okeanos - Stiftung für das Meer

Our films

Worth a 1000 words

In order to illustrate the problems affecting the ocean, we have chosen to employ one of the finest and most effective media: film. We believe that film can best convey how greatly the oceans affect us. And how much we need a healthy ocean to survive.

Humpback Whales
Humpback Whales © Fabien Michenet

The problems of the oceans and humankind are becoming more urgent and demand action. In order to do justice to at least some of those problems, we have decided to initiate two films of varying focus: "Singing Planet" and "Our Blue Canoe".

"Our Blue Canoe"

Documentary

In this documentary film we concentrate on the Pacific, geographically the biggest of the world’s oceans. Nowhere else on the planet do more people depend on the sea for a living, over a billion of them being closely associated with the Pacific. But there is another important reason for our choice of the Pacific: acknowledged and revered throughout Polynesia as family members, as messengers of the gods and ancestors, whales often occur there in the world of myth. Beyond this, they also hold particular scientific significance for us because of their place near the top of many food chains, so their physical condition and health of their populations permit conclusions to be drawn about the ocean’s health.

In our quest for an appropriate symbol for an ocean-friendly way of life, we hit on the Polynesian forefathers. Silently, without any modern navigational aids and without consuming any fossil fuel, they sailed across the Pacific several millennia ago in big canoes known as vaka. From Tangaroa, the sea-god, they took only as much fish as they needed to sustain life—a mode of existence that testified to their respect for his domain. For the past few decades, many people in the Pacific have been engaged in reviving this traditional form of seamanship and way of life. We have, therefore, chosen to film a voyage aboard a traditional vaka as a metaphor for a sustainable lifestyle.


Vaka Hine Moana
Vaka Hine Moana © Tanja Winkler

The leading actors and actresses in our film are the people of the Pacific islands and neighbouring countries who sail the vaka—and, of course, the people and sea creatures they encounter. We are convinced that the ocean’s spirituality and immensity, together with its fascinating inhabitants and the beauty of a vaka voyage across the great Pacific Ocean, will touch the hearts of people all over the world and heighten their sensitivity to the problems besetting the ocean. We are strengthened in this belief by the assistance we have already received from many wonderful people in the Pacific area.

Our film will be completed by the middle of 2015. The film crew is in the process of reviewing, selecting and editing the wonderful but also very comprehensive footage. More about the content of the film team and its release date can be found in due time on this website or on the website of Pacific Voyagers. The "Our Blue Canoe" trailer is already online. 

In spring 2015 a TV series titled "Te Mana O Te Moana - The Pacific Voyagers" will also be released. The series is being produced by the film production company Zoomslide in Auckland, New Zealand. It is also about the epic voyage of the Pacific Voyagers in 2011/2012 and the traces this voyage left not only on the crew members..

 

"Racing Extinction"

Documentary

In the course of the earth’s history there have been several huge surges of extinction in which more than 50% of species died out all over the world. Most experts describe five of these disasters as the five great mass extinctions. The best-known occurred 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs disappeared from the earth, wiped out by an asteroid. The various mass extinctions are always attributed to certain events: fluctuations in sea level, intense volcanic activity, meteorite strikes, and climate change. The earth recovered.

We are now heading for the sixth such occurrence, and the sole cause of it is the human race. No one knows if the earth will recover under human influence. Scientists predict we will lose half of all species on the planet by the end of the century. And this time, we are the asteroid.

The documentary "Racing Extinction" demonstrates the visual and acoustic beauty and variety of the earth and its oceans. It also shows what we will lose, and what life itself will forfeit in intensity, colour and sound, if we fail to act now.

Louie Psihoyos
Louie Psihoyos © Rui Camilo

We are delighted that the Oscar-and Academy Award-winning director of the documentary film The Cove, Louie Psihoyos, is making this film.

Louie is Executive Director of the Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS) and recognized as one of the top photographers in the world. He was hired directly out of college to shoot for National Geographic and created images for the yellow-bordered magazine for 18 years. His ability to bring humanity and wit to complicated science stories carries over to his filmmaking. An ardent diver and dive photographer, he feels compelled to show the world the decline of our planet’s crucial resource, the oceans.

The movie director's statement about "Racing Extinction":

"A film can be the most powerful weapon in the world—a weapon of mass construction. I’m interested in radically changing how people perceive a documentary by making it entertaining and using narrative filmmaking conventions. With this film I want to tackle the most important problem the world has ever faced, the epic loss of biodiversity. By creating a compelling film and a groundbreaking activation campaign, we want to create a movement that inspires the masses. Humanity is one step away from greatness or disaster... It could be that a film helps save us."

Read more about his organisation Oceanic Preservation Society and the film "Racing Extinction". Here you can watch the trailer.

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"With Elon Musk, Director Louie Psihoyos Takes On Mass Extinction in ′6′"

"Tribeca Video: 'The Cove' Director Discusses His Latest Activist Doc"

"If "The Cove" Inspired You ... Wait Till You See "6""

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