramos, a second-generation Cuban American who was born and reared on Miami Beach, wrote and directed the movie. He has worked as a boat captain, artist, singer, and an accomplished writer, director, and producer of both short and feature-length movies. Ramos collaborated on the production with Pedro Gomez, a fellow Cuban filmmaker and producer residing in Hialeah, Florida.

This movie covers a number of subjects in a distinctive way, such as the benefit of instilling in young people a love of fishing and the necessity of conserving Miami Beach’s cultural heritage. It is not only a movie about sharks; it is also a movie about people and what makes us so obsessed with sharks, about protecting them, and about the appeal of the never-ending summer surf and skate culture.

Legends of the Miami Beach surfing, skateboarding, and shark fishing industries share the little-known history of the development of shark fishing and the mysterious Rene De Dios, who hailed himself as the “greatest shark fisherman in the world,” on the South Beach pier in the 1970s.

The film features the late Rene De Dios, James “JD Hammer” Fuqua, Shannon Bustamante, William Fundora, Albert Poledri, Jorge Ramos, and Kevin Pagan – all actual South Beach residents. 

“Audiences will be mesmerized by the ride or die efforts of this relatively unknown band of brothers shark fishing on the South Beach pier in the 1970s,” said Lise Romanoff, CEO/Managing Director of Vision Films.  “These are some of the most daring, real-life Jaws experiences ever shown.”

“Everyone has a drunk uncle who tells fish stories,” says writer/director Robert Requejo Ramos. “Like filmmakers, fishermen are storytellers. Allow me to be your drunk uncle and take you to a long-forgotten era of Miami Beach reminiscent of Southern California in the 70’s. ‘South Beach Shark Club’ at its core is a story about a subculture that revolved around the ocean, a story that would otherwise disappear had we not made this film. Diving deeper, it’s a reflection on the consequence of obsession, the significance of mentorship, the ability to shift perspective, and the determination to be extraordinary.”

Click here to see a trailer.

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