Let me begin this post with a disclaimer -- Cinematical is a site about film first and foremost, and we try not to let politics or social agendas interfere that goal. But seeing as we're in the thick of awards season and the beginning of Sundance (a festival that often dictates our year to come -- be sure to check our 2010 coverage to see what that might be!), I thought I would take the opportunity to remind you not to forget about the documentaries or films that moved you into action.

Back in September, Jenni Miller brought you the very good news that The Cove (which premiered at last year's Sundance -- you can still read Scott Weinberg's original review) had created enough awareness to stop the dolphin hunt in Taiji. It was one of those moments that proved the smallest film can make a difference. In an industry populated by so many disposable movies and marketing, it's nice to feel good about it all. But eventually, the publicity machine stops rolling. The awards are handed out (and The Cove has taken home a ton of them) and people are onto the next round of documentaries making the festival circuit. The media loses interest. Six days ago, The Cove's Ric O'Barry updated with some depressing news. Now that the initial shock and horror is off, people have lost interest and the dolphin hunt has resumed.

I feel strongly about stopping this hunt once and for all, as have many who have seen the film. We here at Cinematical have been fervent champions of The Cove , as we did with Dear Zachary. The ball continued to roll with Dear Zachary, which continues to fight to bring some real change to Canadian law. Obviously, I hope The Cove continues to snowball now that it's on DVD and receiving so many critical awards.

Your own opinion may vary, of course, and I certainly hope you don't take this as a polemic for one particular cause. What I want to stress here is that if you've seen a film or documentary that moved you -- and I don't care what it is, or what cause its for -- then please, please keep up to date on its social progress! Filmmakers often go through hell to bring us this footage and awareness, and it's important to honor that by continuing their work in whatever way we can. Show these documentaries to your family and friends. Give money if you can. Buy the t-shirt. Volunteer. Do something. Just stay aware of the situations that a cast and crew has worked so hard to bring to audiences all over the world. As we move into a new year filled with new movies, I feel it's important not to forget all those true stories that came before.

I truly believe in the power of film to educate and heal, as well as entertain. With the Internet and social media, what is committed to film can practically live forever. Let The Cove serve as an example not to forget about what we've learned once we've walked out of the theater or hit the stop button on the DVD player. That's what "the big bad" (lawmakers, governments, hunters, whoever is being exposed onscreen) want to happen. It's what leads studios and distributors to think that we don't care, and that it doesn't matter. Don't let that be true.