Documentary on Fishing, Cannery Industries Premieres at LA Film Festival

Image: Port of Los Angeles.

“The Smell of Money,” a documentary named for locals’ descriptions of both the fishing industry’s emanating aromas and lucrative economic benefits—was shown for the first time at the Los Angeles Harbor International Film Festival on March 17.

The initial free, open-to-the-public screening was held at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium’s John Olguin Auditorium.

“The fishing and canning industry played a pivotal role in the early days of the Los Angeles Harbor,” Los Angeles Harbor Commission President Lucille Roybal-Allard said in a statement. “The documentary is a fitting tribute to this important era in our region’s history, and to all the men and women who contributed to its success.”

In the early 20th century, the LA harbor was a bustling hub, attracting immigrants from around the world in pursuit of the American dream and economic opportunity. A big part of that history was the fishing and canning industry. The was celebrated in the 30-minute documentary, which was commissioned by the Port of Los Angeles.

“This incredible documentary honors those who played a role in fishing and canning throughout the harbor,” Port of LA Executive Director Gene Seroka said. “It’s a poignant reminder of all the positive impacts that the industry has had on generations of local residents.”

 The film festival ran from March 14-17. Other films screened during the program included a Croatian fishing documentary, “Longline,” which was also 30 minutes in length.

“The Smell of Money” was written, narrated, and directed by local filmmaker and director Jack Baric, with production, research assistance, and imagery provided by Port of LA staff.

The film’s trailer can be seen on YouTube at