My Octopus Teacher Trailer, Netflix
Running time: 2mins 30sec
My Octopus Teacher (2020 Netflix)
Directors: Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed
Ten years in the making, this stunning South African documentary was filmed in the kelp Great African Seaforest off the rugged Cape coast near False Bay. It follows the year-long transformative journey for naturalist and wild/free diver Craig Foster, aided by his observations of a female octopus. The film captures amazing never-before-seen animal behaviour with superb camerawork
Made in partnership with Sea Change Project, Off The Fence and ZDF Enterprises, My Octopus Teacher, is executive produced by Ellen Windemith, with breathtaking cinematography by underwater cameraman Roger Horrocks and beautifully edited by Jinx Godfrey.
Co-director Pippa Ehrlich is an award-winning environmental journalist, specialising in marine conservation, and this is her first film.
The documentary presented huge challenges for the team – financial, physical and creative. They had no initial funding; all underwater filming was done on breath hold, without wetsuits; and there were thousands of hours of footage and no script. Key to its success was telling a truly uplifting story, choreographed in this spectacularly serene underwater world.
Pippa cites “Whale Rider,” directed by Niki Caro, as one of her touchstones for the project.
My Octopus Teacher has received the Grand Teton Award for best film at the 2020 Jackson Wild Media Awards.
By Paula Vellet