SA documentary nabs 8 nominations at prestigious nature film competition

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Craig Foster.
Craig Foster.
Photo: Ross Frylinck/Sea Change Project
  • South African film My Octopus Teacher has received eight Jackson Wild nominations.
  • The Jackson Wild Media Awards is a renowned nature film competition.
  • The feature documentary will be available on Netflix from Thursday, 7 September.

South African nature documentary, My Octopus Teacher, is making waves at film festivals and competitions worldwide.

The movie nabbed eight nominations at the renowned Jackson Wild Media Award, one for the most important nature film competitions on the globe.

According to the Jackson Wild website, the awards celebrate excellence and innovation in nature, science and conservation storytelling.

It has been nominated in the following categories: Best Ecosystem Film, Best People and Nature Film Long Form, Best Science in Nature Film Long Form and Best Feature Film, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Audioscape.

The winners will be announced virtually during the Jackson Wild Media Awards ceremony on Thursday, 1 October.

The film recently won Best Feature at Earth X and is in the running for another four conservation film awards this year, including two prestigious Panda awards at the Wildscreen Festival.

The feature documentary directed, by Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed, is a collaboration between the Sea Change Project, an NGO raising awareness of the beauty and ecological importance of South Africa's kelp forest, Off the Fence Productions based in the Netherlands and Netflix. It is the first Netflix Original Documentary to come out of South Africa. 

The story is about Craig Foster, who, suffering from a loss of purpose, begins a daily diving regimen in the freezing kelp forests at the tip of Africa to re-energize himself. Craig is an award-winning filmmaker and co-founder of the Sea Change Project, and has dedicated the past nine years to diving every day in the Atlantic Ocean without a wetsuit, documenting the process of how the human body adapts to cold and studying the kelp forest ecosystem.

What he discovers below the water's surface is a totally alien motivation in the form of an unusually curious octopus. This beautiful record of an animal's entire life—something seldom achieved in the wild, let alone underwater—was shot over a full year and explores the habits and personality of a strange, undulating creature that most of us have only ever eaten.


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