2019 CinefestOZ | The Whale Super Highway documentary features Geographe Bay

The Whale Super Highway is a new documentary which follows the journey of a humpback whale mother and its calf down the WA coastline.

The film will premiere at this year's CinefestOZ on Wednesday August 28 inside The Dome, a fully immersive dome cinema.

Marine mammal scientist Bec Wellard said they had been filming the documentary throughout the last year on how unique the population of baleen whales were off WA.

Ms Wellard said the film explored the recovery of humpback whales which was the greatest conservation success story of our time.

"The humpback whales were down to only a few hundred numbers back in the 1960's and 70's which is when they banned whaling," she said.

"Since then the population has grown around 10 to 13 per cent every year so we now have the largest population of breeding humpback whales in the world.

"To come back from a population on the brink of nearly losing them, to now having the largest in the world, it is a really special area here off WA and a lot of people do not realise what is in our backyard.

"It is the nicest, greatest conservation success story."

Ms Wellard said the film was a nice way to touch on the good that was done when whaling was stopped and how the population had bounced back.

"The documentary follows the journey of a humpback mum and calf along WA's coastline and you learn about one of the biggest migrations in the world," she said.

"It is beautiful, there is beautiful imagery of the humpback whales and also looks at why the blue whales off WA have not recovered as well as the humpbacks.

"From a scientist's point of view we still do not know why. We explore options and theories as to why the blues have not recovered, which was really fascinating to touch on."

Ms Wellard said a lot of the footage in the documentary was filmed in Geographe Bay during the whales migration.

"We have these marine hot spots just off Perth canyon and Geographe Bay which a lot of people are not aware of how important they are to blue and humpback whales," she said.

"The humpback mums and calves sometimes rest in Geographe Bay and you can be lucky enough to have a blue whale in 10 metres of water there, just swimming passed on their migration.

"It is a really unique and beautiful place in the world."

Stunning visuals were captured by a specialist deep-water submersible in Geographe Bay with local whale expert Chris Burton and Ms Wellard.

The film's director Julia Redwood said Whale Super Highway was a visually splendid, emotional and immersive experience.

"It combines the wonders of the dome screen with beautiful, high-resolution footage capturing the poetry and grace of these extraordinary animals," she said.

CinefestOZ chief executive officer Malinda Nixon said Whale Super Highway was a stunning cinematic feat and the perfect film to showcase Australia's first mobile 180-degree dome cinema.

"We are excited this year's incredible line-up will be further diversified with the world premiere of Whale Super Highway, which not only highlights the evolution of film making technology, but also the amazing growth within the local film sector." she said.

Screenwest chief executive officer Willie Rowe said Whale Super Highway was a great example of one of the many diverse projects that have received funding through our Western Australian Regional Film Fund.

"A fund that is driven to create strong regional economic and creative outcomes as well as tourism opportunities by highlighting the vast beauty and wonders of our state." he said.

The film's director of photography Jon Shaw said shooting for dome was a unique, cinematic journey that was all about a fully immersive experience.

"Filming with a fisheye lens is also great for capturing whales, as they are so big that they provide a great subject for the lens," he said.

"There was one time when we were diving, however, that a very friendly whale hit me. That hurt...a lot!"