Moments of Magic

My Octopus Teacher

The documentary My Octopus Teacher chronicles the intimate relationship that developed between South African filmmaker Craig Foster and a wild common octopus he met while freediving in the kelp forests near his Cape Town home—a daily therapeutic activity he took up to help him recover from career burnout.

So moved was he by the octopus’s capacity to share her world, that he founded the Sea Change Project, a conservation organization dedicated to preserving her fragile coastal habitat.

For moments of magic, read this book!
“I’m poring over Sea Change – Return To The Wild. What an inspiration! I have rarely, if ever, seen a book which is as equally visually and textually stunning as this one.
And that it comes now, when we are ruining the oceans, their reefs and the life that they sustain …
I am completely knocked out by this achievement. How can I thank you?”
– Ann Druyan, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning American writer, producer, and director

Did you know that there is a vast undersea forest living at the tip of Africa?
One of the richest ecosystems on the planet, it is home to countless strange and wonderful creatures.
Because the water is cold and often rough, and sharks and stingrays as big as cars patrol the fringes, few people ever venture there …

But in recent years, there has been an alarming shift of sardines from the west coast to the south coast of Southern Africa. (Sardines and mackerel are a critical food source to many animals, including the African penguin, cape fur seal and southern right whale.)

This has placed pressure on the likes of the African penguin who now have to travel extraordinary distances in order to feed. This means that they leave their chicks for longer periods, exposing them both to predators and the harshness of the sun.

Now more than ever it is critical that we protect wild spaces to give nature the space to heal itself.
The latest report on the Economics of Biodiversity states that “if we care about our common future and the common future of our descendants, we should all in part be naturalists.”

For us, this appears to be a deep truth, and one which we all try to practice both on an individual and collective level.

In the meantime, we’re crossing fingers and octopus arms.
My Octopus Teacher is on the Oscars shortlist for Best Documentary Feature.
238 films were in consideration and 15 were shortlisted. 5 films make it to the nominations.
Nominations will be announced on the 15th of March.
Alongside this incredible news, the film has also been shortlisted for Best Documentary Feature and Best Director in the upcoming BAFTAs and has been nominated for the Producers Guild Awards. 

Acknowledgement: The Sea Change Project Team, Yo-Yo Ma & Connecting Cultures  

Click here for more on Craig Foster sharing his own personal experience in an “incredible wilderness full of weird and wonderful creatures.”

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