My Octopus Teacher squad didn't go big after Oscar win, instead they give thanks to African sea forest

29 April 2021 - 09:30
'My Octopus Teacher' won big at the Oscars.
'My Octopus Teacher' won big at the Oscars.
Image: Craig Foster

The team who worked on Oscar winning documentary My Octopus Teacher did not go big after winning the award, instead they say the ultimate celebration is giving thanks to the “Great African Sea Forest which allowed the story to be told”.

Production assistant Faine Loubser told Sunday Times the journey from telling a story in a kelp forest at the tip of Africa to being taken on by Netflix and now, Oscar glory, has been surreal.

“This has been our mission, to put the Great African Sea Forest on the map and raise its profile to the likes of the Amazon rainforest or Great Barrier Reef.”

Loubser said the focus has always been to protect and regenerate wild spaces.

“It brings us incredible confirmation and affirmation that storytelling inspired by hope and deep, personal experiences in nature, has the power to resonate on a global scale.”

My Octopus Teacher reached global acclaim after its release on Netflix last year. It tells the heartwarming story of how filmmaker Craig Foster finds solace in the great SA kelp forest and befriends an Octopus where the two form a unique bond.

So, what does a team do after a mammoth win like the Oscars? Well, the work is not over says Loubser. From here, everyone is continuing to work together to raise awareness for kelp forests.

“We have several projects on the go which includes a film affect tour to take My Octopus Teacher around SA into communities who would otherwise not have access to it. We’re now working on translating it into several SA languages, including Zulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho and Afrikaans.”