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Watch this filmmaker’s personal tribute to the late John Bil

John Bil had scores of friends and admirers, but his relationship with Shane Pendergast’s family goes back more than 25 years, when Bil was a young oysterman living in Prince Edward Island. Bil, the restaurateur and sustainable seafood advocate who died Wednesday at age 49, was a fixture of Pendergast’s upbringing, but “he was still a bit of a mystery to me.” So with Bil’s cancer diagnosis in the background, the 19-year-old filmmaker and musician started work on a short film—titled simply “John Bil”—to illustrate and understand Bil’s unorthodox way of life.

“He was a real trailblazer, and was never afraid to be weird,” Pendergast said. “Seeing him open up Honest Weight, and write a book, all while dealing with a terminal illness is a perfect example of his incredible work ethic and passion for seafood.”

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