Neighborhood by the Sea – A man befriends an octopus. It is the amazing story of My Octopus Teacher, a documentary that can be watched over the video-on-demand service Netflix. Eye-catching: The movie, which has been watched by millions of people and given awards in many countries, was designed and made possible in part by Ellen Wendemouth of Wijk aan Zee. A portion of the nature movie was edited in her home under Tata Steel’s smoke.
No scriptwriter was involved My octopus teacher. The story was written itself. After a period of hard work, often under difficult circumstances and in dangerous situations, South African photographer and director Craig Foster plagued with depression. “Photographing alligators in the cave is not easy,” says film producer Ellen Windmouth, Foster friend and colleague.
Foster notes that swimming in the cool sea waters off the coast of Cape Town has a stimulating effect on him. In the kelp forest, an underwater forest with trees up to a meter high, he discovers a curious young octopus during one of his swimming expeditions, with which he has developed a relationship over time. Foster keeps the band together by searching for octopus daily, first without a camera, later.
“This is not a movie for which you are writing a script, this movie happens to you.”
When Foster Windemuth talks about his experiences, Wijk aan Zeese is immediately excited. “The fact that Octopus was attached to it, trusted it, was swimming with Craig, and dealing with suction cups, made a huge impression on me. This is not a movie you make, but it happens to you. A unique experience for the whole team. I knew Craig had never wanted to make a movie once. Another after he was exhausted, but when he met the octopus, that changed. We followed him on swimming trips with two of his friends. ” The result of the yearlong swim led to a stunning visual report in which the octopus survived an attack by Pajama Hay, among other things.
Windemuth, who presides over Outside the fence for production, She realizes she has “gold” in her hands. I still have it Disneychannel, National Geographic en Discovery Channel Their thoughts on a documentary in which a man’s friendship with an octopus is central. This is something different from a lovable animal like a dolphin, panda bear, or chimpanzee. As a file creator, they didn’t think it would get a lot of commercials External films I’ve had that reaction before, so I’m not surprised too much. “
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Netflix sees success that will actually happen after some time. How strange it could be: It’s the eight-year-old son in contact at the top of his subscriber’s channel that opens his mother’s eyes. During the trip, the boy cannot stop watching a rough clip from the documentary. His mother is a “mother”. The film is made with the help of outside funders.
Wildemuth isn’t allowed to say anything about yield and numbers. In her opinion, it is also secondary in appreciation. In the United States, but also in Spain and China it wins My octopus teacher Film Festival Awards. But the main advantage is that a portion of the profits will be used to preserve the South African coast and kelp forests off the coast of South Africa, among other things.
“I no longer want to expose myself and my family to the poor air quality in Wijk aan Zee”
From her perspective, the value of the documentary also lies in awareness. “We are showing that animals and humans can continue to live together if we take the environment very seriously. Unfortunately, health and the environment are at the bottom of many countries’ priority list.”
In the Netherlands she lived as a resident of Wijk aan Zee. Due to poor air quality, which in her condition led to constant fatigue and headaches, she has since moved to Bergen. But with Sichting IJmondig, it continues to fight the Tata Steel emissions, which are especially bad for the people of Wijk aan Zee.
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“I no longer wanted to expose myself and my family to air pollution. It literally made me sick. It seemed logical that I would act from Bergen against Tata Steel from now on.”
She sent the film to a Tata Steel CEO in India who she had been in contact with. “Show how beautiful and important a good living environment is. Respond very kindly, he watched with his wife. But when I talk about factory problems here at IJmuiden, he refers me to Tata Steel Europe man, Henrik Adam, who is said to have all the power. Then Adam takes me back to The PR department. But I don’t have to talk to these people. Don’t make me despair. I am not changing course. As IJmondig, we are strong and we will get there. “
Founder, Stiching IJmondig
Ellen Windmouth (1960) is of German-American descent and has lived in the Netherlands since 1993. She is the founder and CEO of the internationally operating company. From the fence, A company that makes films and documentaries in the fields of science, history, travel, nature and culture. Bee From the fence It employs 120 people.
Windemuth is also the founder of the IJmondig Foundation, an organization that strives for a better environment in Ijmond.