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News > ODs in the News > Craig Fosters' (1985F) documentary takes home top prize

Craig Fosters' (1985F) documentary takes home top prize

My Octopus Teacher has secured the top prize at the 2020 Jackson Wild Media Awards.

My Octopus Teacher has secured the top prize at the 2020 Jackson Wild Media Awards.

The documentary, if you somehow have not been able to watch it, follows Craig as he swims every day over the course of one year with a wild octopus off the coast of South Africa. The Netflix Original film was produced in partnership with the Sea Change Project by Off the Fence and ZDF Enterprises.

The awards celebrate excellence and innovation in nature, science and conservation storytelling. Winners of the more than 30 awards were unveiled during a live-streamed awards ceremony as a finale to the first-ever Jackson Wild Virtual Summit.

More than 700 filmmakers, conservationists, photographers, scientists, journalists and visionaries participated in this year’s virtual event, which moved online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, to engage in conversations surrounding the future of nature, science and conservation media, impact, and filmmaking.

“As an industry, we are reimagining the role media plays in our shared world, inspiring engagement and igniting the changes that will allow us to survive and thrive on our planet,” said Lisa Samford, executive director of Jackson Wild, in a statement.

My Octopus Teacher has been in the limelight ever since the documentary dropped on the international streaming service. Pippa Ehrlich, the film’s director, spoke with Expresso giving a small insight into what went into making the unique film (see below). 


The international acclaim was not enough, with fellow OD Glen Biderman-pam getting involved by producing the hilarious parody My Kreepy Teacher, see below.  We spoke to Glen to provide some context into his thinking behind the parody.

“In my opinion, a successful parody celebrates the subject rather than putting it down. It’s easy to make fun of but difficult to make funny out of. With the overwhelming response from South Africans, I think we managed to achieve the latter.”

A note from Nicky Bicket’s newsletter highlights the film as being something of a Bishops affair;

This was something of an ODU enterprise: the music, "haunting and mystical", was composed by fellow-OD, Kevin Smuts (2004O) who for a short while was "apprenticed" to composer Grant Mclachlan (1973F). Barry Donnelly (1988B) was in charge of the sound design. The house and year of the octopus are unknown.

To read the full UK Newsletter, click here.


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