LIFE IN BLUE
Life doesn’t get much better than this: It is November 2015 and I’m standing in the breezy sunshine on the roof terrace of Monaco’s Oceanographic Museum, overlooking the glittering Mediterranean Sea. I’ve just had an excellent vegetarian lunch (the French really do know their food), over which I got stuck into heady conversation about marine conservation with a talented young filmmaker, a prince, and the head of a marine conservation NGO. We are about to head downstairs to hear the charismatic power couple of conservation photography, Paul Nicklen and Cristina Mittermeier, give a presentation about the launch of their new organisation, Sea Legacy.
Tomorrow I’m interviewing
“Her Deepness” Sylvia Earle; I’ll be watching the extraordinary new offering from the director of The
Cove, Louie Psihoyos’ impassioned documentary Racing Extinction; and I have an awards presentation dinner to go to, during which I will be sitting with the producers of the BBC’s new documentary series, Oceans.
No, it’s not a dream. I’m at the Blue Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit 2015 in Monaco. It is four days of total immersion in the world of water and the issues surrounding our most precious ecosystems. Four days of intense interaction with people at the forefront of the fight to save life in the oceans. Four days – long, inspiring, exhausting days – during which emerging, passionate talent gets mingles with some of the world’s most respected and influential people in marine conservation, filmmaking and Nature photography, showcasing their work alongside that of the most established names in the industry.
Every film is extraordinary; days are spent experiencing a tumultuous riot of emotion in the regal darkness of the Museum’s ballroom. We watch hilarious animated shorts that bring deep ocean science and exploration to life, dancing cetaceans and sharks captured as pure cinematic art, nail-biting tales of exploration in the Arctic, and we are repeatedly exposed to the heartbreaking reality of the seriousness of the threats facing our watery world.
Every attendee agrees that they leave the Blue Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit in Monaco reenergised, and we all emerge ready to rejoin the world and keep spreading the word about our extraordinary blue planet, and the need to protect the life that calls it home.
Clockwise from top left: Paul Nicklen introduces Sea Legacy; Louie Psihoyos and Sylvia Earle confers the Blue Legacy Award on President Tong of Kiribati, here with Greg Stone of Conservation International; the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco