Industry Awards

"My Octopus Teacher" Documentary Wins 'Best Documentary' At BAFTAs

South African documentary entry, My Octopus Teacher, has walked away with one of the most prestigious awards at the BAFTA Awards, the Best Documentary award. Presented on Sunday, the awards were broadcast from London's Albert Hall, with the documentary's director Pippa Ehrlich virtually accepting the award on behalf of the team.

The film is set in a kelp forest off the Cape of Storms. During one of the scenes, the 52-year-old filmmaker expresses how he started free-diving without a wetsuit in the icy kelp forest to re-energise himself after suffering severe burnout.  What transpired was an unexpected journey in which he forges a relationship with an octopus where he discovered what an incredible creature it was. Of the experience, Foster says, the octopus taught him that humans are inseparable from nature.

Craig Foster is the Sea Change Project founder, an NPO whose aim is to protect the marine environment in South Africa by making the Great African Sea Forest a global icon. According to Foster, the NPO has managed to generate millions of Rands worth of publicity for the kelp forest and, through hundreds of hours of underwater exploration, have managed to experience this unique environment as well as the community of creatures that live within it.

We call for a sustainable increase of South African marine protected areas, said Foster. Also, we are committed to furthering global marine conservation goals by 30% by 2030. My Octopus Teacher was first released on Netflix and is currently shortlisted for an Academy Award, popularly known as the Oscars for the Best Documentary category.

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