My Octopus Teacher showcases the Great African Sea Forest off the south-west tip of the African continent for the first time and features the rare and extraordinary footage of man’s unexpected bond with a curious little octopus.
My Octopus Teacher showcases the Great African Sea Forest off the south-west tip of the African continent for the first time and features the rare and extraordinary footage of man’s unexpected bond with a curious little octopus.

Inspiring a sea change for Africa

By Siphokazi Vuso Time of article published Sep 9, 2020

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Cape Town - Netflix’s first original South African documentary My Octopus Teacher hopes to inspire local and international interest in the Great African Sea Forest while creating awareness about marine conservation.

The groundbreaking documentary showcases the Great African Sea Forest off the south-west tip of the African continent for the first time and features the rare and extraordinary footage of man’s unexpected bond with a curious little octopus.

The documentary aired on Netflix yesterday and has been captivating film festivals worldwide.

It was directed by Cape Town film-maker and environmental journalist Pippa Ehrlich, co-directed by James Reed and produced by award-winning documentary filmmaker and co-founder of the Cape Town-based Sea Change Project,

Craig Foster.

Foster said their goal was to protect the marine environment by making the Great African Sea Forest a global icon.

“The aim of the Sea Change

Project is to tell stories that connect people to the wild, motivating them to become part of the regeneration of our planet,” said Foster.

The multi-award-winning documentary is also a collaboration between the Sea Change Project and Off the Fence Productions based in the Netherlands.

Ehrlich, who is a natural history film-maker and ocean storyteller, specialising in the field of marine science and conservation said it was an overwhelming feeling knowing that millions of people across the world were going to watch their film.

“This is very exciting for me as a film-maker, but also as a conservationist. We hope that the film will inspire local and international interest in The Great African Sea Forest and that people all over the world who have access to kelp forests will be encouraged to engage with them in a meaningful way, even if it’s just taking their kids snorkelling or rock-pooling.

“… on an international scale, we hope that the film inspires tourists to come to South Africa and visit the sea forest because we desperately need to create jobs that do not rely on the extraction of natural resources,” she said.

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